“There’s more to me than just this jersey I wear, and that’s Christ living inside of me.” – Stephen Curry
What’s in a number?
Martin Biron wore the very rare uniform #00 for three games when he was called up from juniors to play in 1996. The NHL database could not register the number 00 as a proper number, so it is a banned jersey number in the NHL. The next time he played at the pro level in Rochester and Buffalo he was dolled up in #43.
Restrictions on what numbers certain skill position players may manifest could be changing allowing a lot more freedom. All-Pro receiver, Stephon Diggs, initially toyed with the idea of snagging a single-digit numeral as he did in college. This child-like excitement quickly vanished after some thought.
“I can’t change my number. All the people that spent their hard-earned money supporting the 14 … I gotta keep it.” –Stephon Diggs
Both Steph quotes above are very noble glowing with humility.
In the NFL, there are strict rules regarding what numbers players can wear. Specific numbers are assigned to certain positions. The goal of this strict numbering scheme is to benefit announcers, coaches, and officials who need to keep track of 22 players on the field at all times. These rules were implemented in 1973, with one update in 2004.
“I didn’t want to go to No. 23 because I knew my father wasn’t there to watch me, and I felt it was a new beginning, and 45 was my first number when I played in high school.” – Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan came out of retirement to the Chicago Bulls in 1995 after retiring from his experiment at baseball. He was not wearing his famous number 23 but instead sporting number 45. He wore it for the remainder of the season and early on in the playoffs. After a tough game against the Magic, Nick Anderson made a comment that #45 was not #23, claiming the Jordan last a step during retirement. Jordan came out the next game dominating as he quietly returned to his #23 uniform. He paid the NBA the designated fine going on to wear 23 for the rest of his very successful days on the Bulls.
Although several names are visible on the Wall of Fame, only three jersey numbers are officially retired in Orchard Park: Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, and Thurman Thomas. “GIVEN”
“Wear your Jersey with pride, and know you are playing for something bigger than yourself” – Dr. Julie Amato
Jake from All-State luckily wore khakis and a polo shirt. No jersey number? This way, when they pulled the Darren Stevens, the change from an actual agent to a TV actor did not rock the world.
The third Jake Fromm All-state is the Quarantine Practice quarterback on the Bills. He may have gotten a nice little incentive from the Bills’ new wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders will be sporting his regular number ten which belonged to the Bills’ Insurance Policy quarterback.
“It’s the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back.” –Joe Paterno
What about the integer on the back and front? Does that not matter, Joe?
When the Sabres traded away Evander Kane, that opened up the coveted jersey number nine. Jack Eichel did not hesitate to grab his college number that was now available. He had been wearing number 15, the year he was drafted. Now, he did not do anything unethical or illegal. He does not deserve to be shamed. It is worth mentioning though that he never really focused on all of the fans who paid good money for his number 15 jersey. Now, some fans will go invest in the updated number nine. So Diggs and Eichel certainly showed which one was all about himself while the other showing consideration for the fans.
“I loved my time in Buffalo. Every time I go there, they welcome me with open arms. I was proud to be a Buffalo Bill in 2009, for sure.” – Terrell Owens
The Bills pretty much told young receiver, James Hardy, he would be switching to number 84 when Terrell Owens shocked the world by signing with the Bills. A Trent Edwards quarterbacked Bills’ team. Ouch. Get your popcorn ready?
“This is the most special and unique key to the city ever. Because this city has a special revocation clause. And there are two performance clauses in it: The first is, T.O. has to score 10 touchdowns. The second is, our favorite football team in the city of Buffalo has got to go to the playoffs.” – Mayor Byron Brown
Owens not only got his jersey number 81 without asking, but he also received a key to the city from Buffalo’s mayor. Not too shabby for a one-year contract, free agent signing. I recall seeing Peerless Price jerseys with tape over the name. On the tape with a sharpie was written “Owens,” which always got a little chuckle from me.
This was a big-name signing, as TO had his own reality TV show at the time. No Super Bowl was required to earn the key to the city. Just having a superstar big-name signing here was plenty justifying the Key to the City. T.O. just go catch some deep balls in a Bills uniform, take a few in the end zone, and that key to the city is justified. That is how bad the Bills were throughout the endless playoff drought. A one-year signing of T.O. was plenty of activity to sell tickets and jerseys. An actual move that improved the team was not always required as they were marketed well, keeping them profitable.
“Thank you Lord its official I will be back in my #28 jersey for rest of my career.” – C.J. Spiller
C.J. Spiller and Leodis McKelvin traded uniform numbers. Spiller was happily sporting No. 28, while McKelvin will switch to No. 21. So you now had two big-name first-round draft pick players sporting new numbers. This certainly upset some fans who invested in the numbers both players initially wore. Hopefully, Mckelvin’s house was not vandalized as it was when he fumbled a kickoff in the closing seconds costing Buffalo a win over New England.
“Oh, he’s a great player. I’m not going to take his number. You know what number I’m thinking of? I’m thinking of taking maybe No. 7. Is that available?'” – Tom Brady
Pro Bowl wide receiver, Chris Godwin, kindly allowed Tom Brady to wear 12, as he opted to wear 14 when G.O.A.T. joined Tampa Bay.
“I wear the number 10 Jersey for the US National Team in honor of the Greatest athlete I have ever seen: Messi.” – Kobe Bryant
The late Bryant was referencing the international soccer superstar. To think I thought he was using shorthand describing Mark Messier. Silly Me.
What’s in a number any ways? I digress…
Things we know about the Buffalo Bills this week:
Todd McShay went through and listed out the top draft needs for the Bills knowing they are very close to being a Super Bowl team. He noted that the Bills will be looking to use the draft to find the final pieces to complete the roster. Needs would be Edge, RB, OT, CB, DT, TE, and LB.
Jenny Vrentas of Sports illustrated has the Bills staying with their first pick selecting edge rusher Joe Tryon out of Washington.
ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques predicts the Bills having another double-digit win season.
During free agency, Brandon Beane was able to bring back many of the core members of this Bills roster that were scheduled to hit the open market. Beane anticipates being able to draft the best available players as opposed to drafting positions of need where overpaying is standard.