The 1970s and Expansion

Teams come to Seattle and Tampa Bay

On April 24, 1974, the National Football League awarded a franchise to Tampa Bay and then to Seattle on June 4. Six months later, on December 5, 1974, Lloyd W. Nordstrom and Hugh Culverhouse signed franchise agreements with the NFL that formally granted them new teams to begin play in the 1976 season.

Seattle earned their first victory in the "Expansion Bowl" on October 17, 1976 with a win over the Buccaneers. The loss for Tampa Bay was just one of an NFL-record string of 26 straight defeats that the team suffered during their first two seasons. Meanwhile, the Seahawks steadily improved from their 2-12 record in 1976 to a 9-7 in 1979. By that year, the Buccaneers had been steered in the right direction as they claimed the NFC Central Division title with a 10-6 record and advanced all the way to the NFC championship game.

Over the years, both teams have enjoyed varied success and their fair share of exciting moments, players, and games. In 1995, the Seahawks and the Buccaneers each had their first player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when wide receiver Steve Largent and defensive end Lee Roy Selmon were enshrined in Canton.


  • The Buccaneers began as a member of the AFC West and the Seahawks were placed in the NFC West for their first season. In 1977, the teams were re-aligned to their permanent spots - Seattle in the AFC West and Tampa Bay in the NFC Central.
  • Lloyd Nordstrom, the original owner of the Seahawks, died on January 20, 1976 while on vacation and was never able to see his team play.
  • Tampa Bay selected defensive end Lee Roy Selmon as the first player in the NFL draft while Seattle chose Notre Dame defensive tackle Steve Niehaus with the second pick overall.

  • Seattle almost defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in their regular-season opener. Trailing by six, the game ended with a Cardinal interception in the end zone.

  • The Buccaneers finally put one in the win column with a 33-14 victory at New Orleans. The Bucs tied an NFL record with three interceptions returned for TDs as they ended their 26-game losing streak.


 1976 Expansion Draft>>>