The holiday season is a time for reflection, for thinking about what truly matters. Like fixing the Buccaneers’ hideous uniforms. Today, Tampa Bay Times page designer Lisa Merklin makes her pitch.
Want to get involved? Go to tampabay.com/fixthebucsunis and download the uniform template. Share your design on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #FixTheBucsUnis, or email it to email@example.com. Soon, we’ll publish a selection of your redesigns at tampabay.com and in the Times.
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When I moved to St. Petersburg from southeastern Virginia about a year ago, I was curious about how Tampa Bay sports fans felt about their teams. Bucs fans are often frustrated but ultimately hopeful that something better is around the corner.
Give the fans what they want.
The Bucs need uniforms that make them look, if not play, like they mean business, so I sought to design a game-day aesthetic that intimidates opponents, just like the buccaneers who terrorized 17th-century Spanish sailors in the Caribbean.
First, a confession: I think the Bengals’ uniforms look sharp. And an even bigger confession: I took my inspiration from the team’s signature stripes.
To me, it’s worse to have a forgettable uniform than an ugly one. The Bengals’ uniforms might be close to universally reviled, but at least they’re instantly recognizable. They get people talking. My Bucs uniform design might just do that.
Instead of incorporating stripes, I drew the raw edge of the tattered flag in the Bucs logo down the sides of the uniform. It evokes toughness.
For a sleek look, I simplified the color palette (goodbye, orange!) and continued the ripped pattern down through the mid-thigh. The socks and helmet provide another pop of color, along with coordinating gloves and shoes.
I enlarged the logo on the helmet and, rather than having one image on each side, centered it on the back of the helmet. When the Bucs run the ball, I want the opposing team to see the skull leering at them — just as the Jolly Roger would wave before a pirate attack.
Contact Lisa Merklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.