The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Monday afternoon their creamsicle throwback uniforms will make a return in 2023, albeit one year later than expected due to global supply chain issues.
“This is the earliest that Nike can finish production of the orange uniforms,” team reporter Scott Smith said, echoing what Seattle Seahawks president Chuck Arnold said of their throwbacks last week.
The Buccaneers wore these uniforms from their inaugural season in 1976 until a rebrand in 1997 and notably went an NFL-worst 100-233-1 during that span, including an infamous 0-26 start.
The uniforms featured a white helmet with a pirate named Bucco Bruce wearing a plumed hat and clenching a knife in his mouth on both sides, as well as florescent orange or white jerseys with red accents as a nod to Florida’s citrus industry and warmth of the sunshine.
The helmet had a florescent orange facemask a traditional striping pattern down the center, mimicking the sides of the white pants that were worn at home and on the road. Tampa Bay then added an orange pants option in 1992, which only made an appearance on the road.
The Buccaneers also wore these uniforms as a throwback from 2009-12 but stopped when the NFL implemented its one-helmet rule in 2013. Despite the team’s record during their original run, they were extremely popular with fans, who have been clamoring for their return since the league announced it was doing away with the aforementioned rule last summer.
Some teams have been able to wear throwback uniforms during this time by simply switching the decals or facemask on their helmets. However, the Buccaneers could not since their helmet has been pewter since the rebrand in 1997.
It’s unclear if the supply chain issues will impact every team that initially planned to wear a throwback uniform or alternate helmet design in 2022, including the New England Patriots, whose Hall of Fame announced in December their “Pat Patriot” throwback uniforms would be returning.
Photo courtesy of @Buccaneers on Twitter.