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