Bring Back Bucco Bruce!
I realize that I am in the minority, but I would like to throw my two cents (or more) in about the Buccaneers wearing the orange and white again. I realize any arguments pro or con are moot considering that the Glazers are not going to allow those unis out of mothballs, but I wanted to make my case anyway.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were not created in 1997. They were created in 1976 and I for one want to see throwback jerseys. I am afraid I must politely disagree with the two prominent arguments against the jerseys and Bucco Bruce.
The first is that to wear them would bring back horrible memories of the Hugh Culverhouse regime. True, the Buccaneers under Hugh Culverhouse were for the most part rotten. Culverhouse was an especially pernicious owner who was unbothered by his uncompetitive yet profitable football team. But ladies and gentleman, Hugh Culverhouse has been dead long these many years. We prove nothing to him by shunning the old colors. Instead what we do is to pay short shrift to the fans and players who did their best to honor the Tampa Bay team.
Were Lee Roy Selmon, Richard “Batman” Wood, David Lewis, Doug Williams, Ricky Bell, Jimmie Giles, Kevin House, Dewey Selmon, Mark Cotney, Steve DeBerg, James Wilder, Paul Gruber, John Cannon, David Logan and others worth less than their peers because of the uniform they wore?
Are the 1979 and 1981 NFC Central Division championships worth less than the 1999 NFC Central Division championship because those earlier teams wore orange and the recent one wore pewter?
Does John McKay, quite possibly the most important figure in the history of the franchise, deserve to be ignored just because the men he led wore orange?
Despise Hugh Culverhouse all you want, but do so by just forgetting the man. Ignoring all of team history however does much more harm to those who valiantly toiled for Tampa Bay football fans then it does Culverhouse’s legacy.
The second argument has to do with how the Buccaneers would be perceived nationally if they broke out the Bucco Bruce helmets. Many worry that if the Bucs wore orange and lost, it would open the team to ridicule. Ridicule from whom? Fans of other teams? So what? Last I checked the Bucs went 7-9 and 5-11 in back-to-back seasons wearing pewter. The pewter has now proven to not be bullet proof and I recall reading many electronic bulletin boards where the fans of other teams lambasted the Bucs just as harshly as they did in the orange days.
Are we worried of what the media would say? If so, really????? Do you see what passes for journalism these days? Are we really going to live in fear and deny Buccaneer forebears their just desserts because of what Sean Salisbury might say? Or Jim Rome, Skip Bayless, Michael Irvin, and the rest of ESPN’s supposed experts? Do we really care what these nimrods have to say?
We were there in the 1980’s; we know what it meant to be a Buc fan then. It’s questionable that these guys took a journalism class much less a history class, so why should we allow them the right to determine what the orange jerseys represent?
I say break out the orange and white with pride. Wear it at a home game and make the opponent wear old school also. The week of December 10th against the Falcons would be perfect. The old Bucco Bruce look versus the fire engine red Falcon uniforms of old. Let the opinions of non-Buc fans be damned, let’s celebrate the history of this team.
That at least is where I stand in the sartorial dispute. But to quote Dennis Miller, “That’s just me. I could be wrong.”
Denis Crawford, August 2006