The number 37 was painted on the helmet at midfield in honor of Hank Bauer, who is a member of the Chargers' All-Time Team and was the Honorary Captain of the Chargers' Hall of Fame and Alumni Weekend. Was it really for Hank Bauer is the question?
The number 37 also happens to be the number of a current Bolt, Rodney Harrison.
Harrison was suspended for Sunday's game for a perceived helmet-to-helmet hit on Jerry Rice on Oct. 20th. Harrison was also fined $111,764, or one game's pay. Harrison was not even allowed to watch the game from the owner's suite, nor was he allowed in the locker room before or after the game.
Bauer was not mentioned in any honor during the pregame notes and when he was asked before the game about the logo, Bauer made it clear it was not in his honor. The postgame notes did reflect that Bauer was honorary captain of the "Hall of Fame and Alumni Weekend."
The intent was truly clear. The Chargers felt Harrison was wrongly punished for his hit on Jerry Rice. The league does not like to be mocked and may levy a fine against the Chargers.
General manager John Butler did not answer questions regarding the "37" painted at midfield. He simply smiled.
Dean Spanos simply said, "We are honoring Hank Bauer, and I have nothing else to say."
"That number is in honor of Hank Bauer, who is a member of our all-time team and is honorary captain of alumni weekend. Any other reference is purely coincidental," said Bill Johnson, the club's director of public relations.
Coincidence may carry a fine if the league so chooses. There is no written law regarding this matter, but the NFL can choose to fine the Chargers for the slap in the face. The same slap the NFL gave the Chargers when they suspended Harrison in this writer's opinion.
Will the Real No. 37 Please Stand Up
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