Even Tom Brady voiced his opinion on this one — long before he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium.
Though the Bucs won’t wear their throwback creamsicle uniforms for the Super Bowl against Kansas City on Sunday, Brady’s support among other Bucs has momentum trending toward creamsicle in the future — if the NFL allows it.
Brady posted on Instagram his desire to wear the old Bucs creamsicle uniforms, worn by the franchise from its inception through 1996, ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported in September 2020.
Bucs Linebacker Lavonte David also concurs as he wanted to wear the creamsicle uniform again ever since he wore it the last time the Bucs wore them in 2012, which he shared about on Good Morning Football in 2017. David said, “I love the creamsicle uniforms. I wish we could bring them back.”
Fans clamored for the Bucs to wear the throwback uniform for the Super Bowl. Momentum hasn’t slowed down according to Laine, but the NFL’s one-helmet rule means the Bucs will stick with their current uniforms for now.
The NFL initiated a one-shell rule for helmets for player safety in 2013, which thwarted throwback uniforms for teams such as the Bucs that overhauled its color scheme, especially the helmet color scheme, in 1997. The league did it with the idea of players wearing a new helmet as less safe because it hasn’t “conformed to their head” per CBS Sports’ John Breech.
The Bucs moved from the orange-and-white creamsicles and the Bucco Bruce logo in 1997 due to its current red-and-pewter look with a flag logo featuring a skull and crossed swords, which coincided with the franchise’s most successful stretch.
Tampa made the playoffs regularly in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including a Super Bowl win in 2002. The Bucs tweaked the pewter and red look in 2014 with a larger flag and more-defined skull while the jerseys sported numbers with a clock-digit look. The team struggled those years in the later part of a 13-year playoff drought.
Brady avoided wearing those digital clock number uniforms as the Bucs went back to a refresh of the 1997-2013 look, but he would still like a creamsicle.
Bucco’s Return II
If the NFL changes its one-helmet rule this offseason, the creamsicle throwbacks could return. It’s not set in stone to change but is up for discussion in the offseason per Breech.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians expressed interest in the creamsicles returning in March 2020 on the “Dan Patrick Show” per Pewter Report’s Matt Matera.
“I think once the helmet rule changes next year we might have some creamsicles and some throwbacks,” Arians told Patrick. “Which I think are the best uniforms in the league.”
Bucs tight end Cameron Brate sounded confident in creamsicles returning by 2021, he told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times in April 2020 as the team released its new uniforms. Brate said he saw on social media how the fan base raves about the creamsicles.
Not All Nostalgia
If the Bucs could (hypothetically) don creamsicle uniforms for the Super Bowl and the ominous weather forecast for Sunday holds, the Bucs-Chiefs matchup could look like a 1979 matchup between the two on a rain-soaked field in Tampa per Funhouse, won 3-0 by the Bucs.
Epic Bucs wins rarely occurred in creamsicles, though. The Bus lost their first 26 games as an expansion team and endured many losing seasons through the 1980s and first half of the 1990s. Stroud, a longtime Bucs reporter wrote that “when the Bucs were losing in the orange and white, almost nobody liked those uniforms.”
Dislike for creamsicles extends beyond the Bucs fan base. Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, in 2019, put creamsicles in his top five for the ugliest sports uniforms in any team professional sport.
Creamsicles may not be popular with the other 31 teams in the league, too, if the Bucs bring them back and start winning in them — something Arians, Brady, and company would like to see.