The last thing we want to do here at Sports Blog Movement is turn this thing into a fashion show. But whether or not we choose to admit it, sports is a very aesthetics-based science that preys on the eyes. This means when it comes down to something like uniforms, we do care.
Personally I was a big fan of the old school creamsicle uniforms that the Buccaneers wore during their not-so-glory days of the late 70s and 80s. Plus, who doesn’t love Donald Igwebuike on the Sports Blog Movement kicker’s roundtable? It reminds us of the days when you could sack someone without getting fined a quarter of a million dollars, and uniforms featured big block lettering. Men were men, and dressed for combat accordingly.
But in what I like to refer to as the “Under Armour Age”, a lot has changed. We’ve slowly (and painfully) eased into this futuristic approach of what a football player should look like when in full uniform. Although Nike now manufactures the NFL’s jerseys, this started with Under Armour and that ludicrous “We must protect this house” mantra that they shoved down our ear canals a couple of years back.
As you’ve probably already determined from the above image, the Buccaneers have new uniforms. And they’re classy as hell, because I’m typing this blindfolded. In all seriousness, they’re pretty bad. Usually around here we only save the word “atrocious” for Raiders-Titans games and new Queensryche albums, but in this case we’ve made a special exception. So here are the six worst things about Tampa Bay’s new threads.
1. The logo is way too large on the helmets
This is something that I’ve had a problem with for years regarding on screen graphics and team attire, but only recently have had the confidence to vocalize. So this is a perfect place for me to seriously lose my shit, because the logos on the Buc’s new helmets are just too big.
For some reason, we seem to be losing our personal space bubble in this country and I’m not quite sure why. And one of the reasons is because the fine folks in marketing and advertising the products we buy seem to shoving it further down our throats with every passing year. If you don’t believe me, watch a commercial for almost any energy drink and you’ll see my point.
But you know it’s way over the top when football helmets are falling victim to this disturbing trend. To illustrate how ridiculous it really is, I’ll go ahead and give you an example of how stupid it would be if other NFL teams followed suit. And to keep it local, I won’t even leave the NFC South to do so. Think what it would look like if the Panthers changed their helmet so it was just a larger, more obnoxious version of the screaming cat – It would just be a big black glob with whiskers and a mouth, nobody could tell what the hell it really was. That not enough for you? Let’s say the New Orleans Saints tried to pull this shit – Could you imagine how stupid those helmets would look if they tried to blow the logo up so that all you could see was the bottom part of the Fleur De Lis? They would look like the London Monarchs’ helmets back from the highly successful NFL Europe era.
2. There is absolutely no need for the numbers to look like a digital alarm clock
Boy, where do I even start with this one? It’s hard not to blame Phil Knight of Nike and the Seahawks for this happening. It’s not that I think numbers shouldn’t be square and have right angles at points, I just don’t think they should look totally robotic. Whoever made this decision is likely the same type of person that thinks the football robot on Fox Sports is all the rage with kids today.
Also, the sharp edges look as if they are going to seriously injure somebody. How is this going to affect the research the NFL is doing or not doing with regards to the concussions? And is this going to cause a new rule to be implemented where you can be flagged for grabbing the end of the number on the jersey, having cut yourself and therefore violating some kind of rule involving bloodborne pathogens?
Numbers should look like numbers. (I know, I’m so old fashioned right?) We’ll see how much this really has an effect on the game itself when the refs are having a hard time deciphering the numbers on the jerseys before they click the loadspeaker button on. Do their new helmets have their own ringtones?
3. The creamsicle orange is almost completely gone from the jersey
When the Seahawks made the decision to turn their Chernobyl green into a thin accent on the jerseys as well as gloves, I was cool with that because as a primary color it sucked. And I get that the “Buccaneer Red” is the color that they are pushing, but I’d like to also take some space to share that I think that’s a horrible decision as well.
The creamsicle orange that once gave viewers something temporarily interesting to feast their eyes upon before Vinny Testaverde fumbled the snap has now been reduced to mere slivers of accents on the black pants of the new Bucs uniforms. Remember the moment that David Lee Roth left Van Halen? This is sort of like that, but in this case there isn’t a star left behind. Right now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a 53 man roster full of Michael Anthonys rocking the new Chickenfoot record in their grey Bonneville, complete with a Rockford Fosgate sticker on the back window.
And like I said earlier, the creamsicles were cool jerseys. In an industry where the flashiest asshole shines the brightest in line for a pretzel at the mall, Doug Williams ought to be the richest man to ever have lived.
4. The combination of the colors does not work because there is so much black going on there
This one can directly be traced back to Under Armour and all of the work they did with the NCAA over the past decade to ensure that colleges who have never in the hundred plus years used black as one of their colors all of a sudden now mysteriously has it plastered all over their uniforms.
The new Bucs setup is a perfect example of how black is the new black. The pants are almost entirely black, and the shoulders are also now black as well. I never remember black being anything but trim in Tampa’s previous color schemes. (And it was nonexistent in the team’s original uniforms) Black has taken over home uniforms in recent years, and I think it looks dumb, to be honest with you. The Carolina Panthers pull this bullshit all the time, when they have an awesome turquoise color that would probably sell a lot more jerseys if fans would remember when the team wore them.
I’m no expert when it comes to color schemes and how they are used, but I do know this looks like a dumpster full of sherbet. The white socks were something I didn’t even notice until a female co-worker pointed out how out of place they are, but they also look like shit.
5. The quote from the original article makes everything worse
“Today marks the culmination of more than two years of research and planning to bring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into a new and exciting era of our history,” said Buccaneers co-chairman Edward Glazer. “We worked closely with our partners at Nike to design a uniform that would set the standard for both design and functionality. The result is a sleek, modern design that honors our championship past while also establishing a new, bolder identity moving forward.”
Edward Glazer comes from a family that has so much money that he can say shit like this and nobody around him will even bat an eye. Of course if they did he could have that eye removed, and probably legally make you watch another one-eyed man that faced the same fate eat it for less money than you owe on your house. As of press time, Malcolm Glazer is worth a measly $4.5 billion dollars. He owns Manchester United and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is kind of like having invented the space shuttle but also bringing the human immunodeficiency virus to America.
But when it comes to his family, he’s a loyal guy and that’s where his son Edward comes in. Now I do realize that the Bucs have won the big game. They’ve won it once, and that was eleven years ago. Since then they’ve only won a very weak division twice, and both times lost in the first round to NFC East opponents. They finished with four wins last year and were coached by a guy who probably opens condiment wrappers with his feet. So while Edward led them to the promised land, they went right back to the crucifixion site and started fucking picking up nails.
6. There was nothing about the old uniforms that required an emergency overhaul
I believe it was the Fresh Prince in his famous 1991 duo “Summertime” with the lesser talented DJ Jazzy Jeff who uttered the phrase “…And if it ain’t broke then don’t try to fix it”. This reverts back to what we were saying about keeping it “old school”. Perhaps Dubs and I are just “Old” and there’s no school to speak of, but I didn’t really see anything about the old uniforms that needed a major facelift. If they had decided to go with the red direction, they should of just stuck with it instead of making it even worse.
Look I wasn’t crazy about the old design, but even plant food does the job for some organisms. Of the 32 teams in the National Football League, when it comes to needing an uniform overhaul the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were somewhere between “Why?” and “Why? The Falcons aren’t going to go 4-12 two years in a row…” This is yet another decision made by somebody in the front office who legitimately believes that while being last in the league in overall passing shouldn’t be an area of concern, and that where the orange tapers into the armpit section of their jerseys is the only thing standing between their current squad and a Super Bowl trophy.
When the Buccaneers start making decisions like hanging on to Josh Freeman for as long as they did and then still can’t sell jerseys, I can understand when you might want to start testing relatively irrelevant variables. For now they need to work on the basics like asking themselves why they’ve hung on to Lovie Smith for as long as they have, and even considering Devin Hester as some type of anchor by which to keep that ship from falling onto the field.
We realize that here at SBM we aren’t going to be grading anyone’s attire at the next Hollywood red carpet event. And we get that in a sport like football we probably shouldn’t care about things like uniforms. But as journalists, we have to look at trivial things like this and the new Bucs digs are simply too seizure-inducing to ignore.
The good part of the whole social media explosion is that we may actually be entering an age where they can gauge the public’s opinion of stuff like this while there’s still time to pull out of putting in the final order. And looking at the comments on this article from Facebook (which are by the way coming from the Buccaneers’ home page) it’s not hard to see that fans are less than thrilled.
What we have yet to see is if these franchises who are run by people who are so rich that they can actually purchase a sports franchise in the first place are going to listen to the people who fill the stadium. The NFL has a tendency to be the one sport where they can realistically get away with having the kind of arrogance that says they don’t have to listen, because 1) Fuck You; and 2) See first point. And they have it because they know you will buy their product.
But even with that said, I am interested to see if Malcolm Glazer will see the way that public has responded to the Bucs’ new uniforms. Will he look at those people with the same eyes through which he looked through to take over the family’s watch factory at 15 years old in 1943, or will not care so long as someone is there to change him and occasionally wipe?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s probably not the first one of those two.