The Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey and uniform as a whole look dramatically different from when the team entered the league as a member of the AFC West in 1976. As the story goes, original owner Hugh Culverhouse initially picked the color green to go with the expansion franchise’s white, orange, and red look. However, the green resembled that of the Miami Dolphins, so another shade of Florida orange, nicknamed ‘creamsicle,’ was introduced.
As a result, the Buccaneers’ helmet and jerseys became one of the most infamous of all-time, as were the first uniforms.
Related Article: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Uniform History
From 1976 to 1996, the Bucs’ jerseys consisted of an orange base, white numbering, red trim, TV numbers of the same color and trim on the sleeves, and stripes at the base including a red-white-red pattern.
The road look was an exact inverse of the home, with orange numbers, red outlines, and a red-orange-red sleeve stripe pattern.
In 1977, the Bucs tweaked their white jerseys to where the numbering was red with orange outlines.
These jerseys remained largely unchanged over the next two decades, despite the ridicule they were subject to.
Shop Buccaneers at Fanatics: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In 1997, the Bucs finally dropped their infamous creamsicle uniforms for something more intimidating. The home jerseys included a darker shade of red. Black was added to the base of the sleeves and collar. The white numbers included orange and black outlines, and TV numbers were moved to the shoulders. Also, an alternate logo featuring a black pirate ship with the Jolly Roger helmet logo appeared on the sleeves.
The road whites also featured the black collar and sleeves stripe. The black pirate ship logo also appeared at the sleeves, and the numbers were red with orange and black trim.
Pewter was also added to the color scheme but only appeared on the helmets and pants. It’s also good to note that orange did remain in the color scheme but as an accent.
Fondness eventually grew for the team’s old jerseys and uniforms, despite efforts made to completely erase them from the Bucs’ past. In 2009, they re-debuted the look as an alternate to be worn one to two times per year. On such weekends, the Bucs even painted end zones and the midfield logo in the old color scheme. This alternate lasted until 2012 the year before the NFL banned the use of multiple helmets during the season.
Related Article: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Logo History
The Bucs scrapped the Super Bowl-winning look in 2014 and opted for something new. While the color scheme remained, an arena-football like jersey debuted.
The home look included red with a strange numbering scheme, which critics referred to as “1980s digital alarm clock numbers.” The white numbers contained a faint, orange outline along with black. The numbers also have divides that supposedly glowed when hit by a certain angle of light. The pewter shoulder panels separated themselves from red with a thin, orange diagonal line. The wordmark ‘BUCS’ appeared on one sleeve while the pirate ship logo appeared on the opposite side. The TV numbers are red with an orange outline.
The white jerseys included red numbering, the same glow phenomena on the numbers, black and orange trim, pewter shoulder panels, red TV numbers with orange outlines, the ‘BUCS’ wordmark on one side of the sleeves and the ship logo on the opposite side. The creamsicle line splits the white from the pewter at the shoulder.
In 2015, the Bucs debuted their Color Rush look. Pewter numbers, white outlines, and the glow phenomena all return to the red jerseys. There are no shoulder panels or strange divides. The TV numbers are pewter as well.
On April 7th, 2020, the Buccaneers unveiled a new set of uniforms which for the first time in team history included a pewter alternate jersey. The Bucs’ primary home and road jerseys resemble the team’s 1997-2013 jerseys almost to a T, with a few modernized differences.
You can view the uniforms at this link.
The Bucs had arguably the worst uniform in NFL history next to the 2013-2017 Jacksonville Jaguars and the 2018-present Tennessee Titans, but one can make the debate as to which was the worst.
Thankfully, the uniform has shifted back to a sense of normalcy in 2020 and for good reason. With the look bearing close resemblance to what was seen from 1997-2013, the Bucs’ new jersey has definitely climbed in my own annual jersey and uniform rankings which are always unveiled when each team has released their look for the upcoming season.
If there’s one guarantee I can place here, it’s the fact that the Buccaneers just skyrocketed in the rankings from 31-32 where they’ve been hanging out previously to at least the Top-15, if not higher. I can’t wait to update these rankings which of course, will reflect just how far the Bucs have come.
Related Article: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Helmet History
1997-2013 Road Jersey
2014-2019 Color Rush