Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Daily Bucs Trivia: Jersey Brothers

Today we're looking for a quartet of former Buccaneers who shared a particular jersey number and a unique place in franchise history

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TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 30, 2018 - Detail shot of the NFL logo on a football before the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Photo By Kevin Sabitus/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If you're back for another dose of Daily Bucs Trivia, please be aware that this is the penultimate entry into the series. It's also the second-to-last trivia quiz I'll be doing, but penultimate is a much more entertaining word.

Our month of Daily Bucs Trivia is winding down. Each workday in April, I've been posting a new quiz at 10:00 a.m. ET and then returning at 4:00 p.m. ET to add the answer and share it on Twitter. That's today's schedule, too.

Today we'll be talking about jersey numbers, a topic I started thinking about on Monday when I was writing about the numbers assigned to all of the Buccaneers' 2020 draft picks. Quite a few of them have numbers that have not yet been worn by a very prominent player in the team's past history, like running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn and his number 30.

Some numbers, of course, are closely associated with certain figures in Bucs history. Ronde Barber isn't the only number 20, for instance, but he's the first one you're going to think of. Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp made 55 and 99 famous in Tampa. Mike Washington was a very good player who wore number 40 in the early years but most Bucs fans are going to think of Mike Alstott first. And so on.

Occasionally, a particular number gets a chance to grace more than one player who makes a lasting impact on the franchise. Long before Lavonte David came along and made 54 a popular jersey choice for Bucs fans, Richard "Batman" Wood did the same thing in the '70s and early '80s.

In fact, 54 and 40 are two of only five jersey numbers that have been worn in at least 100 regular-season Buccaneers games by two different players. The others are 50 (Jeff Gooch and Steve Wilson), 56 (Hardy Nickerson and Cecil Johnson) and 69 (Demar Dotson and Pete Pierson). Making you guess that last pair would have been a pretty good trivia question on its own.

But I'm going a little deeper. What if we set the lower limit at 75 games played? Can we find any trios of Buccaneers in the same number? Why yes, we can! In fact, I found five of them. I'll let you know that there is some but not total overlap with the list of 100/100 duos above. One of those trios was a little different than the others, in that all three of the players on the list satisfied the 75-games-played criteria but none of them made it to 100 games played.

So that's the basis of today's question:

Bucs Daily Trivia Question, April 29:

What is the only jersey number in Buccaneer history that has been worn in at least 75 regular-season games by at least three different players but in at least 100 games by zero players? Oh, name the players, too, for full credit.

To set some parameters, we are only talking about the regular season and only games played as a Buccaneer. Oh, and this is a big one: The player actually had to wear that specific jersey number in the game for it to count. In other words, if a player wore two or more uniform numbers during his Buc tenure, than his games played total is split between those numbers. An example: the number 72 jersey didn't make the 100/100 duo list even though Rob Taylor wore it for another 10 games and it later belonged to the long-tenured Chidi Ahanotu. That's because Ahanotu played 97 games while wearing 72, with 16 more coming in number 90 and another eight in number 95.

Come back at 4:00 p.m. ET for the answer!

Answer: The jersey number that fits the criteria is 51. It was worn in 95 games by Barrett Ruud, 87 games by Alshermond Singleton, 80 games by Broderick Thomas and 76 games by Chris Washington. They were all linebackers.

Full disclosure: I had to edit this question and its answer after it was posted, thanks to this Twitter response:

In sorting out the answer to this question I got those four linebackers listed together but somehow just didn't see Washington at the bottom of the list. So while my original trio fit the criteria, there was also a fourth in the group. I've been a bit worried all month that I would make a mistake in one of these trivia questions and get called out, so I got really lucky that when I did finally mess up it actually didn't invalidate the answer. It just made it better. Thanks to Liam there for getting me fully on track.

There are four other jersey numbers that have had 75/75/75 trios but all of them also had at least one player who topped 100. They are:

54: Richard Wood (132), Lavonte David (121) and Ervin Randle (85)

56: Cecil Johnson (111), Hardy Nickerson (104) and Ryan Nece (85)

76: David Logan (110), Jeremy Zuttah (90) and Donovan Smith (79)

88: Jimmie Giles (121), Luke Stocker (80) and Mark Carrier (78)

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