Tampa Bay Bandits

Tampa Bay QB John Reaves_edit.jpg
Gary Anderson was acrobatic and elusive.

RB Gary Anderson

QB John Reaves

Spurrier with Reaves.JPG
Steve Spurrier for site_mixdownSpurrier
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The Tampa Bay  Bandits, who were owned by John Bassett 

and actor Burt Reynolds as a partner, were on of the league's

most exciting teams. Led by coach Steve Spurrier, the Bandits

were a perennial winner and outdrew the Buccaneers in

Tampa Bay.  The "Bandit Ball" averaged 43,758 fans per-game. 


Spurrier had an exciting team with QB John Reeves throwing for

28 Touchdowns and HB Gary Anderson rushing for 19 in 1984 as

the Bandits won 14 games.  Tampa Bay went on to win 35 games

and scored 1266 points in their three years of existence.


The Bucs won only__games from'83 through '85. “Bandit-Ball was a much hotter draw in Tampa than the Buccaneers were back then,” says Steve Erhart, a former USFL executive. “In the local market place, with Steve Spurrier were a popular and more exciting in a lot of ways than the NFL team.”

Dave Lapham, who was a teammate of Reaves in Cincinnati, “Reaves and Steve Spurrier were a match made in Heaven. A couple of Florida Gators that believed in slinging it – they just clicked. It was like Spurrier was living through Reaves with that offense.”


Actor Burt Reynolds owned part of the Ba