NFL Athlete Number 82 - Ozzie Newsome

Yeah, Steelers fans won't like this, but Ozzie Newsome IS the best NFL athlete to ever wear the uniform number 82. I guess Colts fans probably won't like it either.

As a tight end, not an almost always more prolific wide receiver, Ozzie Newsome put up some terrific receiving numbers. How about 662 receptions, 7,980 yards, and 47 TDs?

He played his entire pro career with the Browns, spanning the years 1978, when he was drafted out of Alabama, until 1990.

Newsome was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. He is now an executive with the Baltimore Ravens (formerly the Cleveland Browns original team), and was named the NFL's executive of the year after guiding the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory in 2000.

Did you know......Newsome was a member of three SEC champion teams while with Alabama?

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NFL Athlete Number 81 - Dick "Night Train" Lane

The man who The Sporting News picked as the number 19 overall football player of all-time, in 1999, is also the best NFL athlete to ever wear the uniform number 81.

Dick "Night Train" Lane, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974, was an exciting cornerback, who played for the Rams, Cardinals and Lions. Yeah, he was a cornerback who wore number 81. Was that by design? Nah. He was slotted to become a tight end, but wound up playing defense. He kept the uni number.

As a rookie, Dick Lane had 14 interceptions. As a ROOKIE! See any rookies getting 14 interceptions lately?

For his career, he had 68 interceptions for 1,207 yards and 5 TDs.

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NFL Athlete Number 80 - Jerry Rice

Is there any question who the best NFL athlete to wear uniform number 80 is?

There can be no debating that Jerry Rice, the best wide receiver of all time, is the best NFL athlete to ever wear the uniform number 80.

As you probably know, Jerry Rice holds many NFL records. The most impressive record he owns however, may be the all-time touchdown record. He has 207 career touchdowns. The next closest is all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith with 175 touchdowns.

Jerry has also been named to thirteen Pro Bowls. This has to be one of the highest number of Pro Bowl nominations for one player.

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What Happened To My Jersey Number?

Just came across an interesting story about how an L.A. Dodgers player's jersey number was switch for him, without being asked. And he was cool with it.

When back-up catcher Danny Ardoin came into the locker room one day, he found a jersey hanging in his locker with his name on it....but a different uniform number. He had worn number 36, but the jersey hanging in his locker was number 28. Hmmmm.

Well, I guess when a Hall of Famer and one of the best pitchers in baseball history gets traded to your team, you might have to make a few adjustments.

See the whole story here.

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49ers To Retire Number 8 For Steve Young

Steve Young will have his jersey number 8 retired by the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, October 5th, during halftime of their game against the Patriots.

According to the, Steve Young is the only player in 49er history to wear number 8.

Although he is not the choice for best NFL athlete to wear number 8, he is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and the second best 49er quarterback ever (behind you know who).

Congrats to Steve on this great honor.

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Uniform Number News

The Boston Red Sox have announced that they will be retiring Johnny Pesky's uniform number 6. His number will be the sixth retired by the Red Sox.
It is good to see the Sox acknowledging his near 60 years of service to that organization.

He came up to the Sox in 1942 and played in the bigs until 1954. He has served in a multitude of capacities with Boston, including manager and broadcast analyst.

Did you know.........

Lou Gehrig's number 4 is the first uniform number to be retired in American professional sports?

In my opinion there couldn't be a better athlete to have the first American pro uniform retired. The original iron man was a workhorse and a great baseball player.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Uniform Number News

It's been reported that Dustin Byfuglian of the Chicago Blackhawks will change his uniform number from 53 to the more common number 33.

Bobby Holik, back with NJ, was given his old number 16, by Dainius Zubrus, at the request of Lou Lamoriello.

Did you know.........that in 2006, Jerry Porter was going to change his jersey number with the Raiders from 84 to 81, until he was told by the NFL and Reebok that it would cost him $210,000?

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NFL Athlete Number 79 - Roosevelt Brown

Roosevelt Brown, or "Rosey" as he was affectionately known, is the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 79.

Brown, an offensive tackle who played with the New York Giants between 1953 and 1965, was a nine-time Pro Bowl pick and a member of the 1956 NFL championship team.

Roosevelt Brown was also All-NFL for eight straight years and was the NFL's Lineman of the Year in 1956. In 1999, The Sporting News named him number 57 on it's all-time greatest football players list.

Did you know........Roosevelt Brown played college football at Morgan State?

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NFL Athlete Number 78 - Bruce Smith

The NFL's career sack leader, with 200, is the best NFL athlete to ever wear jersey number 78.

Taken with the number 1 overall pick in the 1985 NFL draft, by the Buffalo Bills out of Virginia Tech, Bruce played in all 16 regular season games, starting 13 of them, as a rookie. He racked up 6.5 sacks that year.

From 1986 through 2000, Bruce Smith tallied double digit sacks in all but two years (played in only five games in 1991, and had seven sacks in his final year as a Bill).

Did you know......Bruce Smith won the Outland Trophy in 1984?

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NFL Athlete Number 77 - Jim Parker

Jim Parker, Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 1973, is the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 77.

Parker played his entire professional football career with the Baltimore Colts, spanning the years 1957 to 1967. A tackle and guard for the Colts, Parker was all-NFL eight straight times.

Parker, who had the large job of protecting Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, helped lead the Colts through the NFL playoffs and to the NFL championship in 1958 and 1959.

Parker is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, the Professional Football Hall of Fame, and his jersey number 77 is retired by the Colts.

Did you know.....Sporting News, in 1999, named Parker number 24 overall in it's Greatest 100 Football Players list?

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NFL Athlete Number 76 - Lou Groza

Lou "The Toe" Groza, out of Ohio State, is the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 76. Lou was such an athlete, that not only did he play as an offensive lineman in the 1940s and 1950s, but he was also a kicker!

Lou was the 1954 NFL Player of the Year, a nine-time Pro Bowler, and he played in nine NFL title games. Yes, nine.

Lou was the last of the "original" Cleveland Browns to retire. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.

Did you know.....Lou scored 1,608 points in his career?

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NFL Athlete Number 75 - Howie Long

The best NFL athlete to wear the jersey number 75 is Howie Long of the Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders.

Howie Long was extremely strong, quick and powerful. He is widely regarded as one of the best defensive ends ever in the NFL.

Howie played his entire career with the Raiders, spanning the years 1981 to 1993. During that tenure, he was selected to eight Pro Bowls. He is a class of 2000 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and a Super Bowl Champion (XVIII).

Did you know.....Howie recorded five sacks in one game?

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Hughes Back at 65

It has been reported by, that Phil Hughes, who will be making his first start since April of this year, on Wednesday, for the New York Yankees, will be switching back to number 65 from 34.

You might remember that Hughes originally wore number 65 but then switched to 34. 65 is a fairly odd number for a pitcher, which makes it kind of cool. There is another young Yankee pitcher with his jersey number in the 60s. That would be Joba Chamberlain with the jersey number 62. Are we seeing a trend here?

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Habs to Retire Number 33

In honor of one of the greatest goaltenders ever, the Canadiens will retire the jersey number 33 for Patrick Roy. His number will be retired on Nov. 22 of this year.

Roy was a consideration for the best professional athlete to wear number 33, as was Larry Bird.

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Jersey Number News

Rookie Kevin Smith of the Detroit Lions wanted to change his jersey number from 34 to 24. According to Smith, the NFL denied the change. Veteran safety Dwight Smith changed his jersey number from 24 to 26, presumably to accommodate Kevin. It has been suggested on, that Kevin Smith's trading cards feature him wearing the number 34, leading the NFL in it's reasoning for denying the switch to number 24.

In NHL jersey number news, Todd Bertuzzi, who recently became a Calgary Flame will not wear the jersey number 44 he previously donned with Vancouver, Florida, Detroit or Long Island. Instead he will wear the number seven on the back of his Flames jersey. It is supposedly a nod to one of his favorite NHL players, Phil Esposito.

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NFL Athlete Number 74 - Bob Lilly

Dallas Cowboy great, Bob Lilly, is the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 74. Originally a defensive end, Lilly made his fame as a defensive tackle for the Cowboys.

Lilly was taken by Dallas in the 1st round of the 1961 NFL draft out of Texas Christian University. He went on to become an eleven time Pro Bowl nominee, a Super Bowl Champion (VI), a member of the NFL's All-Decade team for both the 1960s and the 1970s, a Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor member, and a Pro Football Hall of Fame Member (1980 inductee).

See some early footage of Bob Lilly's defensive prowess here:

Did you know..........Bob Lilly is known as "Mr. Cowboy"?

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