TAMPA, Fla. — The “alarm clock” uniform numbers are no more for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are going back to their roots in 2020 with a new uniform that pays homage to their best years and adds a futuristic twist, the team announced Tuesday.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) April 7, 2020
They won’t be wearing the “creamsicle” colors from their earliest days — as some fans have called for — but have gone to a look that most closely resembles the threads from their winningest era of football from 1997 to 2013 and their Super Bowl XXXVII title.
“This new but familiar look is a direct result of the valuable feedback we received from our fans,” Buccaneers owner/co-chairman Ed Glazer said in a statement. “We are excited to return to our classic Super Bowl era uniforms while also introducing a sleek Color Rush uniform that showcases our signature pewter in a new and dramatic way. The refreshed classic design of our home and away combinations bridges our past with our exciting new future, and we are confident it will resonate with our fans.”
The Bucs spent two years creating their previous uniforms, which they unveiled in 2014, but they were never a hit with the fan base, who complained that they were “too busy” and that the numbers were too difficult to read.
NFL rules mandate that uniforms can only be changed every five years though. Wearing the previous uniforms until 2019, the Bucs went 34-62 (.354), third-worst in the NFL, and did not reach the postseason.
From 1976 to 1996, the Bucs wore orange and white “creamsicle” uniforms with red trim and a winking pirate known as “Bucco Bruce.” Then in 1997, under their current ownership, the Glazer family, the Bucs unveiled a totally new color scheme that featured red, black, white and pewter and replaced Bucco Bruce with a menacing skull and swords logo. They kept that look for 17 years, going 133-139 and 5-6 in the postseason.
There are differences between the new uniforms and those from the Super Bowl era, though. The fit of the jersey and pants are sleeker with less sheen and more of a matte finish. And they have three different color combos instead of two — red, white and an all-pewter uniform for Color Rush games. They had previously worn all red for Color Rush games.
Their pewter helmet with the oversized logo that made its debut in 2014 will remain, but instead of chrome will have a black face mask.
The Bucs have expressed a desire to wear their creamsicle uniforms for throwback games but have been unable to do so because NFL rules require players keep the same helmet throughout the same season, and the Bucs’ old helmets were white, while their current ones are pewter. They are hopeful that in the future, they will be able to do so.
The Buccaneers made the decision to change uniforms before Tom Brady signed with the club in free agency last month, but it doesn’t hurt their brand considering Brady was the top-seller in NFL jerseys in 2019 and was the only player to top the NFLPA’s Player Sales List seven times. The Bucs did not have a player in the top 50 in jersey sales in 2019.