After an NFL team changes its uniforms, league rules state they can’t be changed again for five seasons. The last time the Bucs did a uniform overhaul was in 2014 and it was met with mixed reviews. While most fans liked the larger and updated helmet logo, the jersey number font has been a point of contention for most fans.
Could the Bucs unveil new uniforms this offseason? The league time frame says yes, and in an NFL world where merchandise sales can bring in millions of dollars annually, Tampa Bay fans could see a different look on the players when they run out of the tunnel for the first time this August.
Tampa Bay tweaked its logo, uniform and helmet in 2014, 17 years after the team’s red and pewter look debuted in 1997 during the second year of the Tony Dungy era. The Bucs previously had a white and orange ensemble that featured Bucco Bruce, a winking pirate, from 1976-96. Those creamsicle uniforms were widely laughed at around the league, largely because of the on-field product, as Tampa Bay only had three winning seasons and three playoff appearances in the team’s first 21 years of existence wearing those uniforms.
When the Glazers switched to a more modern, menacing pirate look in 1997 with the red and pewter uniforms and a pewter helmet featuring a red pirate flag with a skull and two crossed swords, the Bucs became instant winners, finishing that season with a 10-6 record and ending a 13-year playoff drought. The Bucs would win a total of four NFC South division titles and a Super Bowl from 1997-2013 and produce nine winning records in the first 17 seasons with the original red and pewter uniforms.
The Glazers updated the red and pewter uniforms during Lovie Smith’s first season in 2014, changing the facemask to a chrome color and going with a more modern look with jersey numbers that look like digital clock numbers. Some fans have opposed the new jerseys, being especially critical of the garish numbers, but the fact that Tampa Bay has produced a record of 27-53 on the field likely has a lot to do with the hard feelings over the Bucs’ current look.
Are Tampa Bay fans ready for a new look from their home team? By the debate on social media, the answer might be yes.
But what would a re-design look like? Would there be a white helmet so the team could go back to hosting an annual throwback game featuring the orange creamsicle jerseys? Would the Bucs just tweak their current look by changing the font of the numbers? Would the Glazers ever consider going back to the original orange and white color scheme?
Twitter has some talented graphic artist who have been weighing in with new designs. We decided to collect a sample from Twitter to let fans see – and dream – about what a new uniform and an updated look might look like.
Concept No. 1 – Behance.net https://mir-s3-cdn-cf.behance.net/project_modules/1400_opt_1/73abbb58481671.59fdfb651c138.jpg
These uniforms offer a sleeker and streamlined look with a white helmet option that could be used in a throwback game, which is something Bucs fans have been clamoring. Unless the NFL changes its rule allowing players to only play in one helmet per season, the use of a white, black and pewter helmet is just a pipe dream.
Concept No. 2 – Samar Ali via Twitter @samer_Ali
A noted big Bucs fan, Ali’s concepts have garnered the most attention on Twitter. Admittedly not a fan of the creamsicle look, Ali has designed standard home and away uniforms plus two color rush ensembles.
Concept No. 3 – Angus via twitter @sportsPSDA
My personal favorite of the Twitter submitted designs – this one tugs at my nostalgia for the old day when I sat in Tampa Stadium watching the likes of Doug Williams, Lee Roy Selmon and others roam the turf and sidelines with the aroma of beer and Tampa made cigars wafting through the air.
Concept No. 4 – Glover via Twitter @GloverisGod
This concept is is the closest to the current uniforms but with some changes, mainly the changing of the font on the uniform numbers.
Concept No. 5 – Via Twitter @trevorFtierney
This re-design eliminated the red for the most part from the uniform and incorporates more the original orange. They also include a black alternate that may not be practical to wear in the Florida heat.
Concept No. 6 – Brian Begley via Twitter Iambrianbegley
Begley’s design is one or the most radical and maybe the most like a college uniforms. They incorporate the old school orange look but with a complete new logo.
PewterReport.com doesn’t know if the Bucs will debut news uniforms this year or next year, or if the team will make any changes at all. And if the Glazers do plan on making tweaks or wholesale changes to the uniforms this year, those designs have already been secretly created and submitted to the NFL.
At some point in time, the Bucs uniforms will change, and hopefully the new ones will become more popular and less controversial than the last re-design from 2014.
What do you think of these fan-designed Bucs uniforms? Leave your thoughts below in the article comments.