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With the exception of preseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traditionally waited until the month of November to sport their red home jerseys.
Why do the Bucs wear white jerseys at home while the majority of NFL teams sport their dark jerseys at home all year long? Well, extremely hot and humid temperatures have been the biggest influence in Tampa Bay’s decision to don white jerseys at home, especially in the early part of season.
“I’m not really involved in that except for the white pants, okay?” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of the team’s decision to wear white jerseys at home through the first five home games. “I don’t know that we really like the white pants around here, so I try not to step on any toes. I think white-on-white when it’s really hot makes a lot of sense. I’ve seen Miami do that for years. I think the red jerseys and pewter pants look great, but sometimes it’s too warm for those. I really don’t care what we wear as long as we play well.”
The Bucs have played two home games this month and still have yet to sport their red jerseys, which has some wondering if the team is following the trend set by the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, both of whom wear their white away jerseys at home all season long.
If you’re a fan of the Bucs’ red jerseys, you can breath a sign of relief as the Bucs will be wearing their red jerseys soon. In fact, the Bucs will sport their red jerseys and pewter pants for the first time when the 7-3 Chicago Bears invade Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.
The Glazers and Tampa Bay general manager Bruce Allen are in charge of submitting the Bucs’ jersey colors for all 16 regular season games in June. According to Allen, the Bucs would have planned to wear their red jerseys at home last Sunday had they known the game was going to be moved a 4:15 p.m. kickoff.
“We love our red jerseys,” Allen said. “In fact, we’ll start wearing our red jerseys the next home game. We had anticipated that all of our home games were going to be early starts, but that changed last Sunday. Had we known that, we would have worn red jerseys for the Redskins game.”
While some fans would like to see Tampa Bay in its red jerseys, others seem to be just as interested in seeing the Bucs don the orange and white uniforms they wore for 20 years (1976-96). Several teams have worn throwback uniforms over the years, but it doesn’t look as though Tampa Bay will be resurrecting Bucco Bruce anytime soon.
“No, we really haven’t had discussions about that,” Allen said regarding Tampa Bay wearing throwbacks. “We’re more excited to be wearing our red jerseys. We haven’t even worn those yet this season.”
While they won’t be wearing throwback uniforms anytime soon because of the Glazers’ preference, the Bucs will be exploring the possibility of sporting an alternate jersey in the near future.
Rumor has it that back in 1999 the Bucs inquired about wearing an alternate pewter jersey for some home games, but that idea was nixed by the NFL after the league deemed pewter to be a neutral color. Allen said the Bucs would explore the possibility of creating an alternate jersey, possibly one that is black and similar in nature to the black fashion replica jersey adidas made available for retail sale a few years ago. Any jersey changes will likely be made in the spring.
“We really like our colors,” said Allen. “We’ve looked at different options, but now is not the time when we’re doing it. We’re looking at other options again next March.”
In the meantime, enjoy the sea of red. It’s been a long time coming.
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