Buccaneers reveal the date they’ll unveil new uniforms

More uniform updates trickling in as we get closer to the NFL Draft

Mike Evans will go down in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history as the player who had the honor of being the rookie to hold up the new jersey as the team’s first-round draft pick in 2014.

If the team is lucky, they’ll get similar success out of this year’s first-round pick, even though the player won’t be standing on a draft stage the first time they hold it up. If those of you who pre-ordered your Tom Brady jerseys are lucky, you’ll like the new design a bit more than the previous one.

Like the time spent in the alarm-clock numbered uniform, most Buccaneers fans would just as soon forget all about the uniform Tampa has played in since 2014. Thanks to the wonders of social media, we now know when they can start to put those times in the rear view mirror, as the team announced they’ll unveil their ‘new threads’ on April 7th.

Much speculation has centered around the new uniforms, including color schemes and any potential logo changes. A tweet sent earlier in the off-season seemed to have settled the logo concerns as a black and white picture featured the same logo Bucs fans have grown to love.

Head coach Bruce Arians speculated the uniform would look more similar to the one the franchise won the Super Bowl in, drawing mixed reactions from social media crowds as well. There has even been a faction of fans who want to see the team return to it’s creamsicle roots, bringing back the ‘glory days’ of Bucco Bruce. A look which saw just three winning seasons, including the strike shortened 5-4 1982 campaign.

Of course, this development followed the news earlier Tuesday that Tom Brady would retain the number twelve as Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin transitions to fourteen, at least for the time being.

And then there was this announcement of sorts.

This tweet, from Buccaneers cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, suggests the second-year player will be switching jersey numbers as well.

In 2019, Deone Bucannon wore the number until his eventual release in October. Now it seems, Murphy-Bunting will be sporting the number moving forward.

It’s been a uniform news packed sort of day this Tuesday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the biggest uniform news of them all coming in just one more week.

MLB legends on strange teams: Do you remember these stops?

With Tom Brady preparing to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – a stunning move for the six-time Super Bowl champion – fans can’t come to grips with the idea of Brady wearing a uniform other than that of the New England Patriots.

That got us thinking about baseball players who spent the tail end of their careers in uniforms that didn’t look quite right on them – like Willie Mays with the Mets or Frank Thomas with the Blue Jays – as players synonymous with a particular organization.

In no particular order, here’s some of the most notable legends whose short-term stops you may have forgotten:

Ken Griffey Jr. – After 20 seasons with the Reds and Mariners, Griffey was traded to the White Sox in 2008 at age 38. He played 41 games for a Chicago team that won the AL Central, Griffey’s first postseason trip since 1997.

Willie Mays – Having spent 21 seasons with the Giants, Mays ended his career back where in New York where it began, getting traded to the Mets in 1972. He played 135 games with the Mets over the next two years, reaching the World Series in 1973.

Babe Ruth – Everyone knows the story of Ruth beginning his career with the Boston Red Sox, but he also ended his career in Beantown, getting traded from the Yankees to the Boston Braves for the 1935 season. He hit six home runs in 28 games for the Braves.

Harmon Killebrew – Ranking 12th on the all-time home run list, Killebrew spent the first 20 years of his career with the Minnesota Twins (who were previously the Washington Senators), before signing with the Royals for the 1975 season.

Frank Thomas – After 16 years with the White Sox, Thomas joined the Athletics for the 2006 season and finished fourth in MVP voting with 39 homers and 113 RBI. That earned him a two-year contract with the Blue Jays, where he hit his 500th career home run. Toronto released him in April 2008 and Thomas went back to Oakland for the final 55 games of his career.

Randy Johnson – A five-time Cy Young winner, Johnson joined the Giants in 2009 at the age of 45 and picked up his 300th career win with San Francisco. He pitched 22 games for the Giants that season, the final year of his career.

Pedro Martinez – The right-hander signed with the Phillies in the summer of 2009 and wound up being a major contributor as the team reached the World Series for the second year in a row. He went 5-1 in the regular season before making three starts in the playoffs.

Yogi Berra – He retired after the 1963 season, his 18th with the Yankees, only to become the team’s manager in 1964, reach the World Series and then get fired. Berra joined the crosstown Mets as a coach for 1965 and wound up making four appearances as a catcher early in the year. He stayed on the Mets’ staff for years, eventually succeeding Gil Hodges as manager in 1972.

Hank Aaron – The first 21 years of his career were spent in a Braves uniform, first in Milwaukee from 1954-1965 then Atlanta through 1974. The Braves traded him back to Milwaukee to finish his career, playing two seasons with the Brewers, who had joined the league in 1969.

John Smoltz – The Hall of Famer played 20 seasons for the Atlanta Braves but found himself a free agent at the age of 41. He signed with the Red Sox and made eight starts (8.33 ERA) before being released in August. Smoltz then signed with the Cardinals, making seven starts in the regular season and an appearance in the NLDS.

Juan Marichal – The legendary Dominican right-hander had a 2.84 ERA in 14 seasons with the Giants, before spending 1974 with the Red Sox and 1975 with the Dodgers.

Willie McCovey – The Giants traded McCovey to the Padres before the 1974 season, playing two-plus years with San Diego and 11 games for the Athletics in 1975, ultimately returning to San Francisco for the final four years of his career.

Manny Ramirez – Waived by the Dodgers in August 2010 and played 24 games for the White Sox down the stretch that year. He was then signed by the Rays in 2011 and only played five games with Tampa Bay before retiring to avoid a PED suspension, never playing in the majors again.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman teases possibility of new jerseys in latest tweet

What are the chances of the New England Patriots wearing new jerseys in 2020?

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman teased fans Friday with a tweet that read, “Hearing rumors about new jerseys…”

We don’t know if Edelman is talking about a brand new jersey, or just the return of the iconic uniform the team used in the 1990s. It’s been a while since the Patriots wore any of their throwback jerseys in an actual game.

If anyone was going to tease a jersey using this design, Edelman is the right choice. Drew Bledsoe helped make the blue Flying Elvis jerseys famous in the 1990s when he was the Patriots’ franchise quarterback, and like Edelman, he wore No. 11.

Those jerseys helped usher in a new era of Patriots football beginning in 1993. They represented not only a different uniform, but also a new logo. Instead of Pat Patriot, a Flying Elvis design was introduced, one that’s still used today.

The Patriots have worn their current jerseys since 2000, which, ironically, coincided with Tom Brady’s arrival in New England. If the Patriots do unveil new jerseys for the 2020 season, the real question is will Brady be wearing them? The 42-year-old quarterback is able to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career when the market opens next week.

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Zion Williamson leaves jersey swap with JaVale McGee empty-handed

Jersey swaps have become a sign of mutual admiration and respect among athletes.

So what does it mean when an exchange is one-sided?

Zion Williamson and JaVale McGee have left us to ponder that question.

Zion mingles with Lakers postgame

For the second time in a week, Williamson and LeBron James put on a show in what ended up another Los Angeles Lakers win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.

After the final horn, James and Williamson shared a moment that had the basketball world wondering what exactly James had to say to the Pelicans’ rookie phenom.

Zion’s awkward exchange with McGee

But Williamson wasn’t done exchanging pleasantries with opposing players.

He hooked up with Lakers center JaVale McGee before leaving the court.

He gave McGee his game jersey and a hug. Then he walked away. Empty-handed.

No disrespect, right?

Now there’s no outward disrespect happening in this exchange. McGee appeared happy to receive Williamson’s jersey and made no effort to give him his own in return. Williamson, in turn, simply walked to the locker room.

Did McGee reach the likely accurate conclusion that Williamson doesn’t have much use for his jersey? Because, honestly, what would Williamson do with an authentic regular-season game-worn JaVale McGee jersey?

Did he simply not even think to give him his jersey because he’s new at this whole jersey-swapping thing?

Zion Williamson probably didn't want JaVale McGee's jersey anyway.

Who knows? It just adds up to another joke on JaVale, who’s frequent “Shaqtin’ a Fool” appearances on TNT became a source of tension.

The interaction also begs the question: What do players do with all these jerseys anyway? Exchanges among stars after meaningful playoff games or ends of careers are one thing.

Regular-season exchanges involving role players are another. If McGee had given Williamson his jersey, there’s no way it was going to end up hanging on his wall.

After borrowing uniforms, Troy Howard unified basketball raising money to buy their own

Fundraising efforts for uniforms are underway for the Troy Howard Middle School unified basketball team, now in its second year of play, as the start of the season approaches.

During its inaugural season in 2019, the young Lions had to borrow uniforms to play its slate of unified basketball games.

Now, the Lions are seeking to raise $2,500 to purchase uniforms of its own.

The team has 21 players on its roster representing Troy Howard and Northport’s Edna Drinkwater School, with nine of those being partner players.

The school intends on purchasing 22 reversible uniforms for the program that will allow the team to simply turn the uniform inside-out for its home and away contests. These uniforms will remain with the program for future seasons until they need to be replaced.

Additionally, the players will receive warm up jerseys with their names on the back that they will keep at the end of the season — a tradition at Troy Howard for its non-unified basketball teams.

Unified basketball has grown in popularity across the state at the high school level, and is beginning to grow at the middle school level. Locally, there are varsity unified basketball teams at Belfast, Oceanside, Camden Hills, Medomak Valley and Mount View.

The sport partners students with developmental disabilities (Unified Student Athlete) with students without developmental disabilities (Unified Student Partners) to train, compete, and represent their school, a press release about the sport noted in 2015. Unified Sports, the release continued, impacts all kinds of students and helps promote physical activity, teamwork, sportsmanship, and social inclusion.

“Unified basketball is such a wonderful program and has a great impact on all the players and fans,” said Troy Howard assistant principal and athletic director Alta Seekins.

During its inaugural season last year, many partner players were mostly unaware of what they were signing up for when deciding to join the unified basketball team, but they were willing to participate and help out, Seekins noted.

“I’m so pleased that not only did all of the partners still at THMS enthusiastically rejoin this year, but several of the partners that moved on to the high school are playing on the BAHS unified team,” said Seekins. “The relationships built between the players has carried on throughout the year and the special olympians feel more a part of the whole school community and have established positive peer relationships. It’s common to see ‘high fives’ and greetings as students move throughout the school.”

The middle school unified basketball season will include four contests, as well as an exhibition contest.

The season will begin with an exhibition contest against the unified basketball team from Belfast Area High School on Thursday, Feb. 27 at THMS at 3:30 p.m.

The exhibition contest will serve as a fundraiser, with donations being accepted at the door, for the Susan Black Scholarship Fund.

The late Susan Black, a long time Belfast educator and supporter of unified athletics and the Special Olympics, will be honored at the game. All money raised through concessions and donations will go to the fund.

In non-exhibition play, Troy Howard will open the regular season Wednesday, March 11 at home against Ellsworth at 4 p.m. for its lone home game.

The remainder of the season will see the Lions hit the road to challenge Nokomis (March 17), Brewer (March 26) and Ellsworth (April 6).

Michigan State Spartans To Wear 2000 Throwback Unifroms

The Michigan State basketball program will wear throwback uniforms against Maryland on Saturday (6 p.m. on ESPN) to commemorate its most recent national championship.

Aside from the Nike swoosh and the patch in honor of Zachary “Smoothie” Winston — the late brother of guard Cassius Winston — the throwback uniforms are an exact replica of what the Spartans wore during their 89-76 win over Florida in the 2000 NCAA Tournament final.

Originally designed by Reebok, the asymmetrical uniforms feature Michigan State’s arched banner wordmark across the chest and a Greek key pattern for trim. The jersey uses an ornate number font, while the shorts prominently display the Spartan logo on one side and the Block “S” inside a contrasting panel on the other.

Michigan State, interestingly enough, is one of a handful of schools with a national championship to its name that is forced to wear a silver tab on the back collar of its jersey rather than a gold tab. That’s because the latter is only reserved for those schools who won a title while outfitted by Nike, and both of the Spartans’ championships (1979 and 2000) predate that relationship.

The program has six Final Four appearances since then, though, hence the silver tab.

Three 49ers are among the best-selling NFL jerseys of 2019

And you can probably guess which three

The NFL Players Association released an updated list of the top 50 players

Not that they were flying under the radar recently, but the San Francisco 49ers have the whole country’s attention now that they’re in Super Bowl LIV (albeit as underdogs). The Niners have looked dominant all season and are full of stars, too: Four players were voted to the Pro Bowl and another eight were chosen as alternates. The only real way to judge an NFL player’s star quality, however, is by how many fans buy his jersey.

OK, so that’s not true, but it’s a lazy, hot-take way to introduce this fact: Three 49ers stars are among the top 30 NFL players in terms of jersey and merchandise sales, according to the NFL Players Association. If you’re an avid Niners fan, you can probably guess who they are.

15. Jimmy Garoppolo

22. George Kittle

29. Nick Bosa

It’s no surprise that the Niners’ dashing quarterback ranks among the top 20, as dashing quarterbacks tend to be quite popular. Kittle is a two-time Pro Bowlers who wears shirts featuring his shirtless teammate, and Nick Bosa was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. All of this checks out.

If you’ve somehow made it this far into the season without any of their jerseys, your wallet is probably thanking you. But now’s a decent time to pick one up, too, as you’ll get the Super Bowl LIV commemorative patch on jerseys, and you can tell people you were a fan before the 49ers won their sixth Super Bowl (assuming that happens).

The Niners’ opponent in the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs, have only two players among the top 50 in terms of jersey and merch sales. But one of those players is Patrick Mahomes, who ranks No. 1 on that list. Chiefs tight tend Travis Kelce came in at No. 35. Here’s the rest of the top 10, just for kicks:

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Ezekiel Elliott
  4. Baker Mayfield
  5. Odell Beckham, Jr.
  6. Khalil Mack
  7. Aaron Rodgers
  8. Dak Prescott
  9. Saquon Barkley
  10. JuJu Smith-Schuster

Of course, you can already get 49ers NFC Champions gear, too—or you can wait to see if they win the Super Bowl. It’s your money, so you do you.

LeBron James shouts out Klay Thompson for college jersey retirement

It’ll never get old seeing the moments when game recognizes game. Especially when part of that game belongs to LeBron James.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson had an emotional day at his alma mater when his No.1 jersey was retired by Washington State on Saturday.

King James took to social media to give his sign of respect to Klay on the honor.

When one of the best recognizes you, it means something.

Over the years, the two have tipped their caps to one another. LeBron even jokingly (maybe not) tried to recruit Klay after he scored 43 points in a game right before Klay coincidentally would become a free agent.

Klay will be a Warrior for a long time after signing a max-contract with the team, so those hopes are lost, but it’s pretty obvious there are no hard feelings there.

He wasn’t the only one to show love for Klay.

Steph Curry was there acting like a proud papa for his longtime teammate as he watched Klay give his speech. And, of course, no Klay event is complete without some love from former Dub Zaza Pachulia.

Klay had a lot of support on a very important day.

Atlanta Falcons To Unveil New Uniforms In April

After 17 seasons in their current set, the Atlanta Falcons announced on Tuesday night they’ll unveil new uniforms in April.

Team owner and CEO Arthur Blank sent a letter to season ticket holders informing them of the looming changes.

“Time and again, we’ve heard you ask for new uniforms over the years,” Blank said. “We’ve listened to your feedback and worked closely with Nike and the NFL over the past two years to create a look that represents you and reflects Atlanta’s culture, pride and unity.”

The Falcons have worn red or black jerseys since their inception in 1966 with periods that included white, silver and/or black pants pants. The team also wore red helmets through the 1989 season — with thin gold stripes for the first four seasons to appease Georgia Tech fans who thought Atlanta looked too much like rival Georgia — but switched to black lids in 1990.

Atlanta went through a major rebrand ahead of the 2003 season that included a new logo and all-black uniforms with a unique sleeve design and piping down the pants. That look has remained, though the Falcons promoted the red alternate with white pants to the primary set one year later.

The team wore throwback uniforms on several different occasions in the last decade — most recently pairing their 1990s-era helmets with their 1966 throwback jersey and pants — in addition to an all-red Color Rush set in 2017. The clamoring for the throwback uniforms, as well as the recent trend of teams donning simpler uniforms, would suggest the Falcons will follow suit. It remains to be seen if they choose black or red helmets, however.

In addition to the uniforms, it appears Atlanta has slightly modified its wordmark. The header of the letter Blank sent to fans included a wordmark with a bolder and more condensed font than the previous wordmark, while the letter “T” no longer has a serif and — like the “O” — features an indented notch.

With the announcement, the Falcons will join the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams in unveiling new uniforms this spring.