Section 1

August 27th, 2013 at 11:41 AM ^

I hate this all the more, the more this goes on.  I never liked it from the beginning.  Just a long series of endless press releases, and confusion in the minds of fans.  Isn't this really the end of Michigan football players creating any new jersey-number legends?


August 27th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

maybe #10 was going to be the next legendary number at Michigan.  Yeah, I have to say, this cannot continue to go on.  It was interesting for one year but know, I mean, is Kovac the now the #11 legend?  You see the problem?  This is really not going to work out.

turd ferguson

August 27th, 2013 at 12:08 PM ^

What I think they should do is make the patches permanent fixtures on their given number. For example, #21 will forever have Howard's name on it as a way to honor him but keep the number in circulation. After that, just do the numbers as they've always been done. If a freshman (or any other) reserve wants to wear #21 and no one else has it, that's fine with me. Just don't ask guys to switch numbers or make such a big deal of these things.


August 27th, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^

I agree. I would really like someone to ask Hoke in a press conference about these points, and if they have given any thought to the fact that it adds an element of individualism to the game (seems to go against The Team The Team The Team).


Also I'm curious if this was actually Hoke's idea or if it was completely David Brandon. Smells a lot more Brandon to me.

Ali G Bomaye

August 27th, 2013 at 12:40 PM ^

I don't really like the legends program because of all the mid-career number switches, but I don't think they're going to force anyone to take a legends jersey.  In fact, I think they're consciously avoiding giving a legends jersey to anyone who could create one of their own. 

Kovacs, Gallon, and Avery are great players, but certainly aren't deserving of their own legends jersey, and Funchess would deserve his own only if he develops into the greatest TE in school history.  Meanwhile, Denard set all kinds of records and was a great leader, and he never switched to a legends number.  I think the legends jerseys are mostly a way to honor team leaders who wouldn't otherwise get as much attention.

1 percent

August 27th, 2013 at 1:09 PM ^

Im fairly certain if a recruit or player said coach I don't want to wear 21 or ehatever legend # he wouldn't have to.

Probably went like this.

'Jeremy, you have been great here at Michigan and we know you are going to have a great year. You deserve the opportunity to wear 21 if you want too.'

'Coach, ok.'

That said I still don't really like it. Would like them to keep whatever number they are and maybe still throw on a patch of legend player.

Bando Calrissian

August 27th, 2013 at 12:08 PM ^

I'm completely in agreement with this. The jerseys should have remained retired, with a Michigan Basketball-style "jersey honoring" program. Instead, we have this.

Plus, the patch remains a completely hideous piece of design work. And, really, the Block M on the back looks like something off of a Meijer rip-off replica jersey.

Billy Ray Valentine

August 27th, 2013 at 12:28 PM ^

I love the Legends jerseys.  I know more about the Wistert brothers and Ron Kramer than I would have otherwise.  The families gave Michigan permission to use the numbers, and I can't help but speculating that they realized the previous system didn't nurture any type of embracing of the past.  


Confusing?  It'll be confusing against CMU when Gallon wears #21, but after that, I think I can handle it.  For die-hards like myself, I think I mentally process a number change.  All of this railing against the Legends numbers seems like complaining for the sake of complaining.  So there's more press releases .... thank frickin' god there's actually press releases about Legends numbers instead of yet another endless debate about whether Shane Morris should play in garbage time.


"Isn't this really the end of Michigan football players creating any new jersey-number legends?"


What?!?  Why can't Michigan elect to make #16 a Legends jersey?  Are you suggesting that Gallon or Avery were on their way to a Legends jersey?  C'mon, now.  This point is pure fear-mongering.  


Just one man's opinion, but I can't wait to see Gallon making a diving catch on 4th and 1 wearing the #21 ... something like that will make my year.  /Rant over



August 27th, 2013 at 12:43 PM ^

you have guessed that Charles Woodson was going to win the Heisman at the beginning of the 1997 season?  How can you say for certain that Gallon was not on his way to a legends season?  And don't you think he would liked the opportunity to try?  In your enire self-titled "rant" you have left one thing completely ouf of the equation.  Do you think that maybe Gallon may have liked the #10?  Do you think he may have wanted to stick with the number he picked?  Do you thik that maybe he wanted to do something this season that would have stirred the memories of Jeremy Gallon and not "the guy who wore Desmond Howard's jersey?" I mean you have to see the other side to this, right?


August 27th, 2013 at 12:47 PM ^

First, do you know that the players don't get the option to keep their number?  Because my assumption would be that they do.  And that the vast majority would be happy to accept this new number, but maybe someone wouldn't, and I'll bet they won't make that public.

Next, Charles Woodson isn't just a legend because he won the Heisman.  Maybe you weren't watching Michigan football at the time, but Woodson made an immediate impact as a freshman, was known for making big plays in the most important games, and won virtually every award possible in years leading up to the Heisman season.  It's not like 1997 came out of nowhere.


August 27th, 2013 at 1:29 PM ^

but yes I was watching Michigan football at the time, yes, he was a hell of a player in 95 and 96, and YES, 1997 came completely out of nowhere.  If you knew Charles Woodson was going to be that good than that makes one of us, us being the collective Michigan fanbase.


August 27th, 2013 at 12:59 PM ^

was just a guy who wore Desmond's number when he won the Sugar Bowl MVP? And I am pretty sure NW will always remember that time "the guy who wore Desmond's number" in 2012 who made that crazy, bobbling catch.

Oh and our MIKE LB is a future president, and our SAM is actually a WR. And Kovacs was a offensive lineman.

And Funchess is a tight en.......oh yeah. 

Billy Ray Valentine

August 27th, 2013 at 1:08 PM ^

but, if Gallon (or any player who wears a Legends jersey) is forced, against their will, to wear a Legends jersey, then I would feel completely different.  I left this point out of my post because it's a purely speculative consideration that doesn't jive with any morsel of common sense.


I love Gallon.  I think he's underrated by most national pundits, and I like it that way.  I seriously think he's going to blow up this year.  He may, indeed, be on his way to a legends "season."  But to argue he was on his way to earning his own Legends number or patch is not a legitimate argument, IMHO.   He'll need a monster year statistically to enter the Top 10 of most Michigan WR career stats.  He's not a Top 3 all-time Michigan career WR.     


August 27th, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^

Does anybody else find this annoying, or even understand how this works?  I understand its a great honor, but ... enough.  It was a cool way to unretire numbers year one, but every year?  Does every legend number, have to be used every year?  

Wolverines Dominate

August 27th, 2013 at 11:30 AM ^

I agree with budz. This should not happen every year. While I think Gallon deserves it, I'm not too sure about Devin and Courtney. Don't get me wrong, as I believe Courtney and especially Devin are good players, but I don't think they should get legends jerseys. Devin was great last year and I think he will be a force throughout his entire M career, so they should have waited another year or two to give him a legends jersey. Whatever though...just win. They could trot out there with hot pink jerseys with awful helmet stickers so long as they win.


August 27th, 2013 at 11:41 AM ^

I'd say the opposite. I'd rather they go to promising young guys as incentive to "live up to the number". Maybe give open numbers as an end of season "rookie/underclassman of the year" award voted by the outgoing seniors. Gallon has already established himself an identity as #10. Changing a senior's number for his last year on campus is just confusing.


August 27th, 2013 at 1:45 PM ^

One nice thing about having your own number for 4 or 5 years means that no one else in that era (on your side of the ball) wore that jersey. Having a new guy wear 21 every year makes it hard to identify who that player was later on, and also feels like it somewhat downplays the significance. I'd rather new guys get the numbers as freshmen and get to play up to their potential in those jerseys.


August 27th, 2013 at 5:09 PM ^

In response to you and a few of the other posts above...

Doesn't that logic mean it lessens the individuality bit and strengthens the Team, the Team, the Team aspect?

If we give them to incoming players and hope they play up to it, don't we set ourselves up for the Ty Butterfield effect?

Nothing against Ty, and not really arguing in favor of / against any side here, but it seems that one can spin the issue in a way to support any position.

Mr. Yost

August 27th, 2013 at 2:51 PM ^

In the end. It's stupid. I've said it a million times. Take a page out of the Yankees playbook and build a park outside the stadium that people can visit 365 days a year. Have statues, plaques, bronze heads, etc.

Many people don't just visit Ann Arbor cause of the city. They do because of Michigan and many of those are because of Michigan football. Give the fans an attraction that they can get to whenever they're just passing through town. A true memorial park to all of the great players and team.

The thought was there for the jerseys, but it's just silly at this point. Eventually you have to honor the guys who've worn #1 and #77. With the other numbers, it's ridiculous to have guys switching in the middle of their careers for no reason.


August 27th, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^

Honestly, it's cool for them and all but I'm starting to hate it. I don't mind Funchess, but two seniors switching their numbers is really annoying. How is anyone going to make their own legacy? Guys wear a number for three years and then switch to the same number someone else wore last year.

I'm done ranting over a trivial thing but it's starting to get on my nerves.


August 27th, 2013 at 11:30 AM ^

well what about the #1 jersey? people on the board have been complaining about that not getting handed out and recievers not switching to it. these are the same thing, its just there isnt the association with the numbers yet. If 77 was a legend number and given to the best olineman it'd be the same kind of thing.

Come On Down

August 27th, 2013 at 12:54 PM ^

#21 vs #1 is essentially a battle between Desmond Howard and Anthony Carter correct? I think you could make the argument that Howard has meant more to the program than Carter. Carter may have been more talented but Desmond was not only the first Michigan player in 51 years to win the Heisman but he has been a strong advocate and ambassador for a number of years. I think it speaks volumes that his was the first number to be made into a Legends jersey. The #1 jersey was only elevated to "special" status when Braylon requested it about a decade ago, before that no player had been told they needed to do anything special to get it. All in all I don't think it's clear that #1 should be held above #21.


August 27th, 2013 at 2:42 PM ^

#21 was only made into a Legends jersey first because Desmond was upset that despite being our first Heisman winner in 50 years and whatnot, there was nothing being done to recognize what he did for UM football.

Had UM organized some kind of Wall of Fame with the renovations, I don't think we would have seen the Legends Jerseys rolled out

Section 1

August 28th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

It is speculation; but speculation that I personally join in.  There was a race angle as well, that the hyper-senstive U-M administration no doubt felt.  All of Michigan's retired jersey numbers were retired for white players, with no retirements for African-Americans.

But it will be freaking ironic if we get to a point where the Number 1 jersey is somehow more coveted than Number 98, won't it?

There is a way for Brandon to scale this back, and some in this thread have already mentioned it.  Cut down on the mid-career number-switches.  Now that each number (98 to come this year) has gone into the Legends Protection Program, there won't be any more dedication ceremonies, right?  The luster of a big day to send a number back on to the field is erased.

To further normalized things, they could reduce the size of the patches in the future.  Somebody mentioned that already.

In the end, it is all just a large-scale unretirement of uniform numbers, after two or three or more years of a splashy p.r. rollout.  Each player who had a uniform retired gets a fancy pregame dedication with his family/heirs.  Oh, and a patch.  We honor the players like they haven't been recognized in years (who in Gen-Y knew about the Wisterts or Ron Kramer?), and then we move on with essentially no more numbers retired.  Desmond Howard gets treated like all of the greats from the 40's and 50's; none of them have retired numbers.  And with those more modest prameters, we can do some more modest Legend deals in the future.  Woodson, Leach, Ron Johnson, Deardorf, Bump Elliott, Bob Chappuis, Mandich, etc.