Unlike the Buccaneers' last three Ring of Honor announcements, this year there was no debate. Derrick Brooks was the clear-cut choice for the Bucs.
Brooks' impeccable football career would warrant it on its own, but those that are honoring him say it's just a small portion of the Hall of Fame person he is.
While it would be hard to imagine the career he had when he was coming out of Florida State, Tony Dungy, who was the Minnesota Vikings' defensive coordinator, tells me he predicted it.
"I was telling Lovie when they showed the first clip [during the announcement] and the commissioner announcing his name," said Dungy. "I was the defensive coordinator at Minnesota and when he said the Buccaneers select Derrick Brooks. I remember falling back in my seat and just almost crying because I told Denny Green [Vikings head coach] at the time, that you are talking about the perfect guy for this system."
"You never dream of 11-straight Pro Bowls and player of the year and maybe defensive player of the decade, but I thought he was capable of that."
This is another banner year for the Bucs. Brooks will follow Warren Sapp's yearlong path that he made last year from Canton to Raymond James and will be inducted into the Ring of Honor during halftime of the Rams game on September 14.
Brooks will be the sixth member inducted into the ring and he'll join Sapp and Lee Roy Selmon as the only players to have their numbers retired.
Brooks is one that never likes to look past the day he's in, but when his day passes, how does he hope he'll be remembered?
"He was a servant leader as a human being," said Brooks. "That would be fulfilling. As far as the game of football goes, I would like for people to say the game was better because I was blessed to be a part of it."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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