The 2021 Super Bowl uniforms were released on Friday with something a little unusual going on. The Buccaneers, who will be the first team in history to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, are the home team because that designation changes conferences each year (the Chiefs were the “home” team in 2020). They held the choice on which uniforms to wear and chose their road white jerseys (the Chiefs will be in red once again).
Need another step of weirdness? They’re used to it.
The Buccaneers are one of seven teams in the NFL who routinely open the season in their road uniforms, despite playing at home. The Bears, Bengals, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Eagles, Panthers, and Texans either wear, or have worn their road whites at home to start the season in recent years. It’s an odd tradition designed to make a difference on the field.
I don’t know about you, but my mom always used to tell me to wear light colors on hot days. The same applies here too. It might sound like an old wives’ tale, but it’s rooted in science. When white light is applied to dark clothing it reflects back less wavelengths. In the case of black it will reflect nothing, therefore absorbing the light, which in turn creates heat. In turn, a white shirt will reflect almost every wavelength on the spectrum, in turn being cooler.
Walk outside barefoot in the summer. The light-colored sidewalk will be hot, sure ... but if you step on the asphalt of the road it will be demonstrable warmer. The same idea applies here. In the NFL the home team always picks their uniforms. So teams, particularly those in warm climates who play outside, try to gain an edge by wearing their road whites at home in August and September when it’s warmest.
So yes, if you’re keeping track at home this means: The Buccaneers are playing at home in the Super Bowl, but they’re the home team only because it was the NFC’s year. They’re wearing their road uniforms, but it’s okay because they’re used to wearing their road uniforms at home.
Just another example of how weird this Super Bowl is.