High-five a stranger. Hug a friend. Call a loved one.
Our long local nightmare is over.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be wearing new uniforms in 2020. The team hasn’t made an official announcement, but it did post a video to Twitter on Wednesday that teased a redesign.
In the video, which has very V for Vendetta vibes, an artist enters an empty Raymond James Stadium at night, opens a backpack and pulls out newspapers and cans of spray paint. The camera focuses on numerous headlines — “Return to glory,” “Tampa Gets NFL Franchise For ’76,” “MANY HAPPY RETURNS,” “BELIEVE IT,” “SUPER!,” “Bucs uniforms mold old with new,” “Uniform effort,” “A BOLD NEW ERA” and “HOISTING NEW COLORS.”
After plastering the newspaper clippings to a blank wall, the artist spray paints a Bucs ship logo over them. We see three colors: red, orange and what looks like a grayer tone of pewter.
The team declined to comment about the video or about the possibility of new uniforms. That in itself might be a clue that change is coming. The Times asked the team late in 2018 whether it had plans to introduce new uniforms in 2019, and it said that it did not.
The Bucs’ social media account also has been replying to fans’ posts about uniforms.
On Tuesday, @EMT_Ashlie tweeted to @Buccaneers: “ANNOUNCE THE NEW UNIFORMS IVE BEEN TWEETING AT YOU FOR WEEKS”
The team replied with an eyes emoji and did the same to a Facebook post by Samer Ali, who wrote, “So many fans want the team to go back to the ‘Super Bowl era’ uniforms."
The scope of the changes is unclear, but expect the team to continue to drop hints and build anticipation ahead of an official announcement, which likely will come sometime before the NFL draft in April.
When the Bucs introduced their current uniforms in 2014, the design, particularly the number font, was met with blistering criticism. “Ugh — a complete disaster and the undoing of the entire design concept,” Paul Lukas wrote for espn.com. “Almost everything else in the uniform feels overwhelmed by this font — it’s running the show, and ruining the show. A huge mistake.”
NFL rules stipulate that teams can’t change their uniforms more than once every five years, meaning the Bucs were eligible after the 2018 season. A wholesale redesign, however, can take years from conception to approval. If a team wants to make changes, it is required to notify the league before March 1 of the year before the year it wants to introduce the changes.
The uniforms have long been a source of frustration for fans, though the team’s lack of success on the field certainly hasn’t helped. Since their introduction, the Bucs have lost nearly twice as many games as they’ve won. Their .354 win percentage over the past six seasons is only slightly better than their win percentage (.310) during the infamous Creamsicle era (1976 to 1996).
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Even Bucs players have campaigned for a redesign. In April, left tackle Donovan Smith tweeted, “@Buccaneers can we go old school creamsicles ???” A couple of months later, tight end O.J. Howard posted to Instagram 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: “We need these Uni’s (sic) back.”
Contact Thomas Bassinger at email@example.com. Follow @tometrics.