The Tampa Bay Buccaneers unveiled their new uniforms on Monday morning and let’s just say Bucco Bruce may be crying a solitary tear out of his good eye.
Tampa’s new Nike uniforms feature an oversized logo on the helmet, a bizarre black-based color scheme that ignores the franchise’s retro creamsicle uniforms and numbers that look like the red LED digits on an alarm clock, only far less easy to read.
On the bright side, the last team to unveil ugly uniforms that attempted to bring a new vibe to the NFL is one month removed from a Super Bowl title. But unlike those Seahawks uniforms, the Bucs unis can’t decide whether to go far enough. They’re too traditional to be bold and too different to be retro. They’re stuck in a uniform limbo. Looking at these, I think of a Thanksgiving windsock. Take away the helmet, and these could be the uniforms for any number of teams including the Redskins, Cincinnati or Florida State. When the big design element is a stripe of color underneath the shoulder pads, that’s a loss.
The whole point isn’t to please the Internet, of course. (Good thing, because early returns aren’t good.) The mission is to sell uniforms. If the team is good, uniforms sell themselves. But if the team struggles, like the Bucs should in the upcoming season, the uniforms need to be alluring to fans. These new kits will have people browsing the retro rack looking for those creamsicle beauties or even the pewter uniforms from the Gruden/Sapp glory days.