This article details the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American Football Club
John McKay and early frustration (1976–78)
The Buccaneers joined the NFL
as members of the AFC West
in 1976. The following year, they were moved to the NFC Central
, while the other 1976 expansion team, the Seattle Seahawks
, switched conferences with Tampa Bay and joined the AFC West. This realignment was dictated by the league as part of the 1976 expansion plan, so that both teams could play each other twice and every other NFL franchise once during their first two seasons.
The Tampa Bay expansion franchise was originally awarded to Tom McCloskey
, a construction company owner from Philadelphia
. McCloskey quickly became dissatisfied with the financial arrangement with the NFL, and backed out of the deal a month later. The NFL found a replacement in Hugh Culverhouse
, a wealthy tax attorney
well-known in NFL circles for brokering an unprecedented franchise swap between the Baltimore Colts
and Los Angeles Rams
. A name-the-team contest resulted in the nickname "Buccaneers," a reference to the pirates who frequented Florida's Gulf coast during the 17th century. The team's first home was......