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Bucco Bruce to Make Long-Awaited Return … Eventually

When the NFL announced last June that the one-shell rule was being scrapped after 2021 and that teams would once again be able to have multiple helmet shell colors beginning in 2022, just about everyone’s initial reaction (including mine) was, “Good — now we can finally see Bucco Bruce back on the field!”

Similarly, when I reported three months ago that 15 NFL teams would be adding a second helmet in 2022, just about everyone’s initial reaction (including mine) was, “Well, we know the Bucs will definitely be one of those 15 teams!”

But now it turns out that they won’t. The Bucs yesterday announced that they are indeed bringing back Bucco Bruce and the Creamsicle throwbacks — but in 2023, not 2022.

Why the delay? “Due to global supply chain challenges, we will have to wait one more year than hoped,” the team said. “This is the earliest that Nike can finish production of the orange uniforms.”

This marks the second time in a week that an NFL team has announced a delay in its throwback plans due to production/supply issues. The first such club was the Seahawks:

A few thoughts on this:

• The Seahawks specifically said that their production/supply issues were related to retail product. Yesterday’s announcement from the Bucs was more ambiguously worded, saying that 2023 “is the earliest that Nike can finish production of the orange uniforms,” but I assume that they too are referring to retail product. I mean, you figure Nike could easily whip up a set of on-field uniforms for the players, right? (I’ve contacted the Bucs to confirm this. No response yet.)

• Assuming that assumption is correct, then this is a particularly annoying case of the merch tail wagging the on-field dog. We’ve seen plenty of situations in which teams have worn certain designs on-field mainly as an excuse to sell them at retail, but this appears to be the inverse of that — teams are not wearing a design because they can’t sell it at retail! It’s all so stupid. Which leads me to…

• Why not just wear the throwbacks anyway? Prior to the one-shell rule, the Bucs would wear Bucco Bruce for only one game per season, so why not go ahead and do that, even if you don’t have any product to sell? (I asked the Bucs about this as well. Again, no response yet.) You can still sell the product the following year, or whenever it’s available, but in the meantime why deprive fans from seeing a popular on-field look? That’s what the Mets did when they brought back their BFBS jerseys — they just went ahead and wore them, even though the retail versions weren’t available until several months later. Why can’t the Bucs and Seahawks do the same?

• One possible answer to that question: Maybe they’re afraid that if they wore the throwbacks in 2022 without any official retail merch, fans would buy bootleg/knock-off jerseys instead. And then when the official merch became available in ’23, sales would be lower because some fans would be happy to stick with the bootleg gear.

Ugh. I can’t even describe how much this all makes my head hurt. The team wants to wear the throwbacks, the fans want them to wear the throwbacks, so just wear the fucking throwbacks already! It’s so ridiculous that the situation is essentially being held hostage by a merch-production issue.

Meanwhile, here’s a thought: We don’t yet know if these production issues will impact any other teams’ alternate/throwback plans for 2022. But we do know that this isn’t just an isolated thing affecting one team, so it seems plausible that other teams might soon be making announcements similar to Seattle’s and Tampa Bay’s. Or to put it another way, if you were planning a trip to Foxborough this fall to see Pat Patriot, maybe don’t book that flight just yet.

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Screen shots by Timothy Burke

Ukraine update: The Fordham men’s hoops roster includes sophomore center Rostyslav Novitskyi (No. 15 above), who’s Ukrainian. Last night was their first home game since the Russian invasion of Novitskyi’s country, so they added Ukrainian flag patches to their jerseys. Pretty rare to see a non-USA flag on an NCAA uniform!

Speaking of Ukraine-related shout-outs, Danish soccer powerhouse Brøndby IF, which usually wears yellow shirts over blue shorts, reversed that combo yesterday to match the Ukrainian flag:

(My thanks to Eric Dean for alerting me to the Fordham situation, and to Nick Kahn for the Brøndby IF item.)

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Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird … it’s a plane … well, in this case, it really is a plane — a 1962 model kit of the Dodgers’ team plane, to be precise. The instructions note that the plane “will carry the team to all its scheduled games and will also visit farm teams of the ball club.” (More on the team’s history in the friendly skies can be found here.)

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• I must admit I’d not heard of Joe Lapchick before; turns out he played for the New York Original Celtics, an early barnstorming basketball team, in the 1920s and ’30s. In any case, here’s a pair of his signature “Play-Maker” sneakers. Not quite Air Jordans, eh?

• Always liked the old (and new again for 2022) USFL Boston/New Orleans/Portland Breakers helmet design. Here it is on a 1980s wall plaque.

• Learn from the pros! This 1971 cassette/booklet features Pete Rose and is called Championship Baseball Hitting Fundamentals. A season later, Willie Mays taught us how to play in the outfield with this record/booklet set, appropriately entitled Outfielding.

• Take a look at this 1982 Steve Garvey print ad! He’d just landed with the Padres, and this ad says “Out of the Blue!” (Get it?) “Garvey’s With the Padres, and This Year We’re Madder Than Ever!” But why were they mad in the first place? Maybe it was all that “cleat-digging, hard-driving, dust-flying heads-up baseball.”

• This large plastic football was endorsed by NFL Hall of Fame quarterback “Slingin'” Sammy Baugh. The yellow ball with all those holes looks a bit like Swiss cheese!

• Harry Kalas narrated this record called The Phantastic Phillies, an LP commemorating the team’s 1980 World Series win.

• One of the greatest team logos ever is shown on the cover of this 1980-81 Hartford Whalers yearbook

• This listing is for a pair of Montreal Expos items: a Youppi! pin, and a jersey-themed keychain.

• I’m including this early-1970s NFL football bank for one reason: Since these items were white plastic and are now about half a century old, they’re usually quite dingy and yellowed. But this one looks pristine!

• Here’s an art print designed to look like a comic book about Babe Ruth’s famous called shot in the 1932 World Series.

• And from reader Will Scheibler, here’s a seller with lots of NFL helmet matchbooks.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: The Guardians’ new uniforms haven’t made their on-field debut yet, but Topps is already using them in their 2022 set (from Dave Landesberg). …  A music store in Catonsville, Md., is using a version of the O’s “Swinging Oriole” logo, except they replaced the baseball bat with a guitar (from Stephen Murphy). … Here’s a rare look at Negro Leaguer and civil rights activist Earl Brown in his Harvard baseball uniform in 1924 (from Stephen Eschenbach, who further requests that we credit UD 9000 Box 3 [1924], Harvard University Archives).. … Musical artist Petey wore a Moisés Alou Cubs jersey onstage during a recent concert (from @PootPoot).

Football News: Somebody Somewhere is an HBO series set in Manhattan, Kan., home of Kansas State. Max Weintraub notes that one of the show’s characters, Professor Fred Rococo, has both a framed personalized Wildcats jersey and two crops team championship banners hanging in his home. … The Bills are reportedly about to announce plans for a new stadium, while the Commies are eyeing three potential stadium sites in Virginia.

Hockey News: The Capitals added a helmet decal last night for Neal Henderson, a DC-area youth coach and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee who helped spread the game to inner-city youth in the region. The decal was part of the team’s Black History Month program (from William F. Yurasko). … One of the club suites at the Devils’ arena has signed sticks displayed prominently at the buffet line. Though it’s unclear if the gesture was intentional, the sticks happen to have been made in Ukraine (from @_RF30). … The Mississauga Steelheads wore blue checkered uniforms with neon green striping on Sunday (from Wade Heidt). … NCAA D2 school St. Michael’s College tapped an alumnus to design the school’s uniforms after the coach came across his concepts on social media (from Ike Bendavid).

Soccer News: Atlético Madrid F Antoine Griezmann was recently spotted wearing a backpack covered in NFL team patches (from @odamakuley). … For an FA Cup game between Everton and men’s fifth-tier Boreham Wood on Thursday, Boreham Wood will avoid a color clash by debuting a mono-black third kit (thanks, Jamie). … The next three items are from Kary Klismet: The Premier League has introduced a new ball design that will be used for the rest of the season. … This is a comprehensive look at England’s uniform history. … New uniforms for the El Paso Locomotive of the USL Championship.

Grab Bag: Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Union has for (from Sy Hart). … New logo for the NCAA D2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (from @roblmo). … New helmets for Formula 1 drivers Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou (from Kary Klismet).

Comments (43)

    Re: Nike and fabrics – it isn’t clear how this behemoth of a company can’t get this stuff right time and again. Whether for on-field or for retail, they are really bad at getting colors right. The couldn’t get the Eagles’ midnight green for most half a season one year, and it is still looks more blue/teal than green. Are the technological advances in their performance fabrics worth not being able to dress a team in team colors?
    Re: tail wagging the dog – it’s 90% retail at this point. All of the intricate details – the design on the Seahawks’ numbers, the “bayou feature” on the new Houston Dynamk shirt – they don’t show up on TV, even HDTV.
    Re: Guardians – the script font looks OK. The cap logo is fine. A bespoke non-script based on the cap logo looks as bad as you would predict. Ugh.

    Paul I like your line about the bucco Bruce uniforms. “Just wear the fucking uniforms”. That is how I bet a lot of us feel too

    Speaking of collectors’ corners…
    I was on a YouTube show the other day showing my game worn Canadiens jersey collection (all four I have so far) and a select four of my Canadiens goal pucks (out of more than 70). Hope you enjoy!


    Maybe – just maybe – there actually are issues with Nike and the helmet providers to get inventory available. Riddell wasn’t selling helmets for a long time recently, supposedly because a factory was lost in a fire. But go ahead and blame it all on the retail side.

    Uh, Paul notes that the Seahawks literally said it’s due to retail and that he’s still seeking information re: Bucs. But go ahead and mischaracterize what he wrote for a snappy comment.


    1) Riddell just launched a new helmet model, the Axiom. No production issues there.

    2) The Bucs specifically attributed the delay to Nike, not to Riddell.

    3) I didn’t arbitrarily “blame” anything on the retail side — the Seahawks themselves attributed the delay to the retail side.

    Reality: Try it sometime.

    As soon as I see Paul whip out the “actually” I think think to myself, “this gon be good”.

    I, too, find this annoying. But one has to ask himself, would these be happening at all if not for the retail opportunity it provides the teams?

    Hey Stephen Murphy! What music store has that Oriole logo? Catonsville is my current town of residence!

    I would have assumed the Bucs were selling throwback jerseys anyway? And a quick look on team’s websites say both Seattle and Tampa have their throwbacks available to buy. Now they aren’t current players, but they are still available. (And while I don’t buy jerseys anymore, were I to, it would be for a retired great, since players change teams so often now).

    Of course I’d also argue if fans are clamoring to see these designs again, perhaps they shouldn’t have gotten rid of them, or deviated so far from them. Could easily have an orange and white Bucs set now using a modern logo, ditto for the old Seattle design just with navy and bright green.

    Seattle and Tampa Bay were the 1976 NFL Expansion twins, and I always got a kick out of how the team colors were LITERALLY complements of the other team. It was also cool that the clubs were in opposite corners of the country. An unusual yin/yang relationship.
    Sorry, Bucco Bruce is part of the deal. Along with Pat Patriot, the snorting Bronco in the “D” and the original Miami Dolphin, it harks to an era when insignias were of the “illustrator” style like a Prince Valiant cartoon. New logos have more of a “vector” style which the league openly endorses. The only one who hasn’t been shown the door is the Raiders’ emblem.

    RE: Boreham Wood mono black 3rd kit.

    Paul skipped over a feel-good moment regarding this. This is necessitated because Boreham’s all white primary clashes with Everton’s white shorts and socks, and their all sky blue away strip was thought to be too close to the Everton blue shirt. Since a 3rd kit was needed, Everton unilaterally offered to pay for it, a grand gesture to a club that is financially strapped to say the least.

    Class move from the Toffees.

    What a disheartening lede today about the Tampa Bay uniforms. This kind of thing infuriates me so much.

    It has been a frustrating week for NFL throwback news. I was really looking forward to seeing the creamsicle Buccaneers uniforms and the 1976 Seahawks blue and kelly green uniforms with the plain silver helmets next season. Guess we will have to wait!

    Seeing th Kiddie City name on that Phillies LP takes me back….and it still has the Lionel price tag on it!

    There’s the tiniest bit of burying the lede with the Everton/Boreham Wood kit clash story. Boreham Wood are a non-league team, which is sort of like a semi-pro level. I believe they’re in the 5th tier of the English football pyramid and are of such humble means that the owner mortgaged his house so the club could stay afloat during the pandemic. Rather than impose the cost of a new third kit, Everton paid for it. It’s a very generous gesture.

    While I completely understand, and agree with, the ridiculousness of this all, I have to wonder how much of this is contractually driven. I would have to think these merchandiser contracts have some type of guarantee of X number of retail units available, in addition to the outfitting of the team.

    It makes me wonder: the NBA, also supplied by Nike, can drop a thousand different uniforms on us anytime they like but the new retro NFL uniforms have to wait for another season. My uneducated guess is that all Nike retail uniforms come from the same Asian factories, but since the NBA is globally making a lot more money in merchandising than the NFL, the NFL has to wait in line.

    I will try again: Nike globally makes more money from NBA uniform replicas than from NFL replicas, so the NFL has to wait in line at the Nike factories in Asia.

    Atlético Madrid F Antoine Griezmann was recently spotted wearing a backpack covered in NFL team patches

    One might have thought it would be NBA logos; the conventional wisdom is that Griezmann will head to MLS eventually, and the thought is he would indulge his passion for NBA basketball by picking the club with the best NBA team in the vicinity.

    The HBO show mentioned in the ticker, Somebody Somewhere, is highly recommended. 7th and final episode of season one posted over the weekend. A great show with lots of heart, just a nice hang with the characters.

    RE: New uniforms for the El Paso Locomotive of the USL Championship.

    I want to be clear, I’m not saying that you need to make sure that your home kit doesn’t match your rivals, or that because your rivals wear a specific color, does not mean that you can’t wear it.

    However, I’m shocked that ELP isn’t using their existing blue-palate for the home kit. I think the template is good, it evokes the railroad car graffiti Locos branding, that I think is pretty cool, or link

    NBA is first in line at the factories with their tons of replica uniforms, as they generate more money worldwide than NFL replicas.

    Regarding the F1 livery ranking in today’s Grab Bag, Jalopnik’s writers are currently on strike and asking people not to visit the site. If you’re sympathetic to that, you may want to hold off on clicking.

    That Danish soccer team nailed it. What a simple and classy way to support Ukraine. Top notch…

    There’s a story on a Philly website (apparently after reading this article) that insinuates that the Eagles kelly green would be delayed a year also.


    I’m a Seahawks fan and patiently waiting for the throwback stuff to come out. It’s not only jerseys, it’s the t-shirts, jackets, etc that will be on Fanatics/ for sale. So I think this “delay” to 2023 is more than just the jerseys that are being held up in the supply chain.

    Footy Headlines is an excellent site that specializes in keeping people up to date with the latest information regarding upcoming releases: “”.

    Now if you want a true encyclopedic version of England’s kit history, this is the site to go to: “”

    Not only do they have an exceptionally detailed history of England’s kits, but they also have the rest of the Home Nations that include Ireland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales: “”.

    They also have a complete World Cup history (every game played, both men & women): “” & “”. Not to mention they have a complete history of The Euros (UEFA European Football Championship) as well: “”

    And it’s not just past kits of the game from its earliest origins that you can find on the site, “”. You can also find the current kits worn in the English Premier League, as well as the leagues below it, “”. The same is true for the Scottish Professional Football League, “”

    And yes, there is also an incredible compendium, that’s constantly being updated, of both English and Scottish club histories, many long forgotten: “” & “”.

    Nike doesn’t get paid for outfitting the teams. They pay to outfit the teams in the hopes of making back the costs and sponsorship fees in retail.

    I don’t see the Bucs offering to pay for the jerseys, so why would Nike give them as a gift of there were a retail problem?

    In other words, you’re saying the vendor is calling the shots instead of the team. Which is completely fucked up. Which is what I’ve been saying all along.

    Or to put it another way: We agree about what’s taking place here. But you appear to be OK with it, while I’m not.

    In addition to earning a PHD at Harvard –

    Lapchick was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Original Celtics in 1959 and as an individual in 1966.
    In his memory, St. John’s created an annual preseason college basketball tournament entitled the Lapchick Memorial Tournament.

    Regarding Bills potential new stadium: they have been talking about this for 15 years.
    Time to move the team. Same with A’s and Rays.
    While I’m at it, move the Senators of the NHL to Wisconsin.

    Picking one up from yesterday, the Smashville Goalie did have the Guitar pick during the beginning of the game.


    Not a huge Basketball historian or follower, but Joe Lapchick is very well known in basketball circles. Better known as a coach and if I am not mistaken, I believe I remember his running a camp or clinic of some kind in the 1960s prepare “big men” for playing the Center/Post position, years after retiring from actually coaching teams. Very highly regarded.
    His son, Dr. Richard Lapchick is also very well known as a commenter on racial equality involving sports issues – sort of an East Coast version of Dr. Harry Edwards. For years I have seen him quoted and commenting on race-related and business issues involving sports. The younger Lapchick is the Endowed Chair and Director of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida, and President/CEO of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport (NCAS), a youth outreach program which focuses on improving race relations, and developing conflict resolution skills.
    Interestingly, I haven’t seen him quoted in quite awhile, but in the 1990s-early 2010s I remember seeing him quoted often, particularly in print and ESPN.


    I have asked the question often, but has there EVER been any science whatsoever informing us that ONE SHELL worn all season – perhaps over 100 wearings with compressed and worn padding, is safer than a new helmet properly and freshly padded?

    That said, a Silver helmet is 1000% better looking with the Seahawks Neon Green uniforms than their current Blue shells. There was a Super Bowl pregame show featuring a youth team wearing Seahawks Neon Green uniforms – tops and bottoms – with the older Silver Seahawks helmets, and it truly looked pretty good – immensely better than with the Blue shells. .

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