The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ new helmet and logo landed Thursday night and it’s every bit as “enhanced” as the team proclaimed it would be.
In NFL-land, where any change to a logo or uniform is closely scrutinized, the skull guy with swords is more in-you-face, with the pirate-y flag covering more of the helmet. It’s bolder, more aggressive, more alpha and less “Pirates of the Caribbean.” It should also be friendlier to high-def TVs. There’s more contrast between the darker pewter on the logo, first introduced in 1997, and the brighter red on the flag. Oh, and the grill — the face mask — is chrome.
“This is an exciting day for the entire Buccaneers organization as we begin the process of introducing our new look by revealing an enhanced logo and new helmet design,” Buccaneers co-chairman Edward Glazer said. “The enhanced logo is much larger and portrays a more intimidating presence, while the chrome facemask is the first used by an NFL team. This is the first alteration to our logo and helmet since the previous re-design 17 years ago and we believe it sets the stage for our transition into this new, exciting era of Buccaneers football.”
Warren Sapp and Gerald McCoy introduced the new look on the NFL Network and Paul Lukas of Uni Watch had mixed emotions about it. The overall design is fine because it’s “sleeker, less tattered-looking,” he wrote on ESPN. “That’s good if you like your pirate imagery looking slick and modern, not so good if you like it rough-edged and weathered. The feeling here is that it’s a slight downgrade. Realistically, though, most fans won’t even notice the difference. Why bother revising your logo if you’re going to make such tiny changes?”
Although he thinks the logo is too big for the helmet and points out that the decal may not stand up to game wear-and-tear, it should pop on TV and provide immediate identification, particularly on the Red Zone. The grill, though, is the coolest part of the whole new look. It also will “pop,” Lukas writes. “A surprisingly effective move, and an NFL first to boot.”
That’s not the extent of the Bucs’ makeover, though. They’ll unveil new uniforms March 5.
The more aggressive look worked out well for the Carolina Panthers two years ago — although that may have had more to do with Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly than fashion.