Oct 20, 2023
Broncos 'Gilligan' hat ban, explained: Why Sean Payton outlawed popular bucket hats for preseason
Sean Payton has made it clear he expects a complete culture shift in Denver this season, going so far as to label Nathaniel Hackett's disappointing 2022 season as "one of the worst coaching jobs in
Sean Payton has made it clear he expects a complete culture shift in Denver this season, going so far as to label Nathaniel Hackett's disappointing 2022 season as "one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL."
Without too much roster overhaul from 2022 to 2023, Payton is implementing new rules and boundaries to get the Broncos back on track -- even if that means banning a certain type of hat.
The Broncos are no longer allowed to wear Gilligan hats, also known as bucket hats, which had been a staple of preseason sideline attire. Changes are afoot on and off the field in Denver, but this might be one of the strangest.
MORE: Nathaniel Hackett says Sean Payton violated coaches' 'code' with fiery comments
Here's what you need to know about the Broncos' bucket hat ban this preseason.
Payton's ban on Gilligan hats is part of a set of rules established for the team's first preseason game.
Per Payton's guidelines, uniforms will stay on, sunglasses and bucket hats will stay off, and no in-game interviews will take place.
What head coach Sean Payton doesn't want to see during the #broncos 1st preseason game Friday after starters are pulled:- Uniforms off after you're done playing- No sunglasses- No Gilligan hats (moving forward this is my term for bucket hats)- No interviews during the game
Payton plans to play his starters in the Broncos' preseason debut against the Cardinals, including an appearance by Russell Wilson, which is something Hackett didn't do a year ago despite Wilson's unfamiliarity with the offense. Once the starters are removed, though, it will be all business on the sidelines.
Why bucket hats, in particular? Payton didn't expand on that point, but he listed it while explaining that he doesn't want to see as many mistakes or mental lapses during the preseason. Bucket hats also aren't a common sight during the regular season, so Payton appears to be hoping to make the preseason a run-through of the regular season.
A bucket hat and a T-shirt certainly don't look as professional as a helmet and uniform, but whether it actually affects the mentality of the team is up for interpretation.
MORE: What to know about Broncos' 'snowcapped' alternate helmets
A Gilligan hat, also known as a bucket hat, has a brim that goes around the hat and droops down to protect part of the face from sun. The hat is commonly associated with safaris, or simply with tourists looking to stay cool.
Why is it called a bucket hat? It doesn't shape very well to the head and looks much like an upside down bucket when worn.
Gilligan hat is a less common name, but don't tell that to Payton. That nickname comes from the 1960s sitcom "Gilligan's Island," in which main character Gilligan constantly wore a bucket hat. The hat became synonymous with his character, even in the decades after the show ended.MORE: Nathaniel Hackett says Sean Payton violated coaches' 'code' with fiery commentsMORE: What to know about Broncos' 'snowcapped' alternate helmets