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Sunday, February 14, 2010
Finally, a positive for the Culverhouse name

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Read an excellent story in The Tampa Tribune while I was at the gym this afternoon. It’s about Gay Culverhouse, whose late father, Hugh, used to own the Buccaneers.

The story’s written by my good friend and former co-worker Ira Kaufman, who really enjoys being called “The Coney Island Kid.’’ If you ever run into Ira, tell him I said to call him that.

Anyway, back to the Culverhouses. If you weren’t around during the Culverhouse era, you didn’t miss much in the way of football. The Bucs were bad and Hugh Culverhouse was in the business solely to make money. There’s an excellent quote from former Bucs linebacker Scot Brantley in the story that pretty much sums up how dysfunctional the Culverhouse regime was.

Speaking of dysfunctional, things got even uglier after Hugh died, and all sorts of scandals and legal actions came to light. I know a lot of Bucs fans think the current owners, the Glazer family, are a carbon copy of the Culverhouses.

They’re not. If you want to say they’ve been cheap in recent years, go ahead. You may or may not be right. But keep in mind, the Glazers were the ones who got you that new stadium and made the Bucs into a Super Bowl winner.

Culverhouse never was interested in winning. He was only interested in making money and he ran franchise quarterback Doug Williams out of town because he didn’t want to pay him. There are dozens of other nasty Culverhouse stories and no one has ever said he was a good owner.

But his daughter is doing something that just might bring a little positive legacy to the Culverhouse name. Gay is working with former NFL players, mostly former Buccaneers, to make sure they get all the benefits available to them.

She’s also been very active in the movement to institute stronger rules and get better care for players who have had concussions. Gay is doing all this while she’s battling cancer.

She can never undo all of the bad things her father did as an owner. But at least she is doing something that brings a positive connotation to the Culverhouse name.