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Bucs to add safety John Lynch to team’s Ring of Honor

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There John Lynch was, being a nice guy again.

He answered this question about the Raiders, and that question about the Bucs, and another question about the Super Bowl. But the questions about the Raiders kept coming. What were the Bucs going to do about Rich Gannon? About Tim Brown? About Jerry Rice? How could they possibly match up.

Finally, Lynch’s eyes turned cold, and his voice grew an edge.

“You know,” he said, “we’re pretty good, too.”

That was Lynch, who was always prepared to match his team’s defensive stars against the offensive stars of the opponent. It could have been the Rams or Vikings or Lions or Raiders.

The fire was never very far from Lynch, the Bucs’ hard-hitting safety. He would laugh and joke and be good company, but there was a fierce pride to him, too. And, on gameday, Lynch would knock you out. It didn’t matter if you were a running back or a receiver – or his brother-in-law John Allred, who Lynch once left lying in the Chicago sod.

Lynch was a vital piece to the great defenses of the Bucs.

Next season, the Bucs will honor him by adding his name to the Ring of Honor.

Lynch will be the ninth Tampa Bay player added, joining teamates Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, Mike Alstott and Paul Gruber. Other Bucs in the Ring include John McKay, Lee Roy Selmon, Jimmie Giles and Doug Williams.

The official announcement will be 3 p.m. Friday.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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