Bucs Get it Right with New Uniforms
That was a fairly universal reaction the last time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers changed their uniforms, back in 2014. Those first images of Doug Martin and Gerald McCoy, with their alarm-clock numbers and reflective outlining, immediately had fans wondering to which alternate universe in the future they'd been transported.
The one combo fans seemed to at least find barely tolerable was the all-bright-red Color Rush set, but even that was simply the team's best offering by default.
From the moment those uniforms were unveiled six years ago, most fans were left wondering, "What was wrong with the ones we had?"
Tuesday, the Bucs admitted they should have left well enough alone back in 2014, revealing another overhaul to their on-field look. The home and away jerseys are nearly identical to the ones they wore from 1997-2013, save for a few cosmetic updates with new word marks and logos. Gone is the chrome face mask (which I didn't really mind), and back is the black one.
The biggest twist this time around is the alternate Color Rush combo, which features an all-pewter set, the likes of which no team in the league has ever come close to featuring.
But overall, this is a clear case of the Bucs responding in a positive way to the resounding cry from their fan base that the uniforms they wore throughout their glory days were just fine. They didn't need to be the next Seattle Seahawks or Tennessee Titans or the latest short-lived Jacksonville Jaguars concoction.
No, the block numbers and classic look worn by Hall of Famers like Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, should-be Hall of Famers Ronde Barber and John Lynch, franchise legends like Hardy Nickerson, Simeon Rice, Shelton Quarles and more . . . they are the true identity of a franchise desperate for the respect they demanded back in those days.
Sure, Tampa Bay's alarm-clock suits weren't helped by the fact that the team went 34-62 while wearing them. But the Bucs also had losing seasons in seven of their last 11 campaigns wearing the "glory days" uniforms, too. The team lost plenty of games no matter how they were dressed, but there's no denying they looked better doing it before "reflective trim" entered fans' vernacular.
Ultimately, these new uniforms will be defined by the team's on-field success, just as they have been in years passed. And Bucs fans should be far more excited about the on-field product they currently have than they are about the work attire that Tom Brady and company will be wearing this fall (hopefully?).
But for now, this is another huge offseason win for a team that hasn't had much to cheer about in recent years.
No matter what happens in the future, this was a step in the right direction.