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  1. Bucs

Gerald McCoy shows superhero love with Incredible Hulk cleats

Tampa artist Jason Hulfish makes Incredible Hulk and other custom cleats.
Tampa artist Jason Hulfish makes Incredible Hulk and other custom cleats.
Published Jul. 29, 2017

TAMPA — The supercool green Incredible Hulk cleats that Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy wore at the first practice of training camp Friday are among many pairs he has had custom made by Tampa artist Jason Hulfish, who lets McCoy's love of superheroes spill onto the field.

"He loves comic books, everything cool and over the top," said Hulfish, who made a pair of Batman cleats for wide receiver Mike Evans that caught McCoy's eye.

"It's (McCoy's) personality, and we started going down a rabbit hole: 'Let's do these! Let's do that!' He gave me free creative license, so he's essentially a guinea pig."

You may have seen Hulfish's football creativity before. He worked with St. Petersburg's Foam By Design on the 10-foot-tall silver sculptures of players that were around Tampa for the college football national championship game in January.

Hulfish, whose studio has worked with the Extreme Makeover and Treehouse Masters TV shows, delivered three pairs of cleats to McCoy on Thursday: the Hulk and others showing Wolverine, Batman and the Joker. Three more pairs with undisclosed subjects are on the way.

Hulfish, 46, was born and raised in St. Petersburg and moved to Tampa in his 20s. Being a Bucs fan, his first concern with McCoy's request was safety, so he started with his regular cleats and carefully customized them.

"I don't want him to get injured because he's wearing a Hulk cleat," Hulfish said. "I can't have that blood on my hands. C'mon! Legions of Bucs fans will want to kill me because he got Hulk cleats."

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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