Original Buc teammate remembers Selmon | News
TAMPA, Florida-- For Barry Smith, reality is still settling in.
"I'm shocked that he passed. It's tragic. It's sad to lose an icon like that," he said.
Smith and Lee Roy Selmon will forever share a bond as members of the original Tampa Bay Buccaneers team in 1976. The two, though, remained close friends long after that.
Smith, a former wide receiver, says he knew Selmon battled some health issues in recent years. "When he stepped down as the athletic director (at USF), we knew that it had to be something fairly serious," he explained.
But Smith never expected to visit the 56-year-old for the final time at St. Joseph's Hospital over the weekend.
"The world has lost a really fine man," he told 10 News.
Smith thought so much of Selmon the defensive lineman, he broke what some consider an unwritten rule among players, and got the Hall of Famer's autograph.
"He was a lunatic. He was a raving mad man and just killed guys," Smith described Selmon's play.
However, he felt even stronger about the person wearing number 63.
"I've never heard anybody ever say anything derogatory about Lee Roy. You can't," Smith said. "When you think of Lee Roy Selmon, you think of Tampa Bay and all the good that is here."
A wake and viewing for Selmon will be held in Tampa on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Exciting Central Baptist Church in Tampa. A memorial service will also be held at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Friday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m.
The Selmon family asks that anyone who wishes to honor Lee Roy make donations to Abe Brown Ministries or the University of South Florida Foundation Partnership for Athletics.
Abe Brown Ministries
2921 North 29th Street
Tampa, FL 33605
USF Partnership for Athletics
4202 E Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33620