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Creamy Goodness: Bucs Unveil Long-Awaited Creamsicle Throwbacks

Welcome back, creamsicles — it’s been a long time.

The Buccaneers this morning unveiled the much-anticipated creamsicle throwback uniforms that they’ll be wearing this season. Although there was some speculation regarding what the combo would be, they ended up going with the most logical approach: orange jersey over white pants, with striped socks and the Bucco Bruce helmet to complete the look.

Here’s a full-body shot (without pads, unfortunately), followed by the rear view:

Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs originally wore these uniforms from 1976 through 1996 (here’s a deep dive on that). They were also worn as a throwback from 2009 through 2012, but that came to an end in 2013 due to the NFL’s then-new one-shell rule, which prevented the white throwback helmet from coexisting with the primary pewter helmet. The one-shell rule was lifted in 2022, paving the way for this new throwback.

Let’s shift into FAQ mode:

When will the Bucs wear this uniform?

On Oct. 15, when they host the Lions.

They’re allowed to wear a throwback more than once per season. Any chance that they’ll add an additional retro game to the schedule?

I spoke yesterday with several members of the Bucs’ front office. As of now, they’re just planning for the one creamsicle game.

Will this uniform be used beyond this season?

Yes. Now that the helmet situation is no longer a problem, the Bucs plan to keep the creamsicles in their rotation going forward. Their plan is for the creamsicle identity to be a strong, distinct sub-brand within the team’s identity, and to have it appeal both to longtime fans and newer/younger fans. It’s worth noting that the Bucs will have their 50th season in 2025 and their 50th anniversary in 2026. It’s not yet clear which one they’ll be celebrating, but it’s a safe bet that the creamsicles will figure prominently in their plans.

Any chance that they’ll ditch the pewter and go creamsicle full-time?

Never say never, I suppose, but that is not something they’re currently contemplating.

Have they made any changes to the uniform design?

The throwback is being rendered in Nike’s newest template, so it has the newfangled jersey collar, the new seams, and so on. But aside from that, the Bucs people told me that they tried to stay “true to form,” and it looks to me like they succeeded. No small wordmark added to the jersey chest, no metallic flake added to the white helmet shell — just the basic design.

Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Is the throwback supposed to represent any specific year?

The Bucs say this uniform represents the team’s creamsicle era and isn’t tied to any one season. Technically speaking, the striped socks were worn only in 1976, so I suppose you could say the uniform represents that year. But on the other hand, the orange jersey doesn’t represent 1976, because the Bucs didn’t wear orange jerseys during the regular season that year! Overall, this uni is more about the team’s heritage and DNA than a specific season.

Linebacker Lavonte David has been with the team since 2012, which is when they wore the previous round of creamsicle throwbacks. He saw the new throwbacks last month and said, “They’re not like the ones I wore in 2012 at all … You should be in for a surprise.” But these look almost exactly like the ones from 2012! Was that just a fake-out?

The Bucs folks tell me that they were surprised by that quote as well. It turned out that David was just referring to the new Nike template/fabric/etc.

The one-shell rule was lifted in 2022. Why did they wait until 2023 for the throwback?

Back in March of 2022, the team said, “Due to global supply chain challenges, we will have to wait one more year than hoped. This is the earliest that Nike can finish production of the orange uniforms.” In other words, Nike couldn’t get retail jerseys made quickly enough to support a 2022 on-field rollout. When I asked the Bucs folks if they considered going ahead with the on-field throwbacks in 2022 anyway, even without corresponding retail merch, Chief Commercial Officer Atul Khosla said, “We want to get this right. It’s a deep thought process — we’re building a brand here, not just launching a jersey. I’m not sure we were ready with all of that last year, but we definitely are this year.”

What is all that brand-building going to entail?

Expect them to lean in hard on the creamsicle angle, including creamsicle-wrapped cars from Ford, creamsicle whiskey from Jameson, and creamsicle-themed Budweiser throwback cans. (I’ve been assured that the beer itself will not be orange.) Also, did you know that Aug. 14 is National Creamsicle Day? You will.

Anyway, that stuff doesn’t really concern us so much — we’re more interested in the uniforms, and the Bucs appear to have gotten those right. Well done!

Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Comments (53)

    They look fantastic. It sounds like they’re going to follow the Phillies’ strategy with regard to creating a throwback sub-brand. Why not? It’s a smart business move…

    They look great…but why in the world have them wear the uniforms without pads or a helmet? It makes no sense. Just like the Cardinals uniform unveiling, we never saw any of the players wearing the full uniform with the helmet.

    I get it…merchandise. But at the same time, my goodness, is it that hard to put the guys in shoulder pads and a helmet?

    I am not so sure…compare the helmet stripe and Bruce’s face to the jersey. They should match, as they were taken in the same lighting.

    They look lighter to me as well, and a bit duller, as if they were slightly bleached.

    Yes, I agree. I thought that one picture with the 4 players standing in front of the crowd had strange lighting, including a lighted floor, that affected the look of the color.

    It definitely looks lighter to me too. It looks like a really muted peach.

    I agree, these look a little too “creamy”. I think it’s the modern Nike fabric versus what was used back in the day which had more of an orange shine to it.

    All the players are shown wearing low white socks. What are the odds that look never sees the field (and all socks will be creamsicle with red/white/red tops)?

    Also all players shown wearing white sneakers. Hopefully they’ll sport white cleats on game day. But I can see I mismash of white, red, creamsicle and maybe other colors too…

    I’ve always been a fan of Bucco Bruce and the Creamsicles. I have all of their albums!

    I’m really sad they weren’t able to do them last year. I would have loved to have had a Brady creamsicle jersey, just for the oddness of it. To have a Brady jersey that isn’t the Pats is odd enough, but to have the oddness multiplier of a so bad it’s good throwback on top of it, it seems like a fun sports artifact to own.

    Not that I care what people buy, but just to be clear: You *can* have a Brady creamsicle jersey. They’re selling them.

    I see, but the fact that he’ll never wear it on the field makes it less appealing to me. It’d be like owning a Payton Manning Broncos throwback jersey. (Maybe this did happen and I have forgotten) I want my weirdness, but I won’t stand for it being anachronistic.

    I couldn’t care less about all the corporate speak about brand building, but I am excited that they got this right!

    Two questions…
    How & why did the Buccaneers choose October 15 as the date to wear these? A regular Sunday afternoon game against a (now) random team.
    And only wearing them once all season? Why?

    How mad is Nike that Tampa Bay wouldn’t let them “Nike-fy” these uniforms? (Besides the template)

    I guess technically, thats three questions.


    1) I don’t know why they chose Oct. 15, although I think the Lions being a former division rival had something to do with it. And personally, I *love* that they chose a basic Sunday afternoon game instead of Sunday/Monday night. Daytime football still feels best to me.

    2) They get only eight home games, they often prefer to wear white at home, esp early in the season, and they also have the stupid mono-pewter alternate in their rotation. That probably explains why the throwback is being worn just once.

    3) Throwbacks are rarely if ever Nike-fied.

    I wonder if a couple of generations of Madden players have something to do with the seeming randomness of this game.
    Back in my Madden playing days I thought it was cool to have a classic team playing a current team, or two classic teams from different eras. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

    These days, though, I’ve changed my tune a bit. It felt weird last year when the Packers wore their throwbacks vs the modern BFBS Jets.

    I’d rather see the Bucs wear these vs…(checks schedule)… the Titans in November. Imagine the Oilers throwbacks going up against the creamsicles!

    The 2009-2012 throwbacks also used the striped socks, according to the GUD.

    The unis do definitely have a different look compared to the previous throwbacks thanks to their new construction, so I would definitely expect them to have a different feel as well. Overall, looks pretty good.

    These were long considered among the worst uniforms in the NFL, and Tampa Bay was probably the worst team during the time they wore them.

    Why is the team “celebrating” this era? The Bucs were bad and I don’t remember anybody complaining about the change to a more masculine uniform.

    I’m not a Bucs fan but seeing these on the field, even if it’s just once, is going to feel good. It’s what they wore for 2 decades and I’m sure most their fanbase has a place in their hearts for them. Certain throwbacks have a way of taking me back as a fan to a kid. Even if it’s just a second. It’s magical. Why would you want to take things like that away? Football is allowed to be a little fun. What is wrong with you bro?

    Four years into their existence they played in the NFC championship game. They made the playoffs for a few seasons after that.
    Yes, they started their inaugural year going winless. That doesn’t mean they were always bad in those uniforms.

    And when they changed their identity, I complained. I’ve gotten used to their new look (except for the alarm-clock number, years), but I’m glad to see this finally happening.

    I must be in the minority, but these have always been pretty much my least favorite NFL unis. I really dislike the shade of orange, especially paired with red. I think their pewters are far superior. But, to each their own!

    Well, I said “pretty much”… Ha. I guess I was referring more to the colors. The uniform elements themselves are great and classic (which I do prefer). Alarm clocks were bad, but at least the colors were good. That classic Bucs orange just never looks good to me. Hurts my eyes. Certainly there are other really horrible uniforms. I’ve just always had a gut-reaction “yuck” to these as long as I can remember. Old habits die hard, I guess. :)

    A good step back and forward, but what I really want to see (and though I’m a Saints fan, I would buy one) is the white unis from 1976, with the orange-on-red numbers. No team ever looked so good and played so shitty at the same time. But the unis had nothing to do with the (lack of) quality of play. Those unis and John McKay’s wisecracks were the only good things about that team, and since John’s a little predisposed these days, let’s bring on the original unis next.

    Classic McKay:

    Q: What do you think of your team’s execution?”
    A: I’m all for it.

    “We couldn’t run and we couldn’t throw. But we made up for it by not tackling.”

    Hoping the Lions bring back Barry Sanders for this game. A lot of Barry’s career highlights came against the Creamsicles.

    Gotta include some mention of the super cool hype video for this. It’s beautiful in so many ways, even with a glimpse of those old Bucs smoking the Packers.

    The biggest surprise is that the mark of the beast was rendered in white instead of red. I’d think red would be more distinguishable on the light orange jerseys.
    They really nailed this one. Hopefully the Seahawks, Eagles, and Titans throwbacks are equally accurate.
    I’d be curious what the general, non-uni watch faithful reaction is when they see all those throwbacks out there this year. Will it be like us, thinking “wow those old uniforms look so much better”?

    Who wants to attend the game with me? I was really hoping for Atlanta 80’s away Vs these throwbacks but Lions are a sweet uni matchup too.


    Thank you for keeping us up to date. They look great. Hopefully a 1980s Bengals throwback is next.

    I wonder if the NFL will consider doing a throwback Uni week in the future. Maybe Thanksgiving week.

    I figure the older fans like me prefer these to the pewter, and I’m guessing by a lot. I wonder what the younger fans think? I really wish they would go with these as their primary uniform, and the pewter as their alternate. Or maybe change to helmet logo to a combination of both. Another positive about this is they could wear the orange against other teams colored jerseys. I remember that Vinny Testaverde was colorblind, and had a hard time differentiating the creamsicle from the opponent’s white. This would elevate that, if both teams wore their colored jerseys, as long as there was enough contrast.

    I haven’t looked at the NFL schedule but I thought the NFL had throwback uniforms originally back in the day so that they could have Throwback GAMES, not just uniforms, it’s not a good look for the creamsicles to be going against modern uniforms, can the NFL and Nike get this grit together?

    I thought the NFL had throwback uniforms originally back in the day so that they could have Throwback GAMES, not just uniforms…

    That was the case when they had big throwback programs, like the NFL 75th-anniversary program in 1994 and AFL 50th-anniversary program in 2009 (both of which even had throwback officials’ uniforms). But otherwise, no.

    I was looking forward to seeing Tom Brady wear this uni. Then he would have been in the Pat the Patriot uni and the Bucco Bruce uni. Oh well.

    Great to see these back, though I do miss the mesh look from the Reebok days! With these and their revamped home and away sets, the Bucs have a really solid uniform combo, IMO. Now if only they’d drop the pewter uniforms…

    Can we talk about /why/ they went away from a Creamsicle jerseys? I was a kid in the 90s and we thought they were by far the lamest jerseys in the league by far, like they almost felt like a AAA team playing in the big leagues.

    Is it really ALL just nostalgia that we (myself included) look forward to seeing these?

    My only complaint: the TV numbers being that high up the sleeve over a stitch. I know real sleeves ar a thing of the past but this looks not right.

    FYI – The Bucs wore ’10th’ patches in 1985, ’30th’ patches in 2005, and ’40th’ patches in 2015. Makes sense that their ’50th’ will be celebrated in 2025.

    The Bucs’ decision to bring back the iconic creamsicle throwback uniforms is a treat for fans. The orange jersey over white pants, combined with striped socks and the Bucco Bruce helmet, perfectly captures the nostalgic essence. It’s a fantastic choice that celebrates the team’s history and gives fans a taste of the past. Can’t wait to see them on the field! link

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