The Tampa Bay Buccaneers introduced a new member to the team’s Ring of Honor this morning with the inception of tight end Jimmie Giles. Giles, 56, was the Bucs’ only aerial offensive force when they made their first deep run in the playoffs, falling in the 1979 NFC title game.
The Bucs are building the new Ring of Honor the same way they built the franchise.
From the ground up.
There are just two others in the Tampa Ring of Honor: John McKay and Lee Roy Selmon, the franchise’s first draft choice, and there was much speculation amongst fans as to who would be chosen, with such fantastic options as Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Mike Alstott, and Paul Gruber still waiting.
But Giles was as deserving as any. He finished his days in Tampa Bay as the third most prolific offensive threat in Buccaneer history, moving the football 4,367 yards and scoring 34 touchdowns before leaving town for Detroit and Philadelphia. It’s been 25 years since his days as a Buccaneer, but Giles still holds the records for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns by a Tampa Bay tight end.
And it’s not close.
“It was difficult to keep it a secret from some of your best friends,” Giles said in an interview with Buccaneers.com. “I tried not to let them know what’s going on. … It was tough. It is truly a pleasure to be going in with Lee Roy Selmon and coach McKay.”
He will be officially inducted into the Ring of Honor during the team’s throwback game on Dec. 4th against the Carolina Panthers.
“All I can do is thank Brian and the Glazer family for bringing back the throwback games and jerseys, and honoring us,” Giles said. “It is a true honor and pleasure for them to do that. There is nothing in stone that they had to do that, but they’re doing it because we were part of history here.”
Outside of Alstott, Jimmie Giles’s four Pro Bowl appearances are the most for a Buccaneer offensive player. Like Alstott, Giles was scrappy, hard-working, and dependable. He was a classy player, respected and adored by the fanbase.
“[The best part was] to see all the players that I played with, and to be able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I can talk about it now and share the experience with them, because they were truly a part of it as much as I was.”
Some things never change.