Tampa Bay Bandits
Facts and information about the Tampa Bay Bandits
- Of the 23 different team incarnations in the USFL, the Tampa Bay Bandits were one of only six to play all three seasons of the league’s existence in their original city under their original name.
- The Tampa Bay Bandits were coached by former Heisman Trophy winner, NFL Quarterback, and future Florida Gators, Washington Redskins, and South Carolina Gamecocks Head Coach Steve Spurrier.
- The Tampa Bay Bandits starting Quarterback was John Reaves, who led the USFL in total passing yards during its three year existence. Reaves played 11 years in the NFL for five different teams and was always a backup.
- One of the part owners of the Tampa Bay Bandits was movie star Burt Reynolds.
- During the existence of the Tampa Bay Bandits, their memorabilia outsold that of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- On the roster of the 1987 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 17 former Tampa Bay Bandits players.
- Future professional wrestlers Ron Simmons (Farooq) and Lex Luger (The Total Package) played football for the Tampa Bay Bandits.
- One of the anchors of the Bandit defense, Defensive End Fred Dean, made his name while playing with the Chargers and 49ers of the NFL.
- The owner of the Bandits, John Bassett, was the owner of the Memphis Southmen professional football team of the World Football League in the mid-1970s.
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