GLENDALE, AZ. – Ronde Barber walked around Media Row at the Super Bowl doing interviews knowing he was selected to the Pro Football Hall of fame, but couldn’t say anything until later that night when it became official. I asked Ronde if all the hard work he put in was now finally worth it?
“It’ll be worth it,” Barber said. “When it happens, it’ll be worth it. Lots of years put into the guy I became on the football field.”
The all-time Tampa Bay Buccaneers leader in picks (47) and defensive touchdowns (12) could breathe easier up on stage in Phoenix Thursday night putting on his Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket. Barber is the only NFL player with more than 40 interceptions and 25 sacks and says getting to play his 16-year NFL career in Tampa Bay means the world to him.
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“I had opportunities to leave, early in my career when I was a free agent,” Barber said. “I have a lot invested into an emotional bank account in Tampa. I’m glad it was with them.
The Bucs won the Super Bowl in 2002 and built on a team with a historic defense. Ronde is the fourth Buccaneer from that defensive team to get into the Hall. Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and John Lynch are the other three.
“Congratulations Buddy, it’s about time and I say that from the bottom of my heart. Lynch said in a video message to Ronde after the news broke.”We get to be teammates again on the greatest team in football.”
“Welcome to the club, Randy (Sapp always called him Randy) Barber,” Sapp said. “The golf game at the Hall of Fame is about to get very interesting.”
Barber calls Tampa Bay home with his wife and kids and in fact works for the Bucs in a variety of capacities. Ronde says once a Buc, always a Buccaneer.
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“They (Bucs) have great owners. They’ve been great to me. I’m still close with the franchise. They’re like family.”
The Bucs hall of Fame family keeps growing. Who will be next?
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