Thursday

Asante Samuel To Wear Jersey Number 22 for Atlanta Falcons

According to sbnation.com, JacQuizz Rodgers announced to Falcons fans via his Twitter account, @Qui22Rodgers, that Asante Samuels would be wearing number 22 this season for Atlanta. Rodgers will be relinquishing 22, ensuring no controversy over the number, with the Falcons' recent acquisition, who has worn 22 with both the Patriots and Eagles throughout his NFL career.

It looks like Samuels Twitter account, @pick_six22 will remain relevant, while Rodgers could be looking for an updated account name.

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Tuesday

Will Ivan Rodriguez' Jersey Number 7 Follow Him Into Retirement?

Ivan Rodriguez is without a doubt, one of the best catchers to ever crouch behind a pro baseball plate.

His defensive skills are best explained through his incredible 45.68 percent career caught stealing rate and 13 Gold Glove awards.

His skills with the stick were nothing to sneeze at either as his 311 career dingers and .296 average prove.

Much of Pudge's MLB career contributions came during his first 12 seasons, spent in Texas. He must be considered the greatest Ranger catcher of all-time.

So, although foxnews.com reports that the Rangers don't have any current plans to retire number 7 in Rodriguez' honor, it's hard to imagine that the number wouldn't be pulled from their jersey rotation in the not-too-distant future. Nolan Ryan's number 34 needs some company in Texas Ranger retirement.

Sources: foxnews.com, wikipedia.com, baseball-reference.com

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Will Philadelphia Eagles Retire Number 20?

Brian Dawkins, one of the best NFL safeties ever, just announced his retirement. The nine-time Pro-Bowl selection spent the last three seasons as a Denver Bronco, but Philly fans will remember him as one of their own, manning the Eagles' gridiron between 1996 and 2008.

Dawkins was selected in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft out of Clemson by the Eagles. He would become their starting free safety in his rookie year.

It was the beginning of a long and distinguished career in Philly which saw Dawkins play 183 games as an Eagle racking up 21 sacks, 34 INTs and 898 tackles.

For his entire NFL career he had 26 sacks, 37 INTs and 1,131 tackles.

As a former captain and defensive team leader, seeing the Eagles reach the Super Bowl in 2004, in addition to multiple NFC Championship game trips, I don't see how Philadelphia could not entertain retiring jersey number 20 in Dawkins honor.

Source: wikipedia.com

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Thursday

5 Most Recognizable Quarterback Numbers in the NFL Today

As we wait for the NFL draft to approach, I thought we could take a look at some of the most recognizable quarterback numbers in the NFL today.  It's very likely we'll have at least two new starting QBs out of the college ranks this year (Mr. Luck and Mr. Griffin III), and it might not be long until we add their uniform numbers to this list.   Without further adieu:
  1. Aaron Rodgers - 12 - He's the best quarterback in the league right now.  And with his "belt-move" after he scores a rushing touchdown, which has been 16 times over the past four years since he became Green Bay's starter, you're getting a good look at those two digits right on the front of his chest.
  2. Eli Manning - 10 - Super Bowl Champion and MVP anyone?  Twice?  One more than his brother, the best NFL quarterback ever.  Eli may not be the best quarterback in the NFL, but it's hard to argue he's not one to be considered, with his two Super Bowl MVP trophies weighing him down and all.  
  3. Michael Vick - 7 - Controversy in tow, you'd be hard pressed to find a quarterback more identifiable with the number 7 in the NFL right now.  After his resurgent season, two back, Vick is again one of the best in the NFL.  
  4. Drew Brees - 9 - The man who resurrected the New Orleans Saints, and the best "undersized" quarterback of all-time.  Drew Brees IS the New Orleans Saints right now.  He once played for the Chargers?  Really?  Forgot about that.................you get my point.  
  5. Tim Tebow - 15 - That's right.  Tim Tebow.  Think he's not one of the most popular NFL players right now?  Think he's not one of the most popular athletes in the world?  Did you see his press conference announcing him as a New York Jet?  And did you know that Tebow's jersey sold better than Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Michael Vick in 2011?  

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Best Providence Basketball Player Ever

There is no shortage of great ballers hailing from this small college in Rhode Island.  Among them are:  Eric Murdock, Florida coach Billy Donovan, Jimmy Walker and Ryan Gomes.  I'm sure I've left out a few great ones.  That's always a challenge with these things.  Getting all the great ones the mentions they deserve.

But of those names already mentioned, I have to go with Jimmy Walker as the best ever to play for the Providence Friars.

Walker, who I think by the way has the best name of the best Friars, played for Providence in the 60's, and wound up a college career that led him to become the number one overall draft pick in the NBA for 1967, taken by the Detroit Pistons.  

In 1966-67, Walker set the current Providence Friar record for points in a season when he notched 851 points giving him an average of 30.39 points per game on the season!

What else did Walker accomplish while at Providence?  

  • He set the school record, still currently held, for career points per game average, with 25.25 per game, which is almost 5 points more than the next closest Friar with 20 and change
  • Set the school record for largest percentage of the team's points in a season with 39.2 of the Friars' points in 1966-67
  • Holds record for most minutes played per game for a Providence career with 38.78
  • Is the only number one overall NBA draft pick from Providence
  • Fastest Friar to 1,000 points (45 career games to reach that mark)
Did you know...............Walker averaged 16.7 points per game over his NBA career, between 1967 and 1976?

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Tuesday

Number 29 to be Retired by Atlanta Braves for John Smoltz

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Braves will be honoring one of their best pitchers ever (and one of MLB's best pitchers ever), with the retirement of his jersey number 29.

On June 8, Smoltz will be honored by Atlanta as they retire just the ninth baseball jersey in franchise history. Smoltz's number 29 will now be removed from the Braves' rotation, just as the numbers of his two Atlanta mound compadres, Maddux (31) and Glavine (47).

For his regular season career, according to baseball-reference.com, Smoltz notched 213 wins, 154 saves and a 3.33 ERA.

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Wednesday

NBA Number You Need to Know

5-2

The Boston Celtics record against the Miami Heat over the past two regular seasons.  Despite a decisive edge during the regular season, the Celtics were thoroughly beaten by the Heat in the 2010-11 playoffs, winning one of five games against Miami, as LeBron and crew took the NBA Eastern Conference Semis.

source:  basketball-reference.com

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Monday

Best St. John's Basketball Player Ever

Mark Jackson, Walter Berry, Ron Artest, Malik Sealy, Omar Cook, Bob Zawoluk, Zendon Hamilton, Bill Wennington and Rudy Wright.  These are just several names of the great St. John's basketball players who have passed through the New York City campus.

The best ever though, in my opinion, is Chris Mullin.  His career as a Johnnie started off with a bang, as he averaged a cool 16.6 points per game in his freshman year.  He would only improve from there.

 

As a sophomore, Mullin's points per game average would jump to 19.1 while he scored 629 point on the season.  That wasn't the end of his college improvement path however.

As a junior, he had arguably his best year at St. John's.  His points per game average jumped again to 22.9, while he shot .904 from the stripe for the season.  Mullin would be named a consensus second-team All American in 1984.

In 1985, he would move from the second team to the first team as an All American.  But........that wasn't his only Nationally recognized achievement.  Mullin was named the College Basketball Player of the Year by the UPI.  He would lead the Johnnies to the Final Four in 1985, where they would bow out to Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas.

Did you know......Chris Mullin was named the Big East Player of the Year three times?







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Saturday

Best Louisville Basketball Player Ever

Wes Unseld is the fan's choice for the best Louisville basketball player ever.  Unseld is more associated with his NBA contributions by basketball fans, but he also had a stellar college basketball career.


In his first year playing for Louisville, Unseld averaged an amazing 19.4 boards per game.  His offensive contribution was nothing to sneeze at either.  His scoring average was 19.9 points-per-game in his first season.

Unseld spent three seasons with the Cardinals, averaging a school record 20.6 points per game.  His rebound average over those three seasons was very impressive as well, with 18.9 boards per game.  He was twice a first team All-American.


During Unseld's junior season at Louisville, 1966-67, he led them to a number 2 overall ranking and 23-5 record at the end of the NCAA basketball regular season.

Did you know........Unseld was the number 2 overall selection in the 1968 NBA draft?


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Friday

Best Seton Hall Basketball Player Ever

Seton Hall has had their share of great basketball players. Among them are Nick Werkman, who played for the Pirates between 1961 and 1964, and easily leads the all-time Seton Hall scoring average list with a 32.0 mark.

Walter Dukes, the all-time school leader in rebounds with 1,697, also pulled down 6,223 boards in the NBA, splitting time with the Knicks, Lakers and Pistons.

There are plenty of other notable Pirate cagers, including NBA standout Samuel Dalembert.  

My pick for the best ever is Terry Dehere.  Dehere, who played his high school ball at the famed St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, is currently first on the all-time scoring list for Seton Hall with 2,494 points.  He's also fifth in scoring average (19.5 ppg), third in field goals made (785), and first in three-point field goals made (315).

Dehere was name the Big East Conference Player of the Year for 1992-93, and was an NCAA All-American second teamer (consensus) for the same season.

Did you know........Dehere wore jersey number 24 at Seton Hall?

Big East


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Thursday

Best Villanova Basketball Player Ever

The best Villanova Wildcat basketball player ever was not a part of their storied 1985 National Championship squad, in my opinion.  He wasn't a member of their 2009 Final Four team or their 1971 National Championship runner-up team.  And he wasn't a member of their 1939 Final Four team in the first NCAA Basketball Championship Tournament ever held.

He was however, one of the most exciting and entertaining basketball players ever in the Big East.  Most people would call him "clutch", hitting the shots when the Wildcats needed them most.  And he certainly contributed more than his share, both offensively and defensively.

Kerry Kittles, as of this writing, is the all-time leading scorer in Villanova basketball history, with 2,243 points over his four year career as a Wildcat, in 122 games.  He is also the all-time leader in steals for the 'Cats with 277 total.



Kittles, who wasn't locked in to 'Nova after Rollie Massimino left for UNLV, made the wise choice to stay at the Big East powerhouse, and became one of the best players ever in the Conference.

Did you know.............Kittles was drafted number 8 overall in the 1996 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets?


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