September 22, 2021

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 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.

image: Burchard Galleries

When Hugh Culverhouse took over as the owner of 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).

Image: 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.

Special thanks to Steve Lemak for this image!

So Sparkman went back to the drawing board and came up with Bucco Bruce. Bucco Bruce resembles the actor Errol Flynn, in the 1938 film, The Adventures of Robin Hood and the movie Captain Blood (1938)


Errol Flynn The Last of the Buccaneers (circa 1949)
Errol Flynn in Captain Blood 1935

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
Image: Tampa Bay History Center

Sadly Lamar Sparkman died on January 6th, 2010 from pneumonia, one great thing though before he died, he got to see them wear Bucco Bruce again in throwback games that we started doing when we started doing the ring of honor.

Lamar Sparkman has long been gone from this earth, but his drawings and especially Bucco Bruce will live on and we will be always reminded of him.

NOTE:  Did you know that the original Buccaneers colors were to be orange and Green?

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Image: Uni Watch