Favourite shirts
This article has nothing to do with the Haircut 100 single from the 1980s (much to the disappointment of John "Mullet-lover" Davies but is actually inspired by Chris Norwood who e-mailed me recently to ask about the Buccaneers' choice of uniform colours and some background behind the current design.

The Bucs changed their logo in April 1997 consigning Buccaneer Bruce and the orange uniforms to the dustbin forever. Whereas most NFL teams have one game a season in which they wear a uniform from years gone by as part of a "throwback" weekend, the Bucs do not take part in this. It is simply due to the fact that the orange colours are a reminder to when the franchise was a joke and losing was expected. If the Bucs wore their old uniforms for a game now, every media question would focus around those reminders and it would serve as a distraction to the main event of trying to win a game.

Hence it is more likely that you may see the Bucs in some kind of pewter-shirted uniform in the future than the orange colours from the 1980s. Any NFL team can petition the league to allow them to wear a "third" uniform shirt colour at some point during the season. The Carolina Panthers did this in Week 2 when the Bucs chose to wear white, and the Panthers did not want to wear black shirts in the Florida heat. Hence they gained permission to wear their blue jerseys instead.

Did you know that in 1996, the Bucs UK polled their members about a potential change in colours and logo and over 90% wanted the orange colours and Buccaneer Bruce to stay.
Although changing shirt designs is commonplace in English soccer, it is not so in the NFL. This is simply because that all merchandise sales are distributed equally between the 32 franchises. If you buy a Manchester United shirt, the money goes to Old Trafford. If you buy a Buccaneer shirt, the money is shared around. Hence you do not have anywhere near the logo, shirt and colour changes in the NFL that you do on this side of the Atlantic.

The Buccaneers have not yet submitted a request for a third pewter coloured shirt but I can see it happening one day in the future. They debuted in 1997 with the white shirt and pewter pant colour and this has been their prevalent road design since that date. The alternative is the red jersey and pewter pant design that they wore in the SuperBowl against the Raiders.

The two lesser colour combinations are the all-white designs worn often in pre-season and in the 2002 season opener against the Saints, and the red jersey/white pants combination that was worn for the first time against Miami on national TV in 1997.

In the days of the orange colours, 1976 saw the numbers in a light orange colour, 1985 saw the Bucs sport a 10-year patch on the shoulder, and from 1992, orange pants. Only rarely during the 1980s did the Bucs wear orange shirts, preferring to wear an all-white design on most occasions. In Sam Wyche's final game in 1995, the soon-to-be-fired coach wanted the team to wear orange shirts and pants. The players, led allegedly by Paul Gruber, rebelled and refused to take the field. Hence the team wore orange shirts for that 37-10 home hammering by the Lions.

Paul Stewart, October 2003