What is with numbers? What is the block here?
When I go to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame, I see film clips and statues of my favorite heroes and I see each wearing their familiar numbers that are forever embedded in my mind; Namath's number 12, Montana's number 16, Sonny Jurgensen's number 9, and many more. They are all just great memories from different eras.
It's quite simply stated if you retire numbers from the past, eventually you will run out of numbers to issue to your current players.
Sure it would irk me to see a Heath Shuler wearing number 9, tossing the ball to the other team 4 or 5 times a game and see him smiling on the sidelines. The reality is that Heath not Sonny is tossing the picks.
So I have to wonder hypothetically, what if Joe Montana is just coming out of college and the Washington Redskins were lucky enough to draft him. What if Montana wore 9 all through college? It would be a very difficult call to make to tell one of the games most legendary quarterbacks that he couldn't wear his number. Of course, who could know that he would become such a great quarterback?
Once a player is enshrined into Canton, or even a team Hall of Fame, the memory is then forever captured on game film clips, pictures, statues, etc,.
I can't agree with retiring numbers unless it is a very special circumstance. Often players choose a number early in their careers because they idolized a player that sported that number. They spent their early lives mocking that hero and trying their best to be like them. To me it is the ultimate honor to wear a great players number. After all, we can only hope that player will be as great as the original.
What's in a Number?
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