August 9, 2022

Bucs Life

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The Origin of Bucco Bruce

2 min read

In case you’ve ever wondered: How did the Buccaneers ever come up with the original logo for our favorite franchise? Well, the story is a unique one.

In a world where corporate companies and design teams make logos, one man alone designed Bucco Bruce. The only other team that had their logo designed by one person was the New England Patriots. Pat the Patriot, the original logo for the team, was designed by Phil Bissell — a Boston Globe columnist.

via Burchard Galleries

When Hugh Culverhouse took over the franchise, he had to get uniforms and a logo designed for the team. He left that duty to one person, Lamar Sparkman. Lamar was a cartoonist who drew everything sports-related for the Tampa Times and the Tampa Tribune for 40-years. (1947-1987).

via Uni Watch

Sparkman’s first creation was a skull and crossbones similar to the Jolly Roger. But Culverhouse rejected it and told him to try again. Sparkman went back to the drawing board and came up with Bucco Bruce. Bucco Bruce resembles the actor Errol Flynn. Specifically: The Adventures of Robin Hood and Captain Blood.

Special thanks to Steve Lemak for this image!


 Errol Flynn The Last of the Buccaneers (circa 1949)

On June 14th, 1975, Bucco Bruce was born. The color of the Florida Orange is what they wanted to use as a primary color and went with red as the secondary color.

Sports 008
 via Tampa Bay History Center

Sadly, Lamar Sparkman passed away on January 6th, 2010, from pneumonia. However, before he passed away, he got to see them wear Bucco Bruce again in throwback games that we began when we started the Ring of Honor.

He may be long gone from this earth, but his drawings, especially Bucco Bruce, will live on forever. We can always remember him whenever we see Bucco Bruce.

Did you know that the original Buccaneers’ colors were to be orange and Green? It’s True!

Screen-Shot-2018-11-23-at-3.08.48-PM (1)
 via Uni Watch