Buccaneers superfan Big Nasty inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

Bucs fans may not now Keith Kunzig, but they probably know his alter ego: Big Nasty.

Kunzig is what most would call a superfan. It's hard to pinpoint a signature piece of his look, from the horned helmet to his game-day warpaint to his No.99 jersey. If the Buccaneers are playing at Raymond James Stadium, you can bet he's the center of attention in the stands.

He started getting dressed up for games, transforming into Big Nasty as a way to help him get over a bad breakup more than 30 years ago. He never dreamed his outrageous outfit, and matching personality would cement his name in the NFL's history.

This week, Big Nasty was summoned to Miami as one of six superfans from across the country who were nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's fan category - the Ford Hall of Fans - ahead of Super Bowl LIV.

After waiting in his Miami hotel room for an hour, Kunzig started to get nervous. A knock on his door would mean he was in. No knock would mean he wasn't.

Talk about suspense.

"I was just trying to close my eyes, stay peaceful, because thirty minutes had already gone by, and no knock, so I was getting a little worried," he said.

The waiting game began at 8:30 a.m. Friday. The window closed at 10.

Around 9:30, he heard it.

Silent suspense turned to screams of joy from Big Nasty and his own fanbase - his family.

On the other side of the door was the president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, David Baker.

"Big Nasty, thank you for loving the game," Baker told him.

Kunzig was chosen for one of football's highest honors.

"Seeing him at my door, now I know what these players feel," Big Nasty said during an interview afterward. "Got tears in my eyes, the handshake, there is nothing like it."

As part of the honor, Kunzig will take part in this summer's Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony along with this year's class of inductees.

Big Nasty's honor comes with a jacket, 3-D plaque, and a Pro Football Hall of Fame ring to go with the helmet they gave him Friday.

"This ain't about Big Nasty," he said. "This is about Tampa Bay being on the map. We deserve, Tampa Bay Bucs fans, we deserve this. You guys are permanently enshrined."

In choosing Big Nasty for their league-wide contest, the Pro Football Hall of Fame honored him not only for the war paint and his room filled with all things Buccaneers, but for his work with anti-drug and charity programs.

As he accepted the honor, Kunzig was thinking of his little brother, who just passed away. 

"It isn't about screaming loud, and having a beer, it is about, 'Wow, how many times have you touched peoples' lives at Tampa Stadium, at Raymond James Stadium?"

— Keith Kunzig aka Big Nasty

Superfans from the Chiefs and Broncos are also being inducted.

We will find out Saturday if Bucs legend John Lynch will be joining Big Nasty in Canton.