The Tampa Bay Buccaneers set sail for the first time in 1976 when the Tampa Bay area was awarded an NFL franchise team. The Bucs gained notoriety after finishing their opening season without winning or tying any game – a first in the history of the National Football League.
All About the Bucs
Tampa Bay stretches along Florida’s western coast and encompasses surrounding cities and areas like St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Clearwater, and Dunedin. With word that an expansion team was making their way to the area, the club held a name-the-team contest eligible to their swashbuckling fans. The team’s advisory board chose the “Buccaneers” out of 400 possible nicknames – basing the decision after the local pirate legend, Gasparilla.
As the myth entails, the western coast of Florida was annually raided by Spanish pirates during the 18th and 19th centuries, which was led by captain José Gaspar – also known as Gasparilla. The City of Tampa celebrates the pirate myth by hosting the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival – drawing close to 500,000 scallywags a year.
The Buccaneers have maintained a simple jersey design since their inception into the league and have utilized variations of black, orange, red, and pewter as their primary colors.
Buccaneers Buckle Down
Located in the heart of Tampa, Raymond James Stadium has served as the Bucs home ship since 1998. The stadium features a life-sized pirate ship – permanently docked in Buccaneer’s Cove – which fires off cannons every time the team scores a touchdown or field goal. With a total capacity of 65,890, Raymond James Stadium provides the ideal location for fans to #SiegeTheDay, and send all opponents to the depths of Davy Jones’ locker!
— RaymondJames Stadium (@RJStadium) August 3, 2015
Currently, the Bucs are members of the NFC South Division and have had quite a remarkable journey plundering their way through four decades of gameplay. The Pewter Pirates have experienced good times and bad times, but one thing is for certain – past seasons pale in comparison to the team’s 2002-03 achievements. For the first time in Bucs history, the team qualified for the Super Bowl, heading in as underdogs and forcing the Oakland Raiders to walk the plank under the guidance of famed head coach John Gruden.
Former Tampa Bay Bucs players include franchise legends Vinny Testaverde and James Wilder, who both left their mark on the team as the all-time passing and rushing leaders, respectively. The Bucs look to the future with fresh players like Jameis Winston (2013 Heisman winner) and Mike Evans (former Texas A&M wide receiver) to pave the path for the pirates’ success.
Ahoy, mateys! Take a plunge down pirate’s cove by experiencing the evolution of the Bucs jersey and feared logo throughout their journey in the seven seas, er – NFL.
Notable Jersey Changes
1978: During the 1978 season, the Bucs utilize orange as their primary home jersey color. The rich-colored jersey comes complete with white numbers and sleeve stripes outlined in red trim. Bucco Bruce – the team’s inaugural logo – decorates both sides of the white helmet worn by players. Orange stripes run down the sides of the pants and are outlined in red. The team uses a white belt during this period.
1997: The team jersey and logo both undergo drastic changes. First and foremost, the traditional Bucco Bruce logo is replaced with a skull and crossed swords on a red flag. The road jersey switches to white as the primary color with red numbers outlined in black trim. Jersey numbers are moved up to the shoulders and the team’s secondary logo – a pirate ship – now sits above the sleeves.
2012: The Bucs revert to using red as their primary jersey color with black accents. The official NFL logo is placed right underneath the V-neck of each player’s jersey. A pewter becomes the main color on the team’s helmet and pants.
2014: This year, the team introduces pewter and orange accents, maintaining red as the primary jersey color. The logo on the left side sleeve is replaced with a new “Bucs” wordmark. Another modification is made to the jerseys lettering with a change to the font style.
2015: The 2015 road jersey opts for white shirts with red lettering outlined by black and orange trim. The collar is divided into two sections: white and pewter. The Bucs use white as the lone color on the pants, which evolves the simpler look.
Heading down to Raymond James Stadium? Show your love for the Pewter Pirates by supporting the #BucsNation! Look no further than Fanatics.com for all your Bucs fan gear and essentials.