The news came out last week that the NFL is ditching the one-helmet-per-season rule and the majority of Bucs fans rejoiced. Because said change officially marked the return of the famous Creamsicle uniforms from back in the day.
Fans -of the Bucs and elsewhere- have to wait at least another year for their team’s throwbacks to return, however, due to the rule having just recently changed. Oh well, what’s another year, right? The last time the Bucs wore their Creamsicles was back in 2012. It’s already been almost nine years since the last time this happened. Another year shouldn’t make a difference.
But two years? Waiting until 2023 to don the Creamsicles? Now that’s hard to swallow.
And apparently, that’s what is going to happen. The Bucs -along with the other 31 NFL teams- have missed the deadline to submit an application for alternate uniforms in 2022, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Florio certainly killed the buzz when he revealed this nugget. But, if you read between the lines, you’ll notice Florio and PFT don’t actually provide whether or not a particular team has applied for an alternate uniform in 2022. They don’t have a list of “who has applied” and “who hasn’t applied”
And if you’ve noticed, the Glazers and the Bucs have been one of the most adamant teams about pushing for the ability to wear the Creamsicles once again. Co-owner Joel Glazer even talked about it during a press conference back in April.
“We are constantly at the league’s doorstep to get them to move so that we can wear our throwbacks,” Glazer told reporters. “We are not there yet, but there are discussions going on. Hopefully, at some point in the future that will happen because we know how popular they are with our fans.”
“It’s very important to our fan base, as well as the Glazer family and our entire organization,” Bucs COO Brian Ford told the Tampa Bay Times.
So, who’s to say the Bucs/Glazers didn’t already submit an application for the Creamsicles?
Here’s what ties this all together: If anyone has any inside info on change in league protocol, one would have to think it’s going to be an NFL owner. There’s definitely a chance that a) the Glazers knew this was coming and went ahead and applied or b) they said “to hell with it” and applied, anyway.
The section of the memo Florio points to even states the League Office has “previously approved” applications:
Please note that the notice date for 2022 uniform changes has passed and no new uniforms can be developed for the 2022 season, other than those previously approved by the League Office for the 2022 season.
For instance, the Eagles submitted an application for their alternate black jerseys. While that likely means they won’t be able to wear the kelly green jerseys in 2022, it shows that there is a chance -albeit a small one- that the Bucs could’ve submitted an app for the Creamsicles.
There’s also a chance the league could make an exception and allow teams to revisit the applications in order to put the throwbacks in the mix.
Either way, it’s not entirely impossible the Bucs could wear their Creamsicles in 2022.
The NFL wants has to see Tom Brady in a Creamsicle. There’s no other way to put it. His contract expires after the 2022 season and there is a chance he doesn’t return in 2023.
Wouldn’t that be a shame? To miss out on the GOAT in one of the best throwbacks of all-time?
The NFL is a billion-dollar business. It knows better.
Make it happen, Goodell.