Reacting to the Tampa Bay Buccaneer uniform ranking

Via the Tampa Bay Times: “Bucs uniform ranked 32nd among NFL teams, because there isn’t a 33rd”

To be fair to begin and give context, this piece is inspired by a ranking that was done in The Sacremento Bee, so it’s a reaction column inspired by an opinion piece. By way of opinionated reactions to the opinionated ranking, let me give you my own opinion:

If there had been a 33rd uniform ranking, Bucco Bruce would rank below it. Bad uniforms and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a history that goes hand-in-hand with the mediocrity of the club and its lackluster competitive prowess in this day and age.

I’m serious. Look, the original “pewter-power” uniforms that came into being in 1997 marked a competitive dawn for the Bucs. Competitiveness and participating in the NFL playoffs was a rare feat achieved by way of Tony Dungy’s coaching and Rich McKay’s blueprint on the roster (which Dungy’s coaching complimented). Futility, which the franchise had known for fourteen years, became foreign. The logo wasn’t looked at like a joke. There’s more to team history under the original red-and-pewter uniforms (both good and bad that’s led to the current state of the franchise) but that’s getting away from the subject.

Yet the 2014 “update” (marketing term for “Buy more!!!”) was unnecessary and is visually pathetic. There’s an anagram used that I’ve cited in the past in blogging: K.I.S.S. which stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Those involved in the choice to “upgrade” the Bucs uniform (Stupid) defied that marketing simplicity and it’s lurking around now as a bane for the club.

To add to this, there are long-time fans who cling to the franchise that will use the decree of ugh! toward the current uniform system to say the team should go back to the original logo and uniforms — Bucco Bruce and the orange-and-creamsicle color scheme — from days of yore. That compounds the issues of the moment. The franchise is a wreck in many ways at this time, with a 10-year playoff lapse and all-time win percentage below 400 (that’s just on-field wreck elements). There is no fix by way of nostalgia…

…Or continued ownership blunders. The Glazers aren’t exactly Hugh Culverhouse, but the mediocrity they are accepting and the offense-first push, compete now-now-now mentality makes it seem like it. It showed up first with their firing of Tony Dungy (just making the playoffs wasn’t good enough — winning it all was a necessity even if long-term contention was slighted by a forced coaching change and then general management shift.

One guy’s opinion column (and further media and fan reaction to the piece) isn’t going to inspire the Bucs to go back to what worked. The idea of the logo being a tied-to-the-franchise element is in place for Tampa Bay with the flag, skull and crossed swords image… But thinking to go elaborate with the uniform scheme was an utter mistake. A mistake that compliments the malaise that rules One Buccaneer Place at the moment.

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