Uniform Analysis: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In 2011, Nike inked it’s 3-year deal with the NFL to become it’s official onfield apparel manufacturer. Along with the prestigious Nike name came the quality, well-crafted, product and it’s accompanying collateral.

The Miami Dolphins would receive a much needed uniform redesign/rebrand and thus Nike appropriately contracted a slew of extremely talented designers, such as Joel Ryan Brandon, to handle such tasks associated with the project at hand.

I would argue, that in the 305, Nike thrived and delivered.

Some two years later and approximately 280 miles north, Nike decided to take a warm shit on some moisture-wicking reflective material, sewed on some 1984 Casio digital watch inspired numbers and call it a uniform. Fittingly, it would be the uniform of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as if satirically mirroring their laughable attempts to be a professional sports team on and off the field.

After a couple hours of scouring google to find an actual person responsible for this disaster, I literally found nothing. Every article and press release either says the design was ‘a collaboration between the Buccaneers and Nike’ or ‘conceived with the help of the NFL Design Team.’

Being a freelance graphic designer, I understand the battle that comes with a high dollar client. When dealing with the elitist, billionaire sociopaths that are NFL owners, I assume it must be extremely difficult to produce anything that would maintain it’s original artistic integrity throughout the design life cycle. But there’s no excuse for this Arena League worthy garbage.

From the Buccaneers press release:

The base uniform color has been energized with richer pewter, juxtaposed with a brighter, more vibrant shade of “Buccaneer Red”. In homage to the Buccaneers’ early uniforms, the look also features “Bay Orange” as a new primary trim color and accent on both the jersey and the pants. Tampa Bay also becomes the first NFL franchise to incorporate a revolutionary reflective chrome border around the numbers on the front, back and shoulders. The chrome border incorporates a technologically advanced reflective coating that adds a new dimension, increased readability and a unique glow to the numbers.

Richer pewter must translate to doodoo brown. And adding 3M tape to your uniforms isn’t revolutionary, but more like a half-assed attempt to polish a turd.

And here’s the explanation for the font and numbers:

Custom name and number fonts feature beveled edges inspired by historical Buccaneer blade carvings, echoing the modern industrial design inspiration. The team’s white jerseys sport pewter sleeves and shoulders with red numbers, while the red jerseys also feature pewter sleeves and shoulders but with white numbers on the body and red numbers on the shoulders— adding an extra element of energy to the evolved Buccaneer identity. 

Echoing the modern industrial design? So my father’s 30 year old crusty faux woodgrain alarm clock is now modern industrial design? No shit?

And as for the logo, type, and helmet:

The team’s transformation is exemplified in the Bucs new helmet, featuring a reinvigorated logotype and highlighted by an updated, more menacing Jolly Roger 

I like to think I’m an educated individual so being told a skull can be ‘menacing’ goes against anything and everything I learned about human anatomy. I had no idea that bone had to capabilities to transform to display an accompanying emotion.

The fact that the Bucs’ PRIMARY logo is a flag bothers the everliving shit out of me. It’s always annoyed me but recently I saw a guy driving with one of these attached to his car passenger window. Yo dawg, we put a flag inside that flag.

Why could Buccaneer executives just decide that a menacing skull with swords and an orange football be enough? They just had to throw a flag on it to make sure that everyone knew that it was indeed a pirate reference, you know, in case of someone got confused.

It’s almost as bad as the Cleveland Browns’ helmet logo. Ok, maybe not.

And just to make sure everyone knows that the organization has no clue what they are doing, their 2015 slogan is ‘Siege The Day.’ Not only is it grammatically incorrect but also not remotely clever nor is it a pun.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of siege is “a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault.”

Every week Tampa Bay releases their upcoming game promotions and collateral, emblazoned with ‘Siege the [Upcoming Opponent]’ atop the material.

Their Week 6 opponent is Washington.

Way to go Tampa. You’ve somehow managed to be equally insensitive as Dan Snyder and created a potential PR nightmare...all for the sake of trying way to hard to be cleaver.

Good luck with that.