Denoting "Legends"

Submitted by Ace on May 24th, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Carlos Osorio/AP

Last fall, Michigan introduced the "Michigan Football Legends" as an alternative to retiring uniform numbers, honoring Desmond Howard before the Under The Lights game with a patch that now adorns the #21 jersey. As one of three Heisman Trophy winners to don the Maize and Blue, Howard was more than deserving of such an honor, and I'd wager that one Charles Woodson is due for a patch of his own in the near future.

I'm a fan of this, and hope that the families of players whose jerseys are currently retired—the Wistert brothers (#11), Bennie Oosterbaan (#47), Gerald Ford (#48), Ron Kramer (#87), and Tom Harmon (#98)—eventually decide it's better to see those jerseys once again placed in the rotation, their accomplishments recognized in a way the fans actually see every week during the fall*. If that happens, however, we'll quickly face the issue of diluting the honor; if all the retired jerseys become "Legends" and you add Woodson to the mix, all of a sudden you have seven jerseys with patches before getting to guys like Anthony Carter, Bennie Friedman, and (eventually) Jake Long.

Where do you draw the line? On one hand, there are a multitude of players who could merit such an honor; it isn't difficult to make the case for such players as Dan Dierdorf, Mark Messner, Braylon Edwards, Mike Hart, Willie Heston (though he didn't wear a jersey number, making it rather implausible that he'll be celebrated in this fashion), Bob Chappuis... the list goes on. On the other hand, the awarding of a Legend jersey loses some of its luster if half of the starting 22 is rocking a patch every year. The way I see it, there are two ways to handle this issue.

The first is simple and obvious: only give out Legend status to a very select few. Edwards and Hart, for example, were remarkable to watch on the field, made their mark on the record books, were wildly popular amongst fans, and in Braylon's case had an indelible signature moment ('04 MSU). Still, I don't think either merits inclusion among the pantheon of Michigan legends, even if the focus is solely on on-field accomplishments; this would be an honor reserved for truly once-in-a-generation athletes. Edwards is probably closer than Hart in this regard, but the shadow of three-time All-American Anthony Carter looms large. If we're going by this method, I'd give out Legend jerseys for the retired numbers, Howard, Woodson, AC, Chappuis, and Friedman. That's it, at least for now.

The second option, which I find preferable, is to be a little more generous with the Legend distinction, but be relatively selective when it comes to handing out those jerseys. While I realize this brings about the same problem as retired uniforms—if nobody merits a Legend jersey, you start running out of numbers in a hurry—there's also an easy solution for that: keep using the honored numbers, but only affix the Legend patch for a player who plays the same position as the legendary player in question. Raymon Taylor wore #21 last year even after the Notre Dame game, but the defensive back's jersey was patchless. With Roy Roundtree wearing Howard's number this year, however, Taylor switched over to #6 in the spring. [EDIT: Taylor actually switched before the SDSU game last year, but the point remains—this can be done.]

Using this method, you have a real drawing point for players from each position group—we saw this week with Leon McQuay III how much of a recruiting pitch these jerseys can potentially be—and also get the chance to recognize even more of Michigan's rich football history. It isn't hard to find a player worth remembering at each position group:

QB: Bennie Friedman (#27)
RB: Tom Harmon (#98), Bob Chappuis (#49)
WR: Desmond Howard (#21), Anthony Carter (#1)
TE: Bennie Oosterbaan (#47)
OT: Dan Dierdorf (#72) or Jake Long (#77) (I'd probably lean towards Long)
OG: Steve Hutchinson (#76)
C: Gerald Ford (#48) (Not sure if coaches would want a lineman wearing a number that low, but I'd love to see it)
DT: The Wistert brothers (#11)
DE: Ron Kramer (#87) (Fudged a little, but Kramer played just about everything)
LB: Ron Simpkins (#40)
DB: Charles Woodson (#2)

Again, not all of these would be given out every year, especially since you might be hard-pressed to find a quarterback who wants to wear #27 or a running back ready to rock a number most commonly found on the defensive line. I really enjoy seeing college players wear numbers that don't traditionally fit their position, however, so I'd love to see some of these, especially a star defensive tackle wearing #11.

Honoring Carter could also help Michigan finally free the #1 jersey from the grasp of Edwards. I realize Edwards funds a scholarship, which makes this a tricky situtation, but I'd hope he would understand the historical impact of Carter and his status as the patriarch of the #1 jersey tradition for Michigan receivers. Or, now that I'm done laughing, Michigan just does it anyway because it's the right thing to do.

This may be spreading the Legend concept a little thin this early in its existence—what happens, say, when we're far enough past the careers of Denard, Woodley, and the next generation of Wolverines?—but it does a great job of acknowledging players of every era, a point I find important for such a historically-driven endeavor. Now, has anybody asked Denard how he feels about wearing #27?

*I doubt your average Michigan fan knows about the Wisterts, which is criminal when you realize that three brothers all were All-American tackles at the same school. That's just ridiculous, and we should be reminded of this fact every time a Wolverine trots out onto the field wearing #11.



May 24th, 2012 at 12:27 PM ^

If this a replacement for retiring jerseys I don't see why you would go and give a legends patch to a player if you didn't want to retire their jersey. Desmond probably deserved to have his jersey retired and Woodson probably deserved to have his jersey retired the second he decided to declare for the draft. Hart, Woodley, Braylon, good to great players, but if they didn't get their jerseys retired I don't think anyone complains. Anthony Carter I think is right on the brink of needing his jersey retired, and that will truly make the #1 jersey special again. Besides 1 and 2 I say go back and add a patch for the numbers already retired and then make getting a patch as hard or harder as it is to get a number retired anywhere else.


May 24th, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

I'm a little curious why an outstanding player would want to wear a number already dedicated to a previous legend. For instance, Ace, you wondered at the end of your article how Denard would feel about wearing 27, but by keeping the 16, who knows? Maybe his number might one day be honored as a "Michigan Football Legend" and wouldn't that be preferable? 

Don't players want to make their own mark on the program, rather than exist in the shadow of their predecessors? 


May 24th, 2012 at 12:43 PM ^

Denard was probably a bad example, since he's very much established himself as a player who's made his mark on the program and a specific uniform number—that was half in jest since people were suggesting he switch to the #1 jersey before this season. That's really a tough question to answer, and I think it comes down to the individual player; a guy like Taylor Lewan wanted to follow in the footsteps of Jake Long, and it just so happens he's also an All-American caliber tackle. For other players, presumably like Denard, making their own mark is a big deal.

I actually think this will help keep the Legends jerseys from being overused. Your top receiver may be a guy like Roundtree, who decides to honor Howard in his senior season, or it could be a guy like Manningham who makes #86 his own. Both are great, and while we make a big deal about the number, it's really the player himself that makes the real mark—we'd remember Denard even if he suited up wearing #65 next season.

Space Coyote

May 24th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

Do a patch for the current retired numbers and nation player of the years (be that Heisman, Maxwell, Walter Camp, Bednarik) and leave it at that and then probably the #1 jersey because of what it stands for.  This probably completely leaves out O-linemen, but it's just an example method.  If you want I guess you could add a lineman of the year winner too.  

Hart and Edwards and Long were all great, great players for Michigan, but then you start getting nit-picky through the years.  Before Hart it was the A-Train, before him Wheatley.  The point being that each generation has "their guys", and when you start looking at it like that, the numbers add up.  Keep it pretty exclusive IMO.


May 24th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

I love Anthony Carter, but I think giving Desmond the Legends patch at #21 and calling it a day is just fine until another Heisman-winning WR shows up.

Heisman winners or currently retired jerseys, and then wait for the next guy.


May 24th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

The problem these patches will eventually create as opposed to retiring jerseys will be that all of our best players will be wearing "patched" numbers. What happens when a new once-in-a-generation player comes up? What if Calvin Johnson and Jerry Rice's love child comes to UofM and wears #1? Does the patch change player designations, gain multiple designations or is it just first-come-first-served?


May 24th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

I've got a #11 helmet on my desk, I'd love to see that number on a scratched up helmet on one Pee Wee Pipkins. Would have rocked if Martin could have donned it.

The solution to too many legends is easy. As you said, each position group gets a "hallowed" number that can be awarded to the top guy in at that position (if he's worthy). Then erect a monument outside the stadium on which you engrave the list of the guys who are granted legend status. Sort of like the Stanley Cup. That way you can honor both Carter and Edwards with the #1 legend. You can also incent the legends jersey even more by doing this. As it is, if you get the #21, great, but you'll never have YOUR number enshrined, since you're wearing someone elses jersey. Associating multiple names with the same legend jersey makes it so the ONLY way you get enshrined is by first earning the legends number, then if you rise even farther, you get your name etched into stone. 

I'd leave Ford's jersey retired permanently. If the only way you get a jersey retired is to be an all american and a president, I don't think we're going to run out of numbers too quickly.


May 24th, 2012 at 12:40 PM ^

of figuring out who gets "Legend" status and who doesn't seems like a good problem to have. I would rather argue about this year after year than anything else. Here's to this problem never going away!!


May 24th, 2012 at 12:51 PM ^

While I generally support the approach towards numbers, I take issue with a couple of the arguments above.

A lot of recruits act very impressed after a visit.  What they SAY doesn't always mean much.  I'd like to see an actual commit make a big deal about a number before we draw conclusions about it's potential impact.  DB recruits have gotten excited about Woodson well before there was any talk of formally honoring #2 with a patch.

I don't think it's 'the right thing to do' at all, to pull the #1 jersey away from any association with Braylon.  A minority of fans who actually care and follow stuff like this don't like the guy's personality - that doesn't change what he accomplished at Michigan and the generosity he has shown on several fronts.  In Braylon's eyes (and mine) the #1 already honors Carter, who was the original.  It's okay for it to honor the other #1s that followed him AND coach Carr's interpretation/deployment of it as an 'honor' that needed to be earned. 


May 24th, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

  • Keep retiring numbers of legendary players (Woodson, Howard,  yes - AC & Long, and soon, Denard)
  • Use symbols in combination with numbers:  sigma, delta, hashtag, wingdings

Hoke:  "Come to Michigan and be the first to rock six sigma!"




/ S


May 24th, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

You should have to be a two time all american or heisman winner at least to get a patch to honor you.  What if the new kid wearing the jersey with a patch turns out to be the greatest player in the history of Michigan football?  Do you put his name on the patch instead?  Due away with the patches and retired numbers.  What the hell is the hall of fame for?


May 24th, 2012 at 1:06 PM ^

It should be as rare as retiring a jersey was. This just allows it to be kept in use, rather than running out of numbers, or losing some cool ones.  So after Charles, that should be it. You don't have to win a Heisman to have your number retired...but your accomplishments should be pretty comparable to a Heisman winner. The only other one I can think of is AC, and he's defacto honored by the method they chose, which is basically treating all special numbers like the #1. If they want to throw a patch on there too, fine. 

But I don't see any of the guys you listed as "Legends" guys. Hart, Henne, Long, Woodley, Edwards,'s not just stats, or draft status (I mean, let's retire Tom Brady!). It's being a leader on and off the field for teams that win championships by making amazing plays and accomplishments. Desmond and Charles were on championship teams and didn't lose to Ohio State.  These guys come along once every player generation...there aren't multiple ones on the same team.

And if you're not alive, it might be nice for the family, but it rings hollow if you couldn't honor them when they were alive. I mean we really used to retire jerseys, and they were passed up. No need to start throwing out numbers just to add patches.  

And you don't want to restrict the wearing of them because the whole point is to be able to keep using them and have players and recruits want to wear them. If you're going to not hand them out, just retire them.

If Denard wins the Heisman or leads us to an undefeated season, fine. Otherwise leave it alone and make it special.

Edward Khil

May 24th, 2012 at 1:05 PM ^

  • The jerseys numbers with patches associated won't become diluted if they are designated at a rate of, at most, three each year. I assume Woodson's #2 will be "patched" this fall, because it's obvious (and it will incentivize McQuay). But only roll out 1 or 2 more in 2012.
  • Perhaps the AC/Braylon #1 jersey can remain "unpatched" for the foreseeable future, since Desmond's #21 represents the receivers. No need to upset Edwards and his scholly money. But you could certainly fit more than one name on a patch.
  • The rulebook may pose a problem with some of these numbers. From wikipedia:
  • "The only rule is that members of the offensive line (centers, guards, and tackles) that play in ineligible positions (those that may not receive forward passes) must wear numbers between 50–79."


May 24th, 2012 at 1:15 PM ^

I think the danger of retiring (or "honoring") numbers is that it can be done too soon--before anybody has a true perspective on a player's legacy.  I propose that we should wait 20 years before anybody's number is retired or honored; that is long enough to give people time to develop some perspective on just how important a player was to our program, but still a short enough time that we are not just honoring people who aren't really well known to the current fan base.   Even 15 years might be okay; I'm thinking that right around when the player turns 40 is when we should decide whether or not he deserves the honor.

The timing with Desmond was perfect; a few more years and we will honor Woodson as well.


May 24th, 2012 at 1:18 PM ^ consider if you turn this comment of yours on its head:

...the awarding of a Legend jersey loses some of its luster if half of the starting 22 is rocking a patch every year.

The fact is that Michigan's is the most historic program in college football. It therefore stands to reason that Michigan should have a substantial number of players who have made their mark on Michigan football and in many cases on college football in general.

So option three is to recognize that we have dozens of legends and embrace it. Stop trying to pretend that because Michigan football has an embarrassment of riches that it should downplay this fact. In contrast to your statement I quoted, I think that it would be pretty freaking cool to see an offense or defense with multiple Legends jerseys running around on national TV.

Finally, the way you solve the #1 conundrum is that instead of simply honoring AC, you honor AC and Braylon on the patch. Essentially if a player wears a Legends jersey and he himself becomes a Legend, his name should be added to the patch. So after #77 is made a Legacy jersey and the next #1 overall pick of the draft dons it, his name would be added to Jake Long's. If Roy Roundtree somehow turns his senior season into a Heisman Trophy season, he has his name added to the patch. Now, both of those things are really unlikely to happen, but no more unlikely to happen than if that future #1 overall pick OT was wearing #71 or Roundtree was still wearing #12 when he won his presumptive Heisman Trophy.

Essentially we want players to revere the tradition of Michigan football from its inception to its today and embrace the players who came before them. We also want to show everyone who tunes into a Michigan game or watches a game highlight or a feature on a Michigan player or comes on a recruiting visit to be constantly reminded of what makes Michigan football special.


May 24th, 2012 at 2:28 PM ^

The more I thought about this topic, the more I started leaning in this direction—the initial title of this post when I started drafting it yesterday was called "Legends And The Dilution Of Greatness", which obviously leaned in a different direction. At first I though we should just limit things to the retired jerseys and Heisman winners, but when I thought about my logic behind it, I didn't have much of an argument beyond "these things should be exclusive", and I wasn't even sure why that was really the case. Plus, with players deciding to wear their high school number, honor a family member or idol, whatever, I don't think you're going to run into the issue of having too many players wearing Legend uniforms.

Besides, the initial wave of Legends will naturally be larger than the number of players honored when the tradition takes hold; right now we're catching up on over a century of extremely successful football. I'd expect the pace will slow down no matter how generously they decide to hand out Legend status.


May 24th, 2012 at 3:54 PM ^

...Michigan has a Hall of Honor... recognize individuals who have made significant contributions as athletes, coaches and administrators to the tradition of Wolverine athletics and, in doing so, have enhanced the image and reputation of the University of Michigan. The Letterwinners M Club Executive Board accepts nominations and presides over the selection of inductees.

Those inducted into the Hall of Honor have earned All-America recognition in a team or individual sport or, as individuals have established an NCAA, American or World record; won an NCAA title, or made significant contributions to the Michigan Athletic Department as a coach or administrator.

There are currently 61 Michigan Hall of Honor inductees who played football. Presumably, some of these student-athletes who were multi-sport stars made their mark primarily in another sport. That said, that's a ton of people who have already been deemed worthy of special recognition by the University. Each student-athlete with a retired or Legends jersey is in the Hall of Honor.

The extensive list:




Year Inducted

Gerald Ford *

Football (1931-34)


Tom Harmon *

Football (1937-40), Basketball (1939)


Bennie Oosterbaan *

Football (1924-27), Basketball (1925-28), Baseball (1925-28),Assistant Football Coach (1928-47), Football Coach (1948-58),Basketball Coach (1938-46)


Willie Heston

Football (1901-04)


Ron Kramer *

Football (1953-56), Basketball (1954-57), Track (1954-57)


Adolph Schulz

Football (1904-05, 1907-08)


Benny Friedman

Football (1923-26), Baseball (1924-27)


Paul Goebel

Football (1919-22)


Harry Kipke

Football (1920-23), Basketball (1922-24), Baseball (1922-24),Asst. Football Coach (1925-27), Football Coach (1929-37)


Willis Ward

Track (1932-35), Football (1931-34)


Wally Weber

Football (1924-26), Assistant Football Coach (1931-58),Wrestling Coach (1945)


Albert Wistert *

Football (1938-42), Wrestling (1942)


Alvin Wistert *

Football (1947-49)


Francis Wistert *

Football (1930-33), Baseball (1931-34)


Robert J. Brown

Football (1922-25)


Julius Franks, Jr.

Football (1941-42)


Henry "Ernie" Vick

Football (1918-21), Baseball (1921-22)


Robert Westfall

Football (1938-41)


Maynard Morrison

Football (1928-31)


Bob Chappuis

Football (1942, 1946-47), Baseball (1946, 1948)


Elroy Hirsch

Football (1943), Basketball (1944), Baseball (1944), Track (1944)


Don Lund

Football (1941-44), Baseball (1942-45), Basketball (1942-45),Baseball Coach (1959-62)


Bill Orwig

Football (1928), Basketball (1927-30), Football Coach (1948-53)


Doug Roby

Football (1920-22), Baseball (1921-22)


Dave Porter

Football (1964-67), Wrestling (1965-68)


Roger Zatkoff

Football (1949-52)


Chalmers "Bump" Elliott

Football (1946-47), Basketball (1947-48), Baseball (1947-48),Football Coach (1959-68)


Pete Elliott

Football (1945-48), Basketball (1946-49), Golf (1946-49)


Dave Nelson

Football (1938-41), Baseball (1939-42)


Jack Blott

Football (1922-23), Baseball (1921-24), Football Coach (1926-33, 1946-58)


Gene Derricotte

Football (1944, 1946-48)


Ralph Heikkinen

Football (1935-38)


Ed Frutig

Football (1937-40)


Merv Pregulman

Football (1940-43)


John Greene

Wrestling (1941-44), Football (1940-43)


Ron Johnson

Football (1966-69)


Frank Nunley

Football (1963-66), Baseball (1965)


Lowell Perry

Football (1949-52)


Richard Volk

Football (1963-66)


Forest Evashevski

Football (1936-40), Baseball (1938-40)


Neil Snow

Football, Baseball, Track (1898-1902)


Jack Clancy

Football (1964-66)


Bruce Hilkene

Football (1943-44, 1946-47)


Dick Kempthorn

Football (1946-49), Basketball (1948)


Jack Weisenberger

Football (1944-47), Baseball (1945-48)


Terry Barr

Football (1953-56)


Tom Maentz

Football (1953-56)


Jim Mandich

Football (1966-69)


Dan Dierdorf

Football (1967-70), Track (1968)


Len Ford

Football (1945-47)


Anthony Carter

Football (1979-82)


Bennie McRae

Football (1958-61), Track (1959-62)


Chuck Ortmann

Football (1947-50)


Reggie McKenzie

Football (1968-71)


Allen Wahl

Football (1945, 1948-50)


Don Dufek, Sr.

Football (1948-50)


Tom Mack

Football (1964-65)


J. Daniel Cline

Football (1952-54), Baseball (1952-55)


Tom Curtis

Football (1967-69)


Bill Hewitt

Football (1929-32)


Desmond Howard #

Football (1989-92)


Rick Leach

Football (1975-78), Baseball (1976-79)


Dave Brown

Football (1971-74)


* Retired Jersey   # Legends Jersey

The Hall of Honor should not be forgotten amongst all of this Legends jersey discussion. It's a legitimate way to review Michigan greats who have been forgotten to current fans. If there's one player on this list who hasn't been honored with a retired jersey or Legends jersey who probably ought to, it's Benny Friedman, member of both the College Football and Professional Football Halls of Fame.


May 24th, 2012 at 1:25 PM ^

Idea that isn't very well thought out:

Give permanent patches to #21, #1 and #2 and select players to wear those by whatever the current process is. In addition each season allow X number of players (more than 1 but less than 4) as chosen by the coaches and senior leadership to pick a number and a corresponding patch for their use for that season.

For example: Going into 2012 the senior leadership picks Fitz to have a patch for this season and his favorite player was Mike Hart. Fitz could switch his jersey to #20 with a Mike Hart patch for that season.

Then the next season you start the process over again and maybe Fitz gets picked again and continues honoring Mike Hart or maybe he doesn't get picked and the Mike Hart patch goes away until someone picks it down the road.

The only issue I would see with this is that most of the people being honored would have likely played within the lifetime of that player making it harder to honor guys who played 30 to 100 years ago.

Typed out it sounds kind of dumb but I think rotating patches each season allows the program to limit the number of players wearing patches in any given season to a reasonable amount and you give more current and former players a chance to be part of a fun little tradition.



May 24th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

Two thoughts:

  1. I like the idea of honoring the number as much as the people who wore it.  Everyone talks about AC and Braylon with #1, but Derrick Alexander, David Terrell, and Greg McMurtry had pretty damn good careers wearing it.  Likewise, Jake Long was an excellent #77 but before him there was Jon Jansen who had an equally impressive career in the same jersey.  Pick the number you're going to celebrate and go back in history to see who is deserving of being including in the "Legend" of that jersey.  For #1 there will be multiple guys and you talk to Braylon about combining his scholarship with the Legend patch. 
  2. Make it mandatory that no underclassmen can wear the number.  You have to at least be a junior.  Then you'll have guys like Denard that come in at a different number and when they become a Junior or Senior you approach them about wearing the legend patch for their position or if they'd rather stay.  If they want to stay with their original number, that's fine and perhaps creates a new legend a few years into the future.  This will also avoid the Tyrone Butterfield travesty with the #1 jersey in the 1990's or the JT Floyd blow up with Rodriguez. 

Now you can recruit kids with the promise of the jersey of their position, celebrate any legend who wore that jersey with some sort of monument, avoid premature awarding of the jersey, and still keep the door open to new jersey legends in the future. 


French West Indian

May 24th, 2012 at 1:45 PM ^

I really don't like the honoring numbers business whether it's retirement or a patch.  Football is a team game and nobody should be singled out for any special honor with respect to uniforms.  There called uniforms for a reason.

A place like Michigan is loaded with history at every position and number so literally everyone on the team should feel the same pride and respect when getting dressed.

Maybe athletes with truly exceptional stories could have a retired number...but it should be based more on their legacy beyond the playing field.  A president like Gerald Ford is a pretty big deal.  I could also see it for a humanitarian like Raoul Wallenberg (if he had been on the football team) or a pioneer like Jackie Robinson (if he had gone to Michigan).  The point is that the honor should speak to more than just football accomplishment and be congruent with the values of the university beyond just those of fans and athletes.  Legends, in other words.



May 24th, 2012 at 1:55 PM ^

that they will give out dierdorf soon, since he is still alive, is in the nfl hall of fame, has a high profile and is a link to bo's glory days. i think that having a living honorary is key so that they can be applauded by 100,000+ and my eyes can both get something in them at the same time.


May 24th, 2012 at 5:47 PM ^

At the event I wrote about last week, woodson mentioned he had recently found out how much work he still had to do for his degree. It's possible the athletic department and he got together to discuss this, especially when in one of his previous answers he said something like "I'm not supposed to be talking about that" when asked about being a Legend. This may all be linked.


May 24th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

1. I said I fudged that a bit, since I needed a DE and already had a TE.

2. From the Bentley:

As a Wolverine, Kramer was an excellent two way player on the gridiron, occupying at some point the positions of offensive and defensive end, running back, quarterback, kicker, and receiver, often all in the same game. Despite these talents, coach Bennie Oosterbaan described his blocking and tackling ability as the most valuable asset to the Michigan squad.


I am Michigan

May 24th, 2012 at 3:25 PM ^

The second option is most appealing. Only one Legends jersey should be announced each time there's a night game at the Big House. If the rate of Big House night games continues at about 1 every other year, then it'll take a decade to award 5 jerseys, making it quite an honor to be named a Legend. That would also make it a very special occasion whenever a new Legend is named.


May 24th, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

Is it possible to create the lockers and award certain players the locker and the distinction, but only actually wear the patch & jersey on the designated "Legends" game? Perhaps it becomes a homecoming tradition? Could Denard wear an "empatched" #27 for just one game next year? Yet be given the combination to the Friedman Legend Locker for the whole year?


May 24th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

I think it should be severely limited. It shouldn't be a slight to not get a "legend' denomination. Instead, getting it should be considered a special honor. Harmon, Woodson, Howard. If it takes glory away from offensive linemen, they should be used to it.



May 24th, 2012 at 5:11 PM ^

Brought this very point up on another site the day after the ND game last year. No more than 2 a year can be issued or it becomes a joke. However, where is the line drawn for how many numbers/players get this honor? If you have 15 patches/jerseys than thats 13-14 numbers a year you have to avoid. Not impossible but odd if a kid really wants a number and cannot have it because we used to have a player in 1917 who we consider a legend and "we're not giving out that number this year". It becomes a joke based on a good idea. Fine line, indeed.