The year was 2014, and a handful of teams wanted a new look -- no more block numbers, no more traditional, full-length stripes.
Thankfully, those five years have passed, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first of the teams who underwent 2014 makeovers to admit the old threads were the right ones. Tampa Bay introduced its new uniform set for the 2020 season with a video reveal tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
The biggest changes are more familiar than anything, and perhaps an indicator of a likely trend in the uniform changes to come this offseason. The Buccaneers are returning to their most successful era in team history by bringing back the uniforms worn by the 2002 champions, who rode a dominant defense to a blowout win over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. There is one significant change, though: Tampa Bay is carrying over the oversized flag logo that graced the sides of its helmet in its most recent look from 2014-2019.
The chrome facemask from 2014-2019 is gone, replaced by the familiar black mask worn in the era of John Lynch, Mike Alstott, Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and Ronde Barber. The new set revives Tampa's white block numbers with a thick black outline and a thinner orange line inside of it as a nod to Tampa Bay's creamsicle days of old (a detail that was also on the Super Bowl-era uniforms). The Bucs' old pewter pants return as well, with a thick red center stripe outlined by thin orange stripes and thicker black stripes running down the full length of the pants.
Tampa Bay's all-white road set returns, too, with mirroring details from the home red-and-pewter set carrying over. As with the uniforms from the days of Simeon Rice, Joe Jurevicius and Keyshawn Johnson -- yes, we're going to fit in a bunch of Bucs greats while we can -- Tampa Bay returns to its Buccaneers wordmark on the chest, but in the updated typefont we first saw introduced in 2014. Also returning is the pirate ship on the Bucs' sleeves, falling in line with the carryover of updated marks from 2014.
In a trend kickstarted by the league's Color Rush initiative, the Buccaneers introduced a monochrome pewter set that includes red-and-white trim that pops on the darker, metallic-like uniform. This alternate will likely look best under the lights of prime-time football.
For the only professional franchise to include pewter as one of its primary colors, this direct ownership of the color in its scheme -- and a return to the simpler, winning look of old -- was long overdue.