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The History of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Uniform

Modern Globe

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made some serious changes to their uniforms.Photo byPhoto courtesy of https://www.gridiron-uniforms.com/

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will bring back their classic ‘creamsicle’ uniforms for throwback games in 2023. The fan-favorite colors can make a return since the NFL rescinded its one-helmet rule last summer. But why did the Bucs get rid of their classic colors in the first place? Let’s dig into the history:


Here we see the classic orange and white uniforms. It’s also the introduction of “Bucco Bruce” the swashbuckling pirate displayed on the helmet. He’s wearing a cavalier hat with a red plume. He has a knife in his mouth. He’s a classic Tampa Bay pirate.

Originally the uniforms were also going to include green. However, this idea was rejected because of worries that the uniforms would be too similar to the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes and Florida A&M Rattlers. While the ‘creamsicle’ colored uniforms certainly stood out, for some it became a symbol of the Bucs‘ failure.

Defensive end Lee Roy Selmon in 1980.Photo by(Photo courtesy Allen’s Studio/Tampa Bay Buccaneers)


The Bucs radically change their uniforms. The colors are now white, red, black and pewter. Bucco Bruce is gone. In his place, a flag with skull and crossbones. There’s a secondary symbol on the jersey’s shoulder—a pirate ship.

This drastic change even prompted a lawsuit from the Oakland Raiders. They claimed infringement on key elements of the Raiders’ brand. Eventually, the lawsuit was thrown out.

Fullback Mike Alstott in 1997.Photo by(Photo courtesy of AL Messerschmidt/Tampa Bay Buccaneers)


The Bucs bring back the creamsicle look for a game against the Packers.


The NFL creates a rule that prevents players from wearing different helmets once the season begins. It’s a safety measure from the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee as well as the Player Safety Advisory Panel. No more throwback colors.

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Sports Illustrated declares the Bucs original uniform one of the ugliest uniforms in sports history. They also added that the logo and colors were “anything but intimidating.” Ouch.

The team also changes its current uniform scheme. Enlarging the flag logo on the helmet and changing the style of the numbers to what can be best described as “alarm clock.”

Quarterback Jameis Winston in 2015.Photo by(Photo courtesy of Mike Carlson / Tampa Bay Buccaneers)


Demand for Tampa Bay Bucs throwback uniforms seem to be on the rise. Tom Brady decrees on his Instagram that the Buccaneers should bring back the creamsicle. The GOAT has spoken!


NFL rescinds the one-helmet rule, but due to global supply chain challenges, the earliest Nike can finish production on the orange uniforms is 2023.


We predict Bucco Bruce pandemonium.

Bucco BrucePhoto byPhoto courtesy of SportsLogo.net

We realize there have been many more changes to the Bucs uniforms. We just covered the main ones. You can find excellent uniform history coverage here, here and here.

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