Oklahoma football: Dewey Selmon’s varied football cultures
The story is oft-told. Dewey Selmon went 32-1-1 as a starter on the OU defensive line from 1973-75. Then Selmon lost his first 26 games in the NFL, with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Selmon wouldn’t change a thing.
“The idea of winning took awhile to enter our mind in Tampa,” said Selmon, who on Monday night was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. “We’d go out here and hang half a hundred on people. Routine. The idea was we were going to win. It was family.”
Selmon mentioned some of the people who came to celebrate with him last spring, at the luncheon to announce his selection. “Coach Switzer, my brother Charles, Lucious, Lee Roy, Joe Washington, Jackie Cooper, Lee Allen (Smith). We go back a long ways. That program took all our energy to make it work. We go out on a Saturday afternoon, no matter who we were playing, we were going to win.
“Leaving OU, going toTampa Bay, it’s terribly hot, players from all over, we’d go two straight years with losing. We were 0-26. But the worst thing is, we could have set an NFL record. We go out there and beat the Saints (in December 1977). Talking to (brother) Lee Roy, I said, ‘Why would we win? We could have set the NFL record. No one would ever touch it.”
Selmon was kidding, of course. The Selmon brothers had a desire to win, at both locales.
“I would not trade either one of those environments,” Selmon said. “They both taught me how to be a better man and a better person. Granted, it’s a lot easier when you’re winning.”
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