Keeping Bucko Bruce in the closet
Another regular topic during the "silly season" on message boards around the Buccaneer community, has been the subject of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers bringing out their old orange uniforms for the Thansgiving game against Dallas in November this year.

The Cowboys of course are well known for wearing their old 1960s-style shirts in this annual game, and the likes of the Lions, Patriots and Bears have been seen sporting old uniform designs for these games in a throwback genre.

The idea of retro-uniforms first came about in 1994 during the NFL's 75th anniversary celebrations when Weeks 3 and 4 were declared "Throwback weekends" and each team wore an old uniform of their choice for those games. The Bucs were of course still in the orange hues throughout in that year, and chose to wear all-white colours from the 1977 season for their games against the Saints and Packers.

But to wear orange in 2006 - not a chance. And aside from all the comments from "remembering the old days" and "paying tribute to the likes of Lee Roy Selmon", this is quite simply about winning and being the best team the 2006 Buccaneers can be.

Imagine for a moment, that the Bucs did decide to wear orange in that game and the old Bucko Bruce helmet logos. TV coverage for the entire week leading up to the game would be full of the "Yucks" and bad footage from the old days of the franchise. Goofs, fumbles, blunders, front office disasters, the lot.

Which of course would be a total distraction from the actual task of beating the Cowboys in that week. And if things started to go wrong in the game, the colours and uniforms would immediately get the blame. So why even bother taking the chance?

The aim is to win as many games as possible and when you have a team expected to be in play-off contention as the 2006 Bucs will be, you cannot afford to even take one game lightly. For one game can be the difference between playoffs and staying at home.

So it might be a nice idea, but that is all it should ever remain. Thankfully the Glazer family have always maintained this philosophy too, so if your orange colours are your favourite shirts, then they will have to remain reminders of the old days alone.

This is not to say that the Bucs might bring out a pewter coloured shirt for that game. Now that would be a worthwhile exercise and a colour change for Thanksgiving without all of the other distractions that Bucko Bruce might bring.

You've been great - enjoy Haircut 100.

Paul Stewart, June 2006.