The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ return to creamsicle throwback uniforms may not happen until 2023 due to NFL deadlines amid its recent rule change.
The league recently changed its 2013 one-helmet rule back to allowing a second alternate helmet according to Pro Football Talk’s Michael David-Smith. Teams received a memo on Thursday regarding the change, which will take effect for the 2022 season.
Just one catch — the NFL’s uniform change deadline for 2022 has already passed according to the memo. The second helmet request deadline is July 31. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio first reported on the issue June 24.
“Here’s the one fact that most have overlooked: Although teams have until July 31 to adopt a second helmet for 2022, it’s too late to submit to the league a uniform change for 2022,” Florio wrote. “Thus, unless the Bucs want to wear their Bucco Bruce helmets with one of their red-and-pewter configurations, the old-school helmets won’t be back until the old-school uniforms can return, in 2023.”
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport shared the memo.
The latest Bucs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bucs newsletter here!
Bucs’ Creamsicle Craze
Bleacher Report Gridiron tweeted out the Bucs throwback look as one of the most popular throwback possibilities — featuring a graphic of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Unfortunately for Bucs fans, it may have to wait past Brady and Gronkowski’s time with the team. Gronkowski has a one-year contract, and Brady is under contract through 2022.
Tampa fans called for the return of the franchise’s orange-and-white jerseys with the white helmet featuring “Bucco Bruce” ever since the NFL instituted the one-helmet rule. Bucs players likewise have shown interest from longtime star Lavonte David to Brady, entering his second season with the team. It even gained a little steam leading up to Super Bowl LV though the throwbacks weren’t an option due to league rules.
Bucs Brass Goes to Bat for Creamsicles
Bucs owner Joel Glazer has been a big advocate for getting “Bucco Bruce” back on the field. The logo and the creamsicle color scheme goes back to the franchise’s inception in 1976 and lasted until the 1997 transformation.
“On the throwbacks, we’re constantly on the league’s doorstep trying to get them to move so we can wear our throwbacks,” Glazer said in March according to Pewter Report. “We’re not there yet. But there are discussions going on and hopefully at some point in the future that will happen. I know how popular they are with our fans.”
Bucs chief operating officer Brian Ford reiterated that point on Thursday before the news broke according to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times.
“It’s very important to our fan base, as well as the Glazer family and our entire organization,” Ford said per Knight. “We love to kind of reminisce and play some ’70s and ’80s music and bring out the big pom-poms and the creamsicle. So it’s not a question of if, it’s just when, and we’ll definitely keep you posted.”