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February 19, 2014 @ 6:39 pm
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The History Of The Bucs Uniform And Logo

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers have worn their current red and pewter uniforms since the 1997 season, but announced on Tuesday a new look and design will be coming this Thursday. PewterReport.com took a look at the at some of the previous designs and explains the history of the Buccaneers uniforms over the years in this feature.
On Thursday night at 8 p.m. the Buccaneers will showcase a new helmet design and updated logo live on The NFL Network, with Hall of Famer Warren Sapp and two-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy on hand to introduce the new look. The Buccaneers have used the same color scheme and logo for the past 16 seasons, and ever since the announcement that a new helmet and updated logo was coming, social media and sports talk radio has been abuzz with fans guessing what the new look will be.

With the unveiling coming soon, PewterReport.com decided to take a look at the history of the Buccaneers uniforms, and have also included a Facebook photo gallery of some of the prototype color schemes and designs that were considered before the Glazer family decided on the current red and pewter.

The Buccaneers original uniforms were unveiled on April 15, 1975 more than a year before the team would play their first game. The orange, red and white color scheme was designed to represent the vibrant, sun-splashed feel of the state of Florida. The pirate logo, with the feathered hat and knife clutched between his teeth, was designed by Tampa Tribune artist Lamar Sparkman to recall the type of swashbuckler portrayed in Errol Flynn movies.

The Buccaneers wore their orange, red and white uniforms for 21 seasons. The home jerseys were orange with white numbers outlined in red. The road jerseys were white and originally with orange numbers outlined in red, but the red and orange were reversed after one season to make the numbers more visible. In 1992 the team introduced orange pants to wear with their white jerseys. One of the first major acts by the Glazer family upon purchase of the team in 1995 was to initiate the development of a new color scheme, logo and uniform.

The Glazer family worked with NFL properties to develop a new uniform and helmet. Several possible background colors were considered for the helmet, including white, black and silver. In the end the choice was a metallic pewter, a color unique to the NFL and instantly became the Buccaneers calling card. 

The Glazer family spent over a year in development of the new helmet for the Buccaneers, perfecting a design that they deemed as distinctive, aggressive and representative of Caribbean pirate lore. The Glazer family was determined to create a new team logo that fans could be proud of and also actively use while cheering for their team.

On April 9, 1997 the Buccaneers unveiled their new logo and uniforms at a noon press conference held in the downtown Tampa Convention Center. After the unveiling the Buccaneers moved the proceedings outside to conduct a ceremony with the fans. The Buccaneers began play in their new uniforms in 1997, the same season the team broke a 15-year playoff drought, going 10-6 and earning a wild card berth.

Over the previous 16 seasons in pewter and red, the Buccaneers have made the playoffs seven times, including hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in San Diego as world champs during the 2002 season.

Surprisingly the new design hasn't leaked out as of yet and the only hint came from Sapp on Tuesday who tweeted a hint, stating the helmets would have a chrome grill (facemask) and also hashtagged #fire in his tweet.

Going back to a base white helmet may be a possibility with the new design, as the Buccaneers had to cancel the throwback game last October due to concerns about the safety of the helmets that had to be fitted at the beginning of the season in accordance with new safety standards mandated by the league due to the concussion issue. Of the prototype helmets on display at One Buc Place, eight of the 18 were white.

Will the new look be one of the earlier prototypes, or something completely different? Bucs fans will have to wait until Thursday night at 8 p.m. to get their first look at the new design.

To see the earlier designs prior to the red and pewter currently used, like PewterReport.com's Facebook page.

Fans can visit the lobby at One Buccaneer Place during normal business hours and see a number of other pieces of team history on display.

–Part of the uniform and helmet history was provided by the Buccaneers

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 19:10

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  • avatar

    the league ruled that teams had to use their helmet for the entire year without any change outs. So since our helmets were pewter and throwbacks were white, the throwbacks could not be used. Same with the patriots. But for other teams it was possible...for example the bears wear navy blue for both throwbacks and for regular so they just scraped the sticker off. Same with the bills, they just put the old logo on the old white helmet. Packers usually wear ugly brown helmets, but had to wear their yellow ones with no G on them.
  • avatar

    @BucsFan223 Then how did other teams do throwback last year while changing the color of their helmets?
  • avatar

    I agree EastEndBoy, I think you're right about the white helmet. And I don't think they go back to the old logo. But Kinderrt makes a good point. If indeed the helmet is white, then at some point later, I would expect a complimentary uniform change. The link says that somebody has been tinkering with this re-design idea since the spring of 2012. I don't have a problem with the change, just hope it changes our luck! The good news is we'll know for sure at 8pm tonight. Can you believe that Sapp could keep a secret? lol
  • avatar

    I think it will be the white helmet, chrome grill and they keep the flag, but the flapping back side of the flag will turn into flames that meet at the back of the helmet.
  • avatar

    If the helmet is white, the uniform needs a change also.
  • avatar

    I know what I'm doing at 8 pm today!
  • avatar

    Think of this like a businessman...unless they change the helmet color to white, they can never have another (money-making) "throw-back" game...so the helmet will assuredly be white. The facemask will be chrome per Mr Sapp. So the only real question is what will the logo look like...while I appreciate the artists work linked by macabee, I can't see a return to the great Buco Bruce....there was too much criticism of that logo (personally I liked it, but not everyone did). If I was a betting man I would say: white helmet, chrome facemask, red flag logo with skull and cross bones updated to something in the genre of what macabee's artist created (a.k.a. the Oregon Ducks touch for the 21st century)....BUT PLEASE GET RID OF THE PANTS STRIPES!
  • avatar

    scubog...Well said and very funny!
  • avatar

    I know this much. It will look better than the Dolphin's helmet that looks like an advertisement from Sea World, better than the Patriot's Flying Elvis, better than those with only a letter or two that resembles that alphabet chart on top of the blackboard in elementary school,(who here was ever in fear of the letter G?) better than that red bird with the scowl from perching on a cactus in Arizona, better than the ugly transsexual the Vikings use, better than corporate logo (only on one side) of my hometown Steelers, better than the no-logo look of the Browns, better than the J-E-T-S, better than the Jaguars whose logo with the blue tongue that looks like he'd just eaten a snow cone, better than the Saints logo that looks like it is the decoration on top of a wrought iron gate or used in some voodoo ritual, better than the horny Texans look, better than the Titans who couldn't figure out what logo made any sense, better than the Redskins Indian head nickle look that has caused some political complaints, better than the Colt's who's logo is represented only from its' lost shoe, better than the Bills who couldn't use the Mastercard bill symbol so settled for a buffalo, better than Cowboys who have a secret plan to replace that Keystone Kops sheriff's badge with the face of Jerry Jones. Looking forward to the unveiling.
  • avatar

    Scubog; really good and funny.
  • avatar

    I think it should say scubog on it in a circle pattern with a skull and crossbones in the middle of the scubog on each side.
  • avatar

    macabee....Checked out the link, hope that is not the design. That's like going back to the old design.
  • avatar

    I have been all over the internet trying to find out what the new helmets would look like, but no luck - well kept secret. But I did google this guy named Charles Sollars that designs helmets and did find some interesting stuff. Now be careful I'm not saying this is even close to what's coming, but somebody has been busy with concepts for the Bucs. When I get ahead of myself I'm usually wrong! Best to wait until Thursday night to be sure, but somebody had to commission these designs. Here is the link! http://www.flickr.com/photos/fourteen85/6907482529/in/set-72157629063846192/
  • avatar

    I'll take a Play Off Team and I don't care what they wear.
  • avatar

    @ Bucco the reason they need white is so they can wear the logos of the old Bucs they could not do it last year neither could the pats wear their old logos because they had to confirm to a new league rule of only one helmet per player through the year pending I guess a damage to the helmet. So in order to have worn the old Bucs logos last year they would have had to put it on the pewter helmet. Doing this allows for them to wear the current helmet and switch the logos later in the season
  • avatar

    Hope this is not about being able to use the helmets for a throw back game. If there is a change to be made then make it a BIG change.
  • avatar

    I don't understand why white helmets are safer and can be used for throwbacks but pewter helmets cannot. I know I'm being silly, but I've yet to understand the reason we couldn't do throwbacks this year.
  • avatar

    the league ruled that teams had to use their helmet for the entire year without any change outs. For example the bears wear navy blue for both throwbacks and for regular so they just scraped the sticker off. Same with the bills, they just put the old logo on the old white helmet. Packers usually wear ugly brown helmets, but had to wear their yellow ones with no G on them.
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