August 27th, 2013 at 11:53 AM ^

Saying "I don't like this because I already had this guy's number memorized" is a bit selfish. Not a great reason not to like this idea. There are others.  Namely, it hinders someone from creating their own legacy with a #.  And also it would be nice to see a standard reason for these jerseys - I assumed they were upper end type skill but it appears with Avery its leadership (and being a senior who maybe went through a lot of things) and with Funchess, well I don't see any specific reason.  We can wax poetic for his future but he was a guy who had a few nice games in non conference and then was swallowed up (not surprisingly) by the physical Big 10 season. Maybe he has shown great leadership this past offseason - but the point is we don't know why it was awarded.  Gallon I get on skill at least.  So is this a reward for leadership? For skill set? For having a great nickname? For potential at TE?  It is confusing as there is no parameters set.   Personally I'd rather see the #1 for WR and I'd add #2 for the best DB go forward to honor Charles W. 

Space Coyote

August 27th, 2013 at 11:50 AM ^

Did it ever occur to people that either: A) maybe they want to wear these jersey numbers because they want to honor the past; or B) maybe they simply want to be that number? Maybe Funchess just wanted #87 and the legend patch came along with it. People are making way too big of a deal out of this.

Sten Carlson

August 27th, 2013 at 11:55 AM ^

Man you guys complain a lot! 

Personally, I love this new tradition and love that these numbers (and the histories of the players that made them famous) are being reintroduced to the Michigan fanbase.  I am not quite sure why you guys feel the need to complain about EVERYTHING!

Lucky Socks

August 27th, 2013 at 11:58 AM ^

These jerseys aren't forced on players. They're an honor to wear. Someday down the line we'll fondly remember the best 11s, or 21s to wear the jersey just like

WRs cover the #1 or 2. If a guy wants to keep an original number and pursue his own legend jersey then he has the right to maintain that goal. That's a goal that's very difficult to achieve and wearing legends number is big accomplishment in itself. Or at least it should be (and is becoming)

These guys earned it. Congrats to them, though I will miss 10 Gallon.


August 27th, 2013 at 12:00 PM ^

Seems like popular opinion has swung around on these.  I'm glad, I've hated this idea from the start.  Don't even want to think about #98 coming out.  It's just not right!

The patches themselves are really ugly.  Might work on a Domino's pizza box but not the Michigan jersey.

Wolverine Devotee

August 27th, 2013 at 12:09 PM ^

I think they should just give it to a freshman WR next year. 

That's exactly what they did with Anthony Carter, Greg McMurtry & David Terrell. 

Bo gave it to Carter because he was a prized recruit and a made a point of it to give the #1 to A.C.

This whole earning it thing started when Braylon wasn't doing too well and he asked to switch to #1. Lloyd told him he has to earn it, and the rest is history.  




August 27th, 2013 at 12:24 PM ^

Until you give #1 to Jerald Robinson or Ricardo Miller, Daryl Stonum or Doug Dutch.   These were all players that either came with high recruiting rankings or got hyped as the next big thing.  In the end they were either embarrasments to the programs or busts.

I kind of like #1 and #21 being numbers designated for star players, not guys sitting on the bench.


August 27th, 2013 at 12:09 PM ^

Ignoring the fact that numbers on the back of jerseys don't matter to 90% of people, lets think about how this is going to play out.

Gallon is going to have an excellent year (1300 yards and 10 TDs or whatever) wearing #21.  Within the next couple years Darboh, Chesson, Harris, or Campbell will wear #21 and do the same.  The # will quickly become iconic (well, MORE iconic for those of us who watched Desmond), just like #1 is/was.  Great for younger fans - cool for older fans who remember the original. 

Eventually, Michigan could have #1 and #21 lining up at WR and your eyes are going to be trained to find those guys and be excited about them running down the field.  I mean - you guys do remember that the #1 jersey-as-honor thing was invented by Carr right? Late in his career at that.  It doesn't take long to change perceptions and associations in people's minds.

The argument about developing your own identity with a 'new' number is fine - people can still do that if they want.  But if you believe in "the team x 3" then isn't it cooler that the # is the legacy, not the player?

In 10 years no one is going to complain about this.  The negative consequences are minimal.  Michigan is doing something different, tradition-honoring, and potentially a selling-point for some recruits.  It seems like crotchety anti-change to complain about something like this.

My only concern is over-doing it.  The honor will be diminshed if a dozen guys have them every year, but maybe there's a way to keep #1 (and persumably #2) in a higher echelon.

Do I love seniors changing numbers? No, not really - I'd rather it was young guys like Funchess or Ross -- but 10 years from now I probably will want to know who gets the number each year.  Recruits will covet the honor just like Braylon wanted #1. Copy-cat programs following Michigan's lead will be numbering in the dozens by then.

I'm no fan of Dave Brandon, but this is a good idea (that he, presumably, approved.)  Whoever thought of it deserves credit, but really it's just an extension of what we already had established with #1.  That happened more organically (Braylon wanted it, Carr shrewdly used it as a carrot), but so what.  Ultimately, it's good for Michigan - it emphasizes our tradition, strengthens our identity - It's a win.


August 27th, 2013 at 12:11 PM ^

stop changing all of the best players numbers. Jeremy Gallon is 10 and Funchess is 19.

In 2033, we're going to look back and say "Damn. Every single great WR we've had for the last 20 years all wore #21". Isn't Mario Manningham synonymous with 86? Why screw with that?


August 27th, 2013 at 12:10 PM ^

Michigan really needs to get back away from the idea that a player's uniform number describes any of his characteristics--e.g., skill, leadership, etc.--other than his position on the field.  The uniform number is for identification purposes only.  It is not a "reward," it is not a rating system so you can tell who is good and who isn't.  At least it wasn't any of those things until one person a decade or so ago in a fit of skilled self-promotion insisted that it was.



August 27th, 2013 at 12:12 PM ^

But, in the end it is about the players, not us. How do we know that Gallon hasn't wanted that number from day one? Hemingway had it his first three years and Roundtree was given the honor last year. Gallon was #5 in high school and had no previous ties to #10. I won't argue that his lack of smile may come from the fact that he may view the #1 jersey as an even bigger prize. Would we be upset if he was awarded #1 as most seem to be about #21? Doubt it...

The players know who the greats are and strive to achieve as they did. We are not Team 134; they are. And the fact that they seem to embrace the legends numbers being given out as an honor is all that should matter. Congratulations to them.


August 27th, 2013 at 12:20 PM ^

Is that really true, though?  The players don't look at each other's numbers on the field, do they?  They know who is who.  The fans are 100+ feet away from the action, and they are the ones looking at the numbers.

If Gallon wanted #21 (aside:  why wouldn't somebody named Gallon want to be #10?), he should have been given it from day one after the uniform was put into circulation.  If an incoming Freshman wants #21 next year, give it to him.  Even if he is a punter.  It is bothersome that there is an implicit message being put out that only some of our players are "good enough" to wear certain numbers.


Sten Carlson

August 27th, 2013 at 12:24 PM ^

"We are not Team 134; they are. And the fact that they seem to embrace the legends numbers being given out as an honor is all that should matter. Congratulations to them."

Well said Gary.  Hoke has made honoring Michigan's storied history a point of emphasis, and this, IMO, is a great manifestation of that focus.  The players seem to love it, and it is their team.


August 27th, 2013 at 12:18 PM ^

Although I'm not sure I want them all awarded every single year. It's a great concept and I'm glad players can be rewarded for their hard work yet held to the standards and expectations that come with the jersey.


August 27th, 2013 at 12:30 PM ^

how do you decide how to merit the award of certain jersey numbers by judging the contribution of the current and former wearer? I can see the argument on both sides, and I agree that certain numbers haven't gained legendary status yet only because the players who wore them haven't become eligible for HOF honors, either by the school, conference or nationally. 

I mean we know certain Nos. are practically inviolate like 98 while No. 77 is already on its own path to legendary status, and is now only worn by the most deserving players who play a specific position. 

No. 2 hasn't achieved that status because the player who is most remembered for wearing it, is still active and not eligible for post-career honors --yet. 

No. 1, however, remains less mythical than No. 98 but with a history of its own and a certain standard applied for the player who earns the right to wear it. 

In the same way that Anthony Carter made No. 1 special, Denard made No. 16 special. But you could say the same for a lot of guys through the years, No. 4 worn by Jim Harbaugh, No. 10 worn by both Gallon and Brady. Even No. 20 worn by Mike Hart. 

There are certain Michigan greats on the Oline who are in the NFL HOF, and their numbers aren't given legendary status at Michigan. I'm thinking of Dan Dierdorf, Reggie McKenzie and others from Bo's teams.  

I mean will there come a time when certain alums are remembered as legends not so much for what they did while at Michigan but for what they did afterward in the pros? I'm thinking of Brady and Harbaugh. Does honoring them as Michigan legends impinge on the use of their former number by current players, just because we have a nostalgic recollection about past performers? 


August 27th, 2013 at 12:35 PM ^

I love the legends jerseys idea, hate the implementation. They should be given to incoming players, not given to guys mid career or worst during their last season. At least they did it at the beginning of the season instead of onesie twosie like last year. I guess the silverlining is I can just squint real hard and imagine Jordan Kovacs is still our safety and bask in the warmth and comfort of that thought.

Ali G Bomaye

August 27th, 2013 at 12:45 PM ^

It's worth noting that #2 isn't currently assigned to any player on the roster.  If they were going to make #2 a new legends jersey, this would be a good year to do it.

Fearless rumormongering: the Oakland Raiders have a bye October 20, and Michigan has a home game against Indiana on October 19.  I'm sure Dave Brandon would love to spice up an otherwise middling matchup by making it Woodson legends day...

Blue Carcajou

August 27th, 2013 at 1:00 PM ^

So much MGoBitching... Does it really matter what numbers the players wear? Honestly, I couldn't care less as long as they WIN. The primary reason behind this is to teach the Michigan fan base and players about the schools' history and those that came before them; something that was practically forgotten during the Rich Rod era.

It also helps in selling the program to new recruits which is something Hoke is adamant about. We remind these young men about the greats who came before them and did it FIRST, and it's an honor to wear their numbers so they can carry on that legacy.

New legends will be made, sure, but it's okay to remind them of the Giants in Maize 'n Blue who fought before them and made it all possible.


August 27th, 2013 at 1:01 PM ^

I'm no fan of this for the simple reason that it prevents players from forging their own identity and instead mashes them into someone elses.  10 years from now NOBODY is going to remember who wore the legends patch but every Michigan fan worth a damn can name their favorite #7 QB (mine is Leach), their favorite #1 WR (Carter for me) or their favorite #2 DB (well obviously).

I dont think it's fair to the current players - honor or no honor.  And the pressure on a 20 year old kid to accept this "honor", whether they like it or not, must be enormous.  They would come off as increadibly selfish if they turned it down.


August 27th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

This all started with JR Hemmingway who was already wearing the number 21 to begin with. I was really hoping Gallon was going to stay 10 this year. I guess that's not the case.


August 27th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

Didn't Hoke say the players don't have to accept the numbers? Much easier said than done I'm sure. Especially when Hoke is standing there with the jersey in hand looking you in the eye about to shake your hand.


August 27th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

I loved #19 on Funchess. Now that will never be a legends uni. I hated this from the start. If they're going to do the whole Legends thing, have them wear it for one game or something. It's not fair to the players and it's not fair to me!


August 27th, 2013 at 1:26 PM ^

It doesn't bother me as much as others are bothered by it. But I do think it clearly hurts the development of future legends numbers. Would like to see them only do this for one game a year where all the specific players wear those jerseys.


August 27th, 2013 at 1:28 PM ^

For religious types, they say the Apocalypse will come when present tribulations lead to the ending of this age and the coming of God's Kingdom.   That the discord inherent within human nature will eventually lead to catastrophic events, and that finally God will show up to save every good person and judge away the bad.  Well this little thread here is a pretty clear Sign of the Apocalypse.  How so many of you can take something as benign as Michigan’s effort to honor past players in a unique way for their great contributions, and shit all over it, really opens a little window into just how pathetic we are as a species.

Yeah telling a kid that if he kicks ass for Michigan then 20 or 30 years later Michigan will honor him not just with a couple hours of ceremony but with an entire season’s worth of having a young star wear his number really will have a massive negative impact on recruiting….

Yeah egocentrism is king and everyone needs their own identity and number.  God forbid two Michigan greats past and present share the honor of the same number, so that when it is dedicated 20 years later they can both be honored…

Football can’t get here soon enough.  Even as Michigan has enjoyed probably the highest improvement trajectory in terms of “program building” under Hoke over the last 3 years, still, the negativity on this board has reached epic proportions the last several months with endless snide comments and calls for Brian to return the neg posbang to satiate you little devils.

Man.  Take a look in the mirror.  Realize most of the people you are negging, be they players, coaches, A.D.s, or fellow fans on this site – ARE YOUR BROTHERS.  They love the same things you love and are happy to see the same things you are happy to see.  AND THAT INCLUDES LEGENDS JERSEYS!

Go Blue and live and let live you cretins!

Blue Mike

August 27th, 2013 at 1:30 PM ^

I'd keep the program, since it is a great way to honor the past, but I'd tweak it so that the number switch is for one game only.  Give each number its own home game, do the same production you do now during the game, and then next week the player gets his number back.  


August 27th, 2013 at 1:42 PM ^

Bleh.  I don't mind so much, but there should be a lot fewer numbers as part of this program.  It should be the three Heisman trophy winners, the #1, and the former President of the United States.   And that's it.  If you add in record breakers and Heisman finalists, then you come to guys like Mike Hart, Denard Robinson, and Jim Harbaugh.  There are only 99 numbers to begin with.  And what about a guy who has won Super Bowls like Tom Brady?  Not every one can be special, and the essence of college football is that every generation of players makes a new set of stories with their numbers.  Almost every team has a legend of some sort.