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Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard wants the team to change its jerseys

It’s yet another reason why the Tampa Bay star is on his way to becoming the greatest of all time.
We are all O.J. Howard. [MARK LOMOGLIO | Associated Press]
We are all O.J. Howard. [MARK LOMOGLIO | Associated Press]
Published Jun. 30, 2019
Updated Jun. 30, 2019

Think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ jerseys are ugly? You have an ally in O.J. Howard.

In an Instagram post Saturday, the tight end shared a video game screen grab that featured himself and his teammates wearing the uniforms Tampa Bay wore during its Super Bowl run in 2002. His caption read, “We need these Uni’s (sic) back.”

The Bucs have worn three sets of uniforms in their 43 seasons. From 1976 to 1996, they wore orange creamsicle jerseys. In 1997, new ownership introduced a brownish pewter, made red the primary color and reduced orange to an accent color. Finally, Tampa Bay fans had uniforms they could be proud of. That ended in 2014 when the Bucs downgraded to a look and color scheme apparently inspired by the A-Team van.

[Twitter]
[Twitter]

The team said the uniforms featured embellishments that were “revolutionary” and “technologically advanced.” Those embellishments: chrome-bordered alarm-clock digits that only a focus group heavily under the influence of drugs could appreciate. Maybe.

Howard isn’t the only current Bucs player to campaign for a uniform change. In April, left tackle and purveyor of fine fashion Donovan Smith, speaking on behalf of “a group of people” (ahem, the offensive line), encouraged Tampa Bay to throw it all the way back to 1976.

[Twitter]
[Twitter]

More than 2,000 Twitter users liked his tweet.

Former Bucs receiver Antonio Bryant took notice and posted several tweets (since deleted) pleading for the creamsicles. “New era … Fresh look! #BringEmBack #tbt,” he wrote.

In November, the Tampa Bay Times published an editorial calling for team to redesign its uniforms, which are regularly ranked among the NFL’s worst.

“They are not only an unflattering look on the players but also a stain on the Tampa Bay community," the editorial said.

According to NFL rules, teams must wait five seasons before they can change their uniforms. Though Tampa Bay is eligible, it is not making significant changes for the 2019 season.

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Contact Thomas Bassinger at tbassinger@tampabay.com. Follow @tometrics.