Debating the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniforms

  • By Dave Dameshek and Duane Munn
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers unveiled their new uniforms for the 2014 season on Monday.

From: Dameshek

Sent: Tuesday March 3, 2014 11:04 AM
To: Duane Munn aka Dirty Munny, citizens of America


My eyes! My poor, innocent eyes! What did they do to deserve Tampa Bay's scorching assault?

Yes, I just saw the Buccaneers' new uniforms. Now I'm sad and angry and, as the Uniform Monitor, frustrated.

I can't begin to reconcile what happened here. On my watch, no less. I feel I let football fans down. Frankly, though, I can't help those who don't want to help themselves.

What was the inspiration for these getups?

It's like the early '80s Houston Astros and a toucan had a baby ...

(R. Carson/Associated Press)

Or maybe a digital alarm clock fell on Andy Dalton's head ...

(David Kohl/Associated Press)

Or perhaps the Vancouver Canucks and New York Islanders from this 1996 game were thrown into a blender ...

(Kim Stallknecht/Associated Press)

Or did "The A-Team" van run over Buccaneer Bruce?

(Jim Ross/Associated Press)

Whatever the explanation, it's a sartorial tragedy ... but at least the font used for the jersey numbers is appropriate. Looking at these Bucs getups is like being awakened from a pleasant dream by the nightmare of a blinking, bleating alarm clock.

Dirty Munny: Ignore Dameshek, boys and girls. This is a man who eats Cheerios without sugar, hot dogs minus mustard and has put the same cuff (3 to 4 inches) over the same pair of Chucks for as long as I've worked at the NFL.

There's traditional. And then there's Dameshek.

It's not shocking that he dislikes any change to the NFL's very, very, very (yaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwn) traditional approach to jerseys. His favorite team is the Steelers! And while the true-school approach works for Pittsburgh, a team built on black-and-blue, ground-and-pound football, it doesn't work for everyone.

For a young team like the Bucs, a team whose iconic look is probably STILL the creamsicle uniforms of the "Bucs suck!" days ... what do you have to lose by going for a daring, modern rollout, one that runs 100 percent counter to the glory days of Bradshaw and Franco?

(Hint: NOTHING!!!!)

So fingers in ears for the naysayers comparing the Bucs 3.0 to alarm clocks and A-Team vans. The Bucs uniform is AWESOME.

By the time the season kicks off, no one will remember your buddy's "The XFL wants their jersey back!" jokes. They'll be too busy wondering why THEIR team's jersey numbers don't light up when the Monday/Thursday/Sunday night lights go pop:

(Reflective jersey plating >>> alarm clock jokes. Tell 'em Gerald!)

Dameshek: My heart is heavy, Munn, and only partially because of the countless mustard-slathered wieners I've eaten in my lifetime. Your mischaracterization brings me sorrow.

Yes, I respect and enjoy some bits of tradition, but I also have an iPhone 5, Extra Strength Advil and all seven episodes of "True Detective" on my DVR. I wear with my Larry Bird Converse Weapons with jeans, not to play basketball. I straddle the line. I like Sean Connery AND Roger Moore AND Daniel Craig but NOT Timothy Dalton. It's not change that concerns me. It's the quality of the change.

I'm an aesthete, you see. I like pizza with pepperoni. I don't like pizza with pineapple. Both are changes made to something I like on its original merits, but only one is good. Dig?

The Yankees, Canadiens, Celtics and Steelers don't mess with their uniforms for a reason. Then again, the Bucs aren't any of those teams. Maybe the franchise needed a change. Just not this change.

These getups humiliate anyone associated with pirating. Willie Stargell, Jake and his Neverland pals, that guy from "Captain Phillips." Everybody. The uniforms are so bad, John Travolta's toupee thinks they look ridiculous. They're so awful, Shaun King is almost too nauseated to eat.

Sure, I'm happy for the Jaguars, who now have no worse than the second-worst uniforms in Florida. Cheers to Greg Schiano, too. He might be unemployed, but anything's better than being associated with this.

I'm underwhelmed by the tweeted testimonials of the team's employees, as I am by the described "three color jersey representing past, present and future!!" Spanning the space-time continuum seems like a lot to tackle for a football shirt. They are the Icarus of uniforms. They are Girl Scout Samoas, aka the most cloying of all cookies.

The bottom line is this: 10 years from now, the Yankees still will be in pinstripes, the Steelers still will have a logo on only one side of their helmet, and the Bucs will be wearing something other than what was just unveiled.

Duane Munne: The HORROR! These are the worst jerseys trotted out since the Seattle Seahawks trotted out their wretched redesigns. Do you remember fan reaction on that horrid day?

Funny thing about those awful, awful Seahawks unis though: by October 2013 (months before the Seahawks hoisted the Lombardi), guess which team ranked fourth in team merchandise sales?

We'll forget all about the recent bellyaching about how the Bucs get a bunch of cool alternate accessories to highlight the tricked-out paneling and features on their new getups. Like white pants to match the away unis and multiple league-approved sock sets.

Bucs players seem to love the new look. But what do they know. They're just the awesome athletes whose feats of jaw-dropping superhuman inspire kiddies to buy jerseys in the first place. Who needs their approval when you've got the Uniform Monitor?!

Ignore the Uniform Monitor. Grab a Bucs jersey. And some white away pants if you want to make a statement in style.

Dameshek: Who needs the Uniform Monitor when we could just genuflect to Munn's "awesome athletes of jaw-dropping feats that inspire kiddies?"

Let's set aside the fact my informal polling of the NFL's glitterati has determined that 99.83 percent of the players think their team should make like Christian Bale's Batman and wear head-to-toe black. (Yawn.)

With the offseason underway, Around The League explores what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | 49ers | Rams | Seahawks

"Who needs the Uniform Monitor?" is a strange question coming from someone in the media. Should we shutter the doors at NFL Media and replace our content with reality-show confessional cameras in the NFL's 32 locker rooms?

After all, if we can simply trust the players' opinions on everything, then our work is done. Go home, Mike Mayock! Your opinion isn't necessary. We're just gonna ask Blake Bortles if he thinks he's good. Put your feet up and relax, Ian Rapoport!

When we want some insight on what's really going on with the Niners' power struggle, we'll await a tweeted update on the matter from LaMichael James. Come to think of it, who needs coaches or GMs or a commissioner? Yes, let's close it all down! The players are awesome, everybody!

Who needs the Uniform Monitor? The Fan, that's who. Why? Because I am The Fan. No, I'm not one of the talented and fortunate few who gets to play pro football. I'm one of the countless millions who provides the attention and money that affords those "awesome athletes" their livelihoods. You know who else needs the Uniform Monitor? You. You need the Uniform Monitor. Who's gonna do it? You, Duane Munn? You, Lieutenant Rosenthal? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You praise the tricked out paneling and white pants.

You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that the Bucs' getups are a fashion apocalypse that'll haunt a generation of football fans. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! (All right, maybe I don't save lives, but still.) You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me talking ball. You need me talking ball. We use words like "logos," "sock sets" and "pewter." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the color-coordinated blanket of the insight I provide -- and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a turquoise Jags jersey, an orange Bengals beanie and some Broncos vertically striped brown socks. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Duane Munn: So: the Bucs jerseys are all kinds of vectory, reflectory awesome. Given time, those who dislike them will come around. When's the last time anyone LIKED a jersey redesign right away? Annnnnnd Dameshek can't handle the truth (appreciate the lob buddy!).

*Slips on Bucs jersey*

*drops mic*

The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" weighs in on Monday's franchise-tag surprises and unpacks all the 49ers drama out west.