Good Thing I Didn't End Up on Jury Duty, Eh?

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I’ll get to what I think of the new Bucs uniform set in a few minutes. But first I want to talk about what a crazy day yesterday was, thanks to one of the most bizarre uniform unveilings I’ve ever covered.

As you’ll recall, the Bucs originally unveiled their new logo and helmet on Feb. 20. That unveiling also included the news that they’d be revealing their new uni set at a press conference on the afternoon of March 5. Hmmmm — a two-part unveiling, with nearly two weeks between the reveals of the helmet and the rest of the uniform? A bit unusual but hey, whatever. And the Dolphins did something similar last year, so why not?

Last week a source mentioned to me that the schedule for the uni unveiling might possibly be “tweaked.” No further details were offered. But then yesterday, at about that 8:45am, that same source told me I’d be receiving an email from the Bucs at 9am. Again, no further details were offered, but I figured this meant that the unveiling schedule had indeed been “tweaked.”

Sure enough, at 9am I received an email from the Bucs with a press release about the new uni and, very frustratingly, only one photo. The press release stated that more photos would be available at 2pm. Meanwhile, the Wednesday unveiling had been cancelled, and the team said a special uniform showcase, featuring players wearing the new designs, would be held at some point down the road for season-ticketholders.

So now we didn’t just have a two-part unveiling — we had Part 1 (the helmet), Part 2a (the 9am photo), and Part 2b (the 2pm photos). It all made for a frantic day. I had to write an initial ESPN piece based on the one photo that had been released in the morning, and then I rewrote that piece when the additional photos were released later in the day. I also posted a bonus entry here on the blog (the day’s original entry, about the new Reebok logo, had already gone up at 7:20am) and updated it several times throughout the day. Plus I did an ESPN video interview, fielded dozens of emails from people requesting comment, goddamn phone wouldn’t stop ringing, blah-blah-blah. (Good thing Garrett was on Ticker duty or I might have had a complete meltdown.)

Meanwhile, just as I finished rewriting my ESPN piece, I took part in a conference call with Bucs co-chairman Edward Glazer and Nike exec Todd Van Horne, which produced the following tidbits:

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• In addition to the pewter pants shown in all the photos, there’s also a set of white pants. You can get a brief, partial, and thoroughly unsatisfying glimpse of them at the 1:51 mark of this video. (A source tells me they likely won’t be worn very much anyway.)

• In addition to the pewter-topped socks shown in most of the photos and the red-topped socks shown in one photo, there’s also a pair of orange-topped socks. Obviously, the red or orange will look much better with the pewter pants. Just as obviously, the players will probably want to wear pewter-on-pewter, creating the leotard effect. I’m willing to bet right now that the orange and red socks will combine for no more than two appearances in 2014.

• The team expects to continue wearing white jerseys for at least some of its home games, due to the Florida heat. Since the Bucs will usually end up wearing white on the road as well, this means we’ll likely see the white jerseys in about 70% of the team’s games. I count this as a big plus, because I much prefer the white design over the red one.

• The team hopes to bring back the creamsicle throwbacks at some point, but there’s no way to do it under the NFL’s current helmet rules. If and when those rules are changed, the creamsicles will definitely be back in the mix. (There was no discussion of whether a white helmet shell, which could have done double duty as a throwback shell, was considered for this new uniform. I wanted to ask about that, but I also had lots of other questions I wanted to ask, so I had to pick my spots.)

• You probably won’t notice the reflective trim on the uni numbers unless the light hits it just right, or unless someone takes a flash photograph in close proximity to the jerseys. Most of the time, it’ll be a non-issue.

• I asked why the unveiling had been moved up from Wednesday to yesterday without any notice and asked specifically if it was because they were trying to get out in front of an imminent leak. (Just to be clear: I have no information regarding a leak having been imminent, and I definitely wasn’t on the receiving end of any leak myself. I was just trying to figure out why they would unexpectedly move up the unveiling by two days.) Glazer responded like so:

We looked at this process in a few different phases. Anytime you’re doing a ground-up uniform design, that’s a lot for people to take in. So we said, “First, let’s do the helmet. Let’s let people see that and have time to digest it. Then let’s talk about the uniform.” And because we do this so infrequently — it’s been 17 years — we decided to do an in-person event with our season-ticketholders, our fans, so they can be there, not just the press.

And as for backing it up to today, a little surprise in life is always fun. There’s not much in life you can keep under wraps these days — it’s almost impossible, with the internet — so we’re proud we were able to provide a little Monday-morning surprise for our fans.

That’s a very nice song and dance, but I suspect there’s more to it than that. Unveilings like the one that was originally slated for Wednesday tend to be highly choreographed affairs. You don’t just cancel something like that on a whim. We’ll likely never find out the full story, but I bet there’s more to it than Glazer was letting on.

• I also asked the following: “I think there’s often a lot of confusion and misinformation among fans and among the media regarding how much of the creative direction on these uniforms comes from the team and how much comes from Nike. I realize that can vary from project to project. Can you shed some light on how that worked in this case?” The responses were as follows:

Glazer: We started this process a couple of years ago. And because we already had a uniform everyone was happy with, we were never in a rush. It was always, “Let’s take our time until we have something everyone feels great about, and then let’s move forward at that point.” We worked with Todd [Van Horne] over the years, looked at a lot of different designs, continued to meld and tweak, and got to the point where we looked at each other and said, “That’s it. That encapsulates the past, present and future.”

Van Horne: The process is that we come in and try to research and understand what makes Tampa Bay unique and what Mr. Glazer’s vision for the future of the organization is. We go back and forth — design is a very iterative process. And like Mr. Glazer said, we worked on literally hundreds and hundreds of different options. Yeah, we weren’t in a rush, we didn’t feel like there was a particular deadline — it was “When is it right?” and that’s when it will be revealed. It’s very much of an artistic kind of application of a process. But it’s very much a collaboration. I think we brought in innovative techniques that maybe aren’t part of Mr. Glazer’s world, and he brought a point of view that he really sees for the vision [of the franchise] that was really a nice balance and collaboration that made the creativity of that process come together.

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On the one hand, this is another song and dance, and a really boilerplate one at that. Like, duh, of course it was a collaboration to at least some extent — we all know that. You could change a few proper nouns in those statements and apply them to any uniform unveiling. On the other hand, it probably isn’t realistic to expect them to give us a blow-by-blow recap of how the design came together, or to tell us which elements were most contentious, or to explain which specific design features originated with Nike and which ones originated with the team. In retrospect, I blame myself for asking a softball question that invited a fairly nebulous response.

• Todd Van Horne reallyreallyreally likes to say “innovation” and “innovators.” Seriously, I lost count of how many times he invoked those terms. Gotta give him credit for staying on message, I guess, but it does get rather tiresome. He also mentioned “storytelling” multiple times (that’s another of Nike’s favorite tropes) and referred to the Buccaneer as “a modern superhero for the future.” None of this is surprising — on the contrary, it’s pretty much Nike 101 — but it’s always depressing to hear a guy as smart and talented as Van Horne reduce himself to selling comic books to children. Todd, if you’re reading this, come on — you’re better than that.

Okay, so what do I think of the designs? My thoughts are summarized in in this ESPN piece, which ran yesterday afternoon.

Having had a bit more time to process everything, here are some additional thoughts:

• As many observers noted yesterday, matte pewter doesn’t really look like pewter. It just looks charcoal-ish. Or maybe brown-ish, depending on the lighting. Either way, it feels both less unique and less attractive than the old pewter.

• It’s hard to overstate how bad those uni numbers are. And that’s a real shame, because the more I look at the white jersey (which, as noted above, they’ll likely be wearing for about 70% of their games), the more I like it. I know many of you don’t like contrasting shoulder yokes, but I really like them on white jerseys (yes, even this one), and I love the little orange accent on that pewter yoke. It’s a good jersey! Or it would be, if not for the ruinous number font.

• Similarly, I know many of you probably don’t like the chrome facemask. But the more I see, the more I like. Too bad it’s undermined and overwhelmed by the oversized helmet logo.

Bottom line: It wasn’t broke, but they went ahead and fixed it. Sigh.

Meanwhile, I heard something about the U.S. Men’s National Team kit being released yesterday, but I never got a chance to look at it.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

It smells like grandma’s house.” That’s a direct quote from the seller of this curious-looking 1970s Chargers vest. Looks like a carpet remnant to me. Makes you wonder who approved these products way back when. We may bash Nike on here from time to time, but you think Nike would roll something out that looked like this?

Okay, here are something that you actually might want to own:

• I distinctly recall Mary Tyler Moore (or was it Rhoda?) wearing one of these 1970s Vikings sweatshirts on the show. (And remember the show open where she was wearing a No. 10 Vikes jersey while washing her Mustang?)

• Here’s a really nice-looking 1970s “racing-style” Kentucky Colonels jacket.

• Baltimore Colts fans, remember the good old days with this lot of vintage Colts items.

• Several nice items from reader Michael Clary today, including this 1970s Expos cardigan sweater; a truly terrible Bills helmet plaque; a 1971 Milwaukee Bucks decanter; and a great A’s bullpen buggy! (If they had a Giants one, it would now be on my desk.)

• Joe DeAngelis is selling a set of 1975-76 WHA cards — kind of a self-serving submission, but we’ll go ahead and list it because the cards look so cool.

• Holy mackerel! Check out this collection of vintage Chicago Cubs buttons.

• From Andrew Mueller, a Brewers jersey that has been modified juuuust a little bit.

• This 1970s Cowboys duffle bag is in great shape! [Brinke, can't believe you didn't have that one yourself when you were a kid! — PL]

• And finally, I like the way these 1970s NFL trading card boxes were carefully labeled by their owner. So methodical!

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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Unmasking the Commenters: In case you missed it yesterday, I’m looking to do a little series of features on the people who frequently participate in the Uni Watch comments. Details here.

Lewis & Clark reminder: And in case you missed it on Sunday, here’s the latest on the Lewis & Clark uni design contest that Phil’s been reporting on.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath.

Baseball News: Here’s great look at the Orioles logo and uniform history (thanks, Phil). … Why is Curtis Granderson wearing a new number on the Mets this season? … The Angels can’t get their spring training apostrophes right, dang nabbit (thanks, Phil). … On Sunday, Jonathan Papelbon took the mound in his regular season cap while the rest of the Phillies had the Diamond Era hats on (from Harrison Tishler). … Derek Jeter posed in uniform with a New York football hero and it isn’t who you think. … A Giants spring training T-shirt has Adidas tagging and a Majestic logo on the front.

NFL News: Come again? According to a KC TV station, the Royals beat the Chicago Bears the other day (thanks, Phil). … The NFL’s most infamous hoodie enthusiast even wears the hoodie during off-season workouts (thanks, Brinke).

Hockey News: Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford can’t seem to keep track of any equipment. First his Stadium Series mask was stolen or lost and now his white leg pads have gone missing, which he and the team believe were stolen from Soldier Field on Saturday night (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: Here is a complete look at the United States’ World Cup 2014 kits. … Not to be outdone, Honduras released a dramatic animated video of their World Cup threads. … MLS round-up: The LA Galaxy unveiled their new primary kit for the 2014 season. … The Houston Dynamo revealed their secondary kits for the upcoming season. … The Sounders FC introduced a new third uniform called Pitch Black. … And here is a look at the second and third kits from the Portland Timbers.

Grab Bag: Looks like the Charlotte Bobcats were once considering a Carolina blue alternate uni (from Thomas Fiers). … “When I saw the new Reebok logo I knew I had seen that logo somewhere else before,” says Steven Zerhusen. “Skateboard shoe company Axion may be what I was remembering.” … Are the Raptors returning to purple in their color scheme? … Oscar hangover: Here is an infographic of every dress worn by Best Actress Academy Award Winners from 1929 to 2013. … The police officers in Granada have their Twitter handle on their uniforms (from Mark Coale). … This is pretty great: Bob Hope as a golf cart (from Robert Ullman). … Extremely thoughtful reader Eric Westover has found the perfect house for Paul to move to. Kickstarter campaign is forthcoming.

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A different sort of crazy day: Due to a doctor’s appointment, an ESPN administrative appointment, and some other stuff, I’m going to be off the grid for a big chunk of today, starting at about 11:30am. So I’d appreciate it if all the Big Four sports teams could kindly refrain from staging any unannounced unveilings. Thanks.

 

114 comments to Good Thing I Didn’t End Up on Jury Duty, Eh?

  • Mark K | March 4, 2014 at 7:39 am |

    That Bills jersey you linked to is their worst of all time with the navy blue shoulders. When viewed from the side (like every play when the team is at the line of scrimmage) it looks like a dark-on-dark game.

    The Bucs white jersey ranks right down there for me as well. The worst part of a brutal uniform set.

    • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 10:33 am |

      I actually don’t think the Bucs’ shoulders are so bad. However, I do agree that the Bills’ 2000s unis were a textbook example of how not to execute contrasting shoulders.

  • Anil | March 4, 2014 at 7:40 am |

    I wish they had gone to a white helmet, both because it looks good, but also to allow for throwback usage. The oversized logo reminds me of the horrible oversized shoulder logos the Patriots wore in the 90s. How do these things get approved?

    • Chris Holder | March 4, 2014 at 7:55 am |

      I just wish they had brought back the creamsicles full-time. I mean, what would be so wrong with doing that? It’s not some relic from the past. We’ve seen it worn in games in recent years, and it looks just fine being a part of today’s NFL. If the Bucs weren’t allowing Nike to get all up in their ears about being “innovative”, or if they had any backbone whatsoever, they’d do it. Hell, throw in a pewter or red jersey based on that design template. But it’s just stupid to say that they hope the NFL changes the throwback rule, when they could just adopt the throwbacks as their primary uniform.

    • Paul Lukas | March 4, 2014 at 7:57 am |

      The oversized logo reminds me of the horrible oversized shoulder logos the Patriots wore in the 90s.

      Excellent comparison — wish I’d thought of that!

  • The Jeff | March 4, 2014 at 7:45 am |

    So… based on yesterday’s comments, apparently I’m just about the only person who actually doesn’t hate the Bucs new uniforms. Sure, they’ve went from a solid A to like a C+ but they’re definitely not the worst in the league. Has everyone forgotten what the Jaguars, Cardinals & Bengals are wearing? The Saints insistence on wearing mono black all the time? The Vikings and their weird mismatched number font? The Cowboys mismatched blues & silvers? The Giants being a blue team at home and a red one the road?

    • Paul Lukas | March 4, 2014 at 7:58 am |

      based on yesterday’s comments, apparently I’m just about the only person who actually doesn’t hate the Bucs new uniforms.

      Did you read a single thing I wrote yesterday or today?

      • The Jeff | March 4, 2014 at 8:03 am |

        I said “just about”, didn’t I? There were 179 comments on yesterday’s 2nd post (which I didn’t see until this morning), and I think 175 of them were of the “ow my eyes!” variety.

    • DenverGregg | March 4, 2014 at 8:02 am |

      Not as bad as the Falcons, but the only other team that really gives them competition for runner-up would be the Cards. The Bengals have too many bumperstickers, but there’s a demented internal logic to the elements. The Vikings look is odd, yet much better than their immediate previous set. The Jackwagons are more ‘meh’ than ‘ugh’ – they can’t quite achieve any type of notability.

      Why so negative on the Bucs? The numbers, the pants stripes, the numbers, the chrome grill (soon to be sponsored by Google?), the numbers, the outsized logo, the numbers and the asymmetrical sleeve treatments.

  • Mark in Shiga | March 4, 2014 at 8:13 am |

    Those Bucs numbers could have ben tolerable if they took away one or two of the four(!) layers. And ditch the day-glo silliness.

    Did anyone notice that the small C in McCoy’s NOB appeared to be a scaled-down capital C rather than a custom-made small capital? It’s visibly thinner than the other letters, like it was just a capital C shrunk to 70% in all dimensions. I hope they fix that before the season starts.

    • The Jeff | March 4, 2014 at 11:32 am |

      The day-glo silliness is the best part of the numbers. The chrome facemask makes sense when paired with the highly reflective metallic number outlines.

  • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 8:24 am |

    “Carolina” Bobcats? *raises eyebrow*

    Also, the Oscar dress infographic was posted yesterday, BUT today’s link is a higher-resolution version.

    • Paul Lukas | March 4, 2014 at 8:57 am |

      Bobcats thing now fixed. Was my fault, not Garrett’s.

  • WeeFuse | March 4, 2014 at 8:26 am |

    Don’t waste your time on the new USMNT home kit- the only thing missing from that picture is Deuce holding a tennis racket.

    • Connie DC | March 4, 2014 at 9:42 am |

      Ha!

    • terriblehuman | March 4, 2014 at 11:06 am |

      I do like the promo shot with Dempsey patting Alex Morgan on the butt.

  • ScottyM | March 4, 2014 at 8:33 am |

    “Storytelling” is so trite, such jargon. That word started to come into play about five years ago and it has reached its peak use these days.

    And “collaboration” is a euphemism for “design by committee,” perhaps?

    Not sure how anyone could sit with those numerals and think they’re anything but ugly and dated right out of the box. Jersey is pretty nice, otherwise (minus the different shoulder patches). They need an orange alternate, too. ;)

    • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 8:37 am |

      “Storytelling”… sounds like they’re describing figure-skating costumes instead of NFL uniforms!

      • Paul Lukas | March 4, 2014 at 8:57 am |

        NFL: Not a sport!

        • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 10:24 am |

          Now now, let’s not get too hasty… after all, NFL uniforms do not factor into the scoring system.

        • Phil Hecken | March 4, 2014 at 10:38 am |

          “NFL uniforms do not factor into the scoring system”

          ~~~

          Well, almost never.

        • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 11:06 am |

          The name may be circled, but did you notice the number is also wide right?

  • Dumb Guy | March 4, 2014 at 8:34 am |

    Thank goodness the Bucs will be wearing their white jersys the majority of the time. The dark ones are ultrahorrible.

    TGFWP (Thank goodness for white pants) too. even though they will be worn sparingly. My wife even said “They need white pants with the dark tops”. Yes, she said “tops”. She’s a girl.

    • The Jeff | March 4, 2014 at 8:42 am |

      Ugh. I hope sparingly means once, where they lose by 40 and then never do it again. White pants are not going to look good with the rest of that uniform. There’s far too many teams in white pants.

      • Phil Hecken | March 4, 2014 at 10:41 am |

        “There’s far too many teams in white pants.”

        ~~~

        Unless they’re going to wear red socks with the pewter pants (which I bet is also “sparingly”), then those are a good option. The leotard look is horrible. If they want to wear same color socks with pants, then then need to put stripes on them.

    • TBone | March 4, 2014 at 11:11 am |

      I dunno, I far prefer the red jerseys. I honestly think the initial white jersey pic they released early yesterday morning was far and away the worst of the entire set. The white jerseys just don’t look right to me at all. The reds aren’t great, but they are more tolerable.

      • terriblehuman | March 4, 2014 at 11:25 am |

        I like the red one too. The contrasting shoulders make the white jersey look blocky. The contrast is less jarring with the red, and I prefer football jerseys with cleaner lines.

  • Dumb Guy | March 4, 2014 at 8:37 am |

    Not to be outdone, Bing Crosby had his own golf cart too!

    http://media-cache-a...

  • Robert S | March 4, 2014 at 8:40 am |

    It isn’t the color scheme. I actually love the color scheme. It’s just how they are presenting those colors on a uniform with that ridiculous excuse for a number font.

    I am a sucker for Orange for some reason (I think the Astros are best looking team in MLB) and really wish it was more prevalent than it is (two tiny stripes under shoulder pads and a weird swoosh next to red on pants) but only as an accent color. Well, more than it is now.

    Seriously, I wish I could find a picture of a blank jersey template without the number font and it isn’t a bad design. The number font just destroys the whole concept.

    • Paul Lukas | March 4, 2014 at 9:06 am |

      Number fonts are shaping up as the worst thing about Nike’s NFL program.

      Jags, Dolphins, Vikings, Bucs — all saddled with terrible, terrible number fonts. (Of course, even a good font wouldn’t save the Jags package, but still…)

      You can just hear the way Van Horne and his team try to stroke a team’s ego: “We’ll create a custom typeface, just for you….” And then it’s all downhill from there…..

      • Mike Engle on iPad | March 4, 2014 at 9:38 am |

        Custom fonts are hard for Chinese counterfeiters to replicate, which is good for policing. But if everybody has a special font, then nobody’s is special. And this disappoints me.

        • Paul Lukas | March 4, 2014 at 10:40 am |

          Interesting — never thought about the counterfeiting angle!

          But that’s still no excuse for shitty typography.

        • David | March 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm |

          I’ll bet there’s an available font for Digital Clock in the counterfeit world.

        • ScottyM | March 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm |

          Bah, they didn’t choose that numeral font to counteract the counterfeiters. This is clearly a trend (crappy custom fonts).

          It likely hatched from the gutters of minor league baseball as well as college football. With the mindset Paul mentioned above: “Our very own typeface.” The trend is ruining some fun on-field identities all across MiLB, it’s hit-and-miss in college, and it’s apparently getting much worse now in the NFL.

        • Graf Zeppelin | March 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm |

          As I mentioned yesterday, from as far back as anyone can remember through 1994, every team in the NFL except the Bears had standard block (or varsity block) numerals on its jerseys. (There were a very, very few exceptions; the early Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders among them, and the Bears even used block numerals for a couple of years.)

          In 1995 the Patriots broke the mold with their slanted italic soccer-jersey numerals. Then the Ravens and Eagles in ’96. Then the Jaguars, Broncos and Steelers in ’97. And so on.

          Today, only 13 teams have standard block numerals: the Jets, Giants, 49ers, Bills, Browns, Chiefs, Colts, Cowboys, Packers, Panthers, Raiders, Redskins and Saints. Everyone else (19 teams) has a custom font.

          I should also note that every team in the WFL, USFL, and WLAF had block numerals.

  • Cab647 | March 4, 2014 at 8:42 am |

    In a case of unintentional photoshop errors, does it look to anyone else like number 8 in the USA soccer photo is grabbing the butt of the female player next to him?

    • Dumb Guy | March 4, 2014 at 9:01 am |

      No but the dude back/right has the American flag draped over his shoulders like granny’s shawl!!

      • Connie DC | March 4, 2014 at 9:39 am |

        Not sure we can trust that this leaker “Phil Heck” (obviously not a real name) knows what he’s talking about. But on the off chance that those USA World Cup unis are the real deal…

        1. Those are the Home unis. I hope hope hope that the red-and-white barrel hoops will be used for the Away duds.

        2. But I like the all-white, classy retro. I also like a shield, though not that clunky US Soccer thing. The shield on the USA hockey team jersey at Sochi would have been much better.

        3. I hate the number and prominence of the swooshes.

        • terriblehuman | March 4, 2014 at 11:11 am |

          This is the rumored away shirt.

  • name redacted | March 4, 2014 at 9:11 am |

    The guy wearing the flag is apparently the head/founder of the American Outlaws fan group.

    • Connie DC | March 4, 2014 at 9:47 am |

      “American Outlaws,” huh? Ooh, that rootin’-tootin’ scary American bourgeoisie.

  • walter | March 4, 2014 at 9:16 am |

    To expand on a position mentioned in yesterday’s comments, I find less and less to like with new uniforms. Soon I’ll be marginalized into the clique of cantankerous old men who say, “Humbug! These halloween costumes are disgraceful, compared to the beauties worn in my day.” And to cap it off, uniforms were the last thing I liked about sports!

    • quiet seattle | March 4, 2014 at 10:23 am |

      You’ll be welcomed into our group with open arms, walter. It’s not so bad. We’ve got our memories to sustain us through these difficult times and our numbers grow every day.

      Speaking of numbers…in the ’70’s every team had block numbers (the exception being the Bears) and each uniform was distinctive. Many teams sported jerseys with no stripes or trim whatsoever and those uniforms were distinctive and colorful.

      Why must they try so hard to impress these days? It has the opposite effect.

  • Keith | March 4, 2014 at 9:24 am |

    I always thought the OLD pewter pants looked Brown. And they had that horrible sweat through problem. Wonder if the new stuff handles that?

    • BvK1126 | March 4, 2014 at 11:33 am |

      “I always thought the OLD pewter pants looked Brown. And they had that horrible sweat through problem. Wonder if the new stuff handles that?”

      Based on Nike’s recent track record, I’d say probably not.

  • AnthonyTX | March 4, 2014 at 9:31 am |

    I love the idea of incorporating more orange into the uniform as a callback to their past, but it feels very tacked-on to the jerseys, especially the red jersey. They could have used it a little more subtly and would’ve had a nice barrier between the “pewter” and red/white of the home/away.
    Speaking of that “pewter,” UGH. The new color just looks like brown charcoal to me. The old pewter was really nice and set them apart. This new one certainly sets them apart, but not in a good way.
    All in all, the uniform looks like something from the Arena League. It may look different on the field, but the entire setup just feels very generic and unprofessional to me.
    NOTHING about it communicates Buccaneer or Tampa Bay to me.

    • terriblehuman | March 4, 2014 at 11:22 am |

      I agree that the orange feels like an afterthought.

      Though to be fair, if you don’t care for your pewter and let it oxidize, it does end up looking brown and ugly.

  • Alex35332 | March 4, 2014 at 9:47 am |

    Buck’s not the worst new uniform in the NFL. But I think it is fair to say that if you did a state by state comparison Florida’s 3 teams are probably make them the worst looking NFL state with more than 1 team.

    Here is how I would rate each state with more than 1 NFL team on a scale of 1-5 per team with the totals averaged:
    California-4.6
    New Jersey-4
    PA-4
    Texas-3.5
    Maryland-3.5
    Missouri-3.5
    Ohio-3
    Florida-1.6

    • JTH | March 4, 2014 at 10:37 am |

      you have the Chargers rated way too highly.

  • Munch Suchland | March 4, 2014 at 9:53 am |

    I’m guessing the Milwaukee Brewers/Braves jersey is some kind of faux-back to the Milwaukee Braves days? Did they ever actually wear those or did that guy on e-bay get a hold of a mock-up?

    • Chance Michaels | March 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm |

      Nope. It’s just a custom, somebody’s idea of a gag.

      The Brewers have done Milwaukee Braves throwbacks, but they’ve always been (at least fairly) period-appropriate.

  • Mike Andrews | March 4, 2014 at 10:24 am |

    Like Paul said, definitely a downgrade for the Bucs. I think the white jersey is passable in today’s NFL, but the red jersey doesn’t work at all for me. I actually think with the darker pewter on the pants and yoke that orange would have made for a more interesting main color on their dark jersey. Please note that I’m not saying it would look great; only that it would be a more interesting choice. As seems to be the consensus, I’m not sure anything could redeem the look as a whole with that number font, though.

  • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 10:30 am |

    I had to look up another story on Corey Crawford’s missing mask to find out that apparently FedEx is the carrier that was used to ship it. And I can’t say that I’m shocked.

    For all the praise FedEx gets for its quality of service, I’ve personally and professionally been affected by their cock-ups of late. Meanwhile, UPS continues to be reliable, and in fact exceeds expectations for me regarding my personal packages, even factoring in weather issues.

  • Perry | March 4, 2014 at 10:47 am |

    USMNT jersey is pretty bland. Should have stuck with the Centennials; I loved those.

    http://www.soccercon...

    Whatever they do, I just wish they’d find a look and stick with it. Germany, Holland, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Mexico — you take one glance at their jersey and you know exactly who it is. Why can’t we do that?

    • terriblehuman | March 4, 2014 at 11:18 am |

      Well, that’s not entirely fair. A part of is that of the aforementioned countries, all but Germany have distinctive color schemes. The only way for the US to have a “take one glance and you know” uni is to go back to the 1994 denim kit.

      Plus, Spain is going mono-red and Germany is going mono-white while England looks like Germany 1974. Holland has gone from orange/white to orange/black to all-orange back to orange/white.

      Meanwhile, Australia now looks like slightly modified Brazil. And is Mexico all that different from Bolivia aside from the socks?

      • Connie DC | March 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm |

        Thanks for the link to the USMNT Away shirt, TH. Not awful, but nothing so cool as the red-and-white barrel hoops (which would have served Perry’s criteria of predictable and distinctive).

        Certainly agree with Perry about the utter coolness of the Centennial model; now THAT features a great shield, and the shirt is an excellent overall look. The new Home uni is not as good, mostly because they dumped the awesome Centennial shield for the dorky US Soccer shield…

        The new Away shirt ain’t ugly, but makes no reference to anything particularly American. Could be Costa Rica, Panama, Czech Repub or any of the many other nations that do red/white/blue. Bring back the hoop stripes!

      • superfly | March 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm |

        I would offer 2 options for a unique US look:

        1. White shirt with red diagonal sash, blue shorts, white socks with red trim or hoops;

        2. The recent white and red hooped shirt, blue shorts kit.

        I think both would be instantly identifiable, if they would stick with it, and they should get rid of the clip art shield and go with the old school Centennial shield, with no additional adornment.

        I don’t think this mono look that Adidas is pushing for Spain, Germany, etc., is going to stick, it is not popular and sales will most likely show it.

        • terriblehuman | March 4, 2014 at 7:41 pm |

          To be fair, the mono look (which I’m guessing is based on their “all in” slogan) shouldn’t affect retail sales, except for the small percentage of fans who go full kit wanker.

        • superfly | March 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm |

          You would think, but how else will fans show their displeasure? Obviously, shirt sales are exponentially more than shorts sales, and shirts will still sell big in a WC year, but I would expect a dip in both, if Spaniards, Germans, etc. want to show their disapproval of the look overall.

          But then again, most people wouldn’t put aesthetics over patriotism, like some of us on this site.

  • CortM | March 4, 2014 at 10:50 am |

    In Nikeworld, “modern superheroes for the future” get around in galleons. And pillage.

  • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 10:57 am |

    The middle horizontal strokes on the 2, 4, and 9 of the Bucs’ number font makes me think it’s a cross between the digital clock format and the original Star Trek title font.

    • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 2:02 pm |

      Tweeted a picture to that effect, to @PhilHecken and @UniWatch: https://twitter.com/...

      The NOB’s angluar center strokes certainly don’t help to dispel my theory either.

      • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm |

        Well, on the A on that example, anyway.

  • Eric | March 4, 2014 at 10:59 am |

    “Here is a complete look at the United States’ World Cup 2014 kits”

    :(

  • Kevin B | March 4, 2014 at 11:03 am |

    Paul, I’m surprised you didn’t delve further into this comment from Glazer: “And because we already had a uniform everyone was happy with…”

    Mr. Glazer, if “everyone” was “happy with” the uniform you “already had,” why change it? I thought the Bucs had created a unique visual identity that still, 17 years later, had a very up-to-date, modern feel. Additionally, the team had a beloved throwback that most fans look back on with a certain fondness, so it’s not like you were short on options for jerseys and other gear the team could sell. I really don’t understand this move.

    • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 11:13 am |

      It’s pretty self-evident that it’s a money grab.

      “We know your fans are happy with your current uniforms, buuuuuuut imagine the money your team* could make if we came out with new ones!”

      * and our company

      • Kevin B | March 4, 2014 at 11:25 am |

        Right. I agree, and I think you’ll agree with me here: anyone who’s been to business school – and some others who haven’t, like me – can tell you that this is a short-term strategy that doesn’t work long-term. It’s a bubble that quickly bursts.

        The teams that sell the most merchandise on NFLShop.com (in order)(ref: http://is.gd/zr6ktE):

        1. San Francisco 49ers
        2. Dallas Cowboys
        3. Denver Broncos
        4. Seattle Seahawks
        5. New England Patriots
        6. Chicago Bears
        7. Green Bay Packers
        8. New York Giants
        9. Pittsburgh Steelers
        10. Washington Redskins

        These are almost exclusively teams with logos and uniforms that have not changed significantly in the last 20 years, some much, much longer than that. So, if it is indeed a money grab, as you and I both believe it is, it’s a really dumb one.

        • The Jeff | March 4, 2014 at 11:45 am |

          They’re also almost exclusively teams that have been fairly successful during that same time period. If you’re going to go with 20 years, then out of that list, only the Redskins haven’t been to a Superbowl.

          Of course it’s a short term bubble, but the only other way they can increase sales is to actually win games, and that’s harder.

        • terriblehuman | March 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm |

          Basically, what The Jeff said. You’re looking at teams that fill at least two of the following criteria:
          * Represents huge population center
          * Made Super Bowl in the last 5 years
          * Has large national following
          * Has a marketable player at QB

          And I realize the Broncos simply adopted their old alt jersey as the home jersey, going from navy to orange is a jarring change (and also had a major redesign in the 90s).

    • Paul Lukas | March 4, 2014 at 11:17 am |

      Excellent point, Kevin. Shame on me for not pouncing on that.

      OK, people, I’m off running errands for the rest of the day. Be good — see you tomorrow.

    • BvK1126 | March 4, 2014 at 11:22 am |

      “I thought the Bucs had created a unique visual identity that still, 17 years later, had a very up-to-date, modern feel.”

      I agree Kevin. The Bucs’ uniforms from the past 17 years felt modern and innovative (especially because of the pewter elements) while at the same evoking 17th Century buccaneer imagery.

      The team’s and Nike’s emphasis on “modern” and “futuristic” with makes no sense to me. Based on these new uniforms, the team should change its name to “Buccaneers in Space.”

      • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm |

        Which fits in nicely with my earlier comment mentioning the Star Trek title font!

  • JohnK | March 4, 2014 at 11:41 am |

    I rarely comment, but as a guy who has spent most of his life around ships and shipping, details of the “sailing ship” logo jump out (to me) almost as much as the numeral font. Placing the second mast in front of the lower sail makes no sea-sense at all. I just can’t look past that.
    (I apologize if it has been this way for ages–I really don’t pay attention to Tampa’s unis. And I did my best to keep the “talk like a pirate” terms of art like yardarm, brig, mains’l, etc. to a minimum.)

    • BvK1126 | March 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm |

      “Placing the second mast in front of the lower sail makes no sea-sense at all. I just can’t look past that.”

      Good pickup on that. Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t get it out of my head, either. That’s really poor design.

      “I apologize if it has been this way for ages–I really don’t pay attention to Tampa’s unis.”

      You didn’t notice it before because Tampa Bay’s old pirate ship logo didn’t have that problem. It’s just another example of Nike making something worse in its attempt to “modernize” everything.

    • CortM | March 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm |

      This is a great comment, because it speaks to some fundamental problems in Nike’s approach. It’s Ignorant Design, taking something that looks sort of right and accepting it as good enough because, honestly, who’s going to notice?

      When the Orioles went to that ornithologically correct bird on their caps in the late 80’s, they consulted a bunch of experts, attempting to make their depiction as accurate as possible. I don’t think the brain trust in Nike’s creative department goes much beyond, “Does it possess awesomeness?”

      • mike 2 | March 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm |

        On the other hand – the St. Louis Cardinals have gone back and forth on some of the details of their birds, between “correct” and “looks better”.

        I get what you’re saying – on the other hand, if something looks better as a design, does it need to be completely realistic? Would the ship look better if it were nautically correct?

        • BvK1126 | March 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm |

          “Would the ship look better if it were nautically correct?”

          Yes! Seriously, look at it! It looks like a failed eighth-grade art project on perspective drawing. This isn’t a matter of “nautically correct.” It’s a matter of artistic common sense.

  • BWags | March 4, 2014 at 11:47 am |

    Cool historical piece on the New York Yankees Top Hat logo…

    http://toddradom.com...

  • mild bill | March 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm |

    That Chargers vest in Collector’s Corner looks like a DIY project. Bills plaque should go directly to the nearest landfill.

  • Rydell | March 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm |

    I don’t think this was an improvement nor a failure for the Bucs uni’s. I see it as neutral or just a change, but I do prefer the red jerseys over the white.
    I also never liked their old numbers and the new ones I would like to see them on the field before judging.
    My favorite part of the change was the idea of having two different patches, they look wicked on the red jersey.

  • rpm | March 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

    a happy paczki day to the comrades and comradettes.

    • JohnK | March 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm |

      Proudly wearing the Paczki Day stirrups today.

      • JTH | March 4, 2014 at 4:48 pm |

        I think I hear a yinzer weeping.

  • Ledfloyd13 | March 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm |

    Couldn’t agree more about the numbers. I decided to do a quick mockup of the the numbers un-alarmclockized.

    http://s91.photobuck...

  • Eduardo | March 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm |

    Great photo of Jeter with Broadway Joe.

    After years of staying mostly in the shadows, Namath seems to be out and about more lately. I wonder what he’s up to and what this is about. Maybe a series, talk show, etc.? I know that he acts like your crazy uncle nowadays but I get a real kick out of him.

  • Chance Michaels | March 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm |

    Not only was it “not broke” and they fixed it, but they knew it wasn’t.

    “We started this process a couple of years ago. And because we already had a uniform everyone was happy with, we were never in a rush.”

    If you already had a uniform everyone was happy with, you should have kept it.

  • KT | March 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm |

    Here’s the thing:

    1) That’s not a jersey. That’s a quilt. There’s no need for random patches of different colored things. Are we so ADD that we need to have multiple colored swatches on things to keep us interested?

    That said…

    2) This is the future of football uniform design, unfortunately. We’re never going back to the “one solid main color, stripes on the sleeves, contrasting numbers with trim, that’s it” scenario.

    I wasn’t in love with the 1997-2013 uniforms (though I liked the all-white and the red jersey with white pants quite a bit), but they were fine. I don’t recall anyone saying “This SUCKS!” when they rolled those out, but maybe they did. But these simply don’t look good. They’re a mismash.

    But going back to creamsicles full time isn’t an option. There’s no way on earth you’ll see those again until they figure out the helmet thing and even then you’ll see them once a year. Maybe they’ll get it sorted for 2019, which will be the 100th season of the league, when I expect everybody to wear a different historical uniform every week.

  • trevor | March 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm |

    So the Seattle Sounders now have two black jerseys – one as a secondary and one as an alternate. Can someone think of teams that have/had two black jerseys at the same time? Only teams I can think of are Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, and Los Angeles Kings.

    • JTH | March 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm |

      New York Mets
      San Francisco Giants
      Chicago Bulls
      Miami Heat
      Orlando Magic
      Brooklyn Nets
      Minnesota Timberwolves
      Colorado Rockies (I think)
      Pittsburgh Steelers

      • BvK1126 | March 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm |

        Good list, JTH. I don’t think the Rockies have ever had more than one black jersey in their rotation at any given time, though. They had a black sleeved alternate jersey in their first year of existence, which they promptly shelved and have never revived. They introduced a black sleeveless alternate in 2005, which they still use. That’s the only black jersey they have for game wear.

    • BvK1126 | March 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm |

      “Can someone think of teams that have/had two black jerseys at the same time?”

      How about the Miami Heat? They wear black as their standard road uniform and have worn several black alternates in recent years.

      • JTH | March 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm |

        and in a couple days, we’ll be seeing yet another.

  • terriblehuman | March 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm |

    Do you like pictures of balls? Do you like to look at a lot of balls at once? You’ll like this animated GIF.

  • Carter | March 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm |

    some nice nfl unis redesigned by jesse alkire

    http://www.jessealki...

  • Joe DeAngelis | March 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm |

    The full WHA set can be viewed at …

    http://flic.kr/s/aHs...

  • MonkeyTime | March 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm |

    Instantly and unarguably the worst uniform in pro football history if not all of professional sports. Those are so hideous they’ll make me root against Tampa Bay in any and all situations.

    Blechhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  • Chance Michaels | March 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm |

    Unmasking the Commenters: In case you missed it yesterday, I’m looking to do a little series of features on the people who frequently participate in the Uni Watch comments.

    Aw, I missed my shout-out yesterday! Darn travel schedule…

  • mike 2 | March 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm |

    Serious question: when was the last time a team did a redesign and just picked a font off the shelf?

    When was the last time a team declined to design a custom futuristic robot font in favour of Varsity Block?

    • Mike Engle | March 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm |

      San Jose Sharks!

      • Mike Engle | March 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm |

        Or depending on whether you count a return to the past with a modernized touch as a “re-design,” the Buffalo Sabres, post-goat head and post-Buffaslug.

      • Mike Engle | March 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm |

        Actually, I’ve realized I didn’t quite answer the question. The question I wound up answering is, “Which teams eschewed a custom font for a traditional font?” I think that, too, is noteworthy. Usually, the ratchet only goes the other way.
        Come to think of it, the Expos also went from their fancy number font to Wilson block.

    • Graf Zeppelin | March 4, 2014 at 6:12 pm |

      If we’re just talking about the NFL, the last team to change its uniforms and either use or keep using block numerals was, I think, the Bills.

      The Buccaneers and Seahawks did that too, in their last-but-one uni changes. The 49ers have done that a couple of times, as have the Jets and Giants.

      Custom numeral fonts (not counting the Bears) in the NFL started in 1995 with the Patriots.

      Other sports have been using custom fonts a lot longer, although none more ridiculous than this, on which every numeral for every jersey had to be cut by hand. Thankfully that franchise also went back to block after a short-lived experiment with that monstrosity.

      Not sure who the last MLB team to switch from a custom font back to block would be.

      • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm |

        San Diego Padres 2004-11 number font
        San Diego Padres 2012-present number font

        The Padres have done it twice – the first time they switched from the bold, rounded 1985-90 numbers to traditional block numbers when they went from brown to blue.

      • brinke | March 4, 2014 at 9:17 pm |

        I just want full sleeve stripes for the Niners. Is that asking so much?

        • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 9:24 pm |

          Apparently, yes. Though I want them too.

        • Wheels | March 5, 2014 at 12:57 am |

          The return of the sock stripes would be great too, but yeah, first those full sleeve stripes.

  • brinke | March 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm |

    NEW BROWNS UNIFORMS

    “cutting edge, too.”

    http://www.cbssports...

    • BvK1126 | March 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm |

      God help us!

    • Keith S. | March 4, 2014 at 7:17 pm |

      From that link:

      “We’ll have cutting-edge uniforms that link back to our history,”

      Um, “cutting-edge” and Cleveland Browns “history” are mutually exclusive. So, I’m thinking that’s going to be used to prepare the fans for something crazy that Nike will relate to something in the Browns past. In other words, the new uniform will “tell a story” that has nothing to do with brown and orange.

    • terriblehuman | March 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm |

      That’s a bummer. I was hoping for innovative storytelling through innovation and breakthrough design.

      • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 8:57 pm |

        The Cleveland Browns are not a sport!

    • Chuck | March 4, 2014 at 9:21 pm |

      As a long time Browns fan, who loves their classic unis, I knew this day was coming. :-(

  • Keith S. | March 4, 2014 at 7:14 pm |

    When I first saw the new Bucs font, I thought it was a play on the Buccaneer wordmark. Then came the explanation about the sword carvings. They should have gone with my reason.

    • Rob S | March 4, 2014 at 9:06 pm |

      The whole “sword carvings” thing just makes me think of an over-the-top extra-hammy George Hamilton trying to explain the mark of Zorro, only to be told by an old man that’s how they’re teaching his granddaughter to write the number 2 in school.