The Yucks: Two Years in Tampa with the Losingest Team in NFL History

Sports fans love a winner, but they also love a heroic loser. A standout in the lovable loser ranks was the 1976-1977 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs (tagged the Yucks by loyal fans) launched their NFL franchise with 26 straight losses. Their first ever touchdown was a fumble return. After two games, their announcer Jack Harris commented, "when your punter's your MVP, you've got a problem." On one early season kickoff return, they failed to lay a hand on the ball--leading their acerbic, cigar-smoking, quip-spitting coach John McKay to rant: "These guys are getting paid money. They should at least be able to fall on a football."

Writer, historian and childhood Buccaneer fan, The Yucks author Jason Vuic knows his losers--he wrote the book on the car that Time magazine called "the Mona Lisa of bad cars... [like] something assembled at gunpoint": Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car of All Time. With ample research and abundant quotation, Vuic describes the Bucs' local promoters; its Jacksonville owner--notorious tightwad tax attorney Hugh Culverhouse; the politicized franchise negotiations with iron throne NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle; the antics of coach and curmudgeon John McKay; and the revolving door of has-beens, never-wills, rookies, and Canadian and World Football League cast-offs who had the misfortune of donning helmets bearing the creamsicle orange logo of Bucco Bruce ("a cross between a 1970s Bee Gee and a swashbuckler"). The Yucks is a great way to kick-off the new rock-'em, sock-'em NFL season. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

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