Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ricky Don't Lose That Number

For a player the number on the back of your sweater can be an important thing. There are two basic lines of thought... the traditional and the nontraditional. I grew up playing soccer and pretty much always wore #10 or #11. It meant something to me. When I'd see a teammate pick something like #26 or #44 I'd just shake my head. I couldn't imagine why anyone would want a number that didn't indicate they were a starter (#2 through #11 are the traditional numbers for starting field players). In those personal circumstances I always preferred tradition.

As a hockey fan I tend to prefer tradition in most things, but I have come to appreciate one particular nontraditional aspect of the game. In recent years several Seawolves used nontraditional numbers and I liked it. Curtis Glencross wore #82. Justin Johnson palyed with #49 on his back in tribute to Alaska's inclusion as the 49th state in the U.S. Lee Green and Nick Lowe both wore #44. Brent McMann wore #94. Shea Hamilton wore #89. Eric Walsky liked #55. Nathan Lawson wore #52. Jay Beagle went with #71 in his sophomore season. This year though there's really none of that. Peter Cartwright wears #37 (and there are a few #37's in the WCHA) and Trevor Hunt with #42 is as exotic as it gets. In the NHL there are plenty of nontraditional numbers; Gretzky #99, Mario #66, Jagr #68, Chistov #54, Krog #40, Berezin #94, Nedved #93, Roenick #97, Cheechoo #45, Foote #52, Zubov #56, Satan #81, Federov and Goring #91, Holmstrom #96, Audette #82, Lindros #88, Esposito and Bourque and Coffey #77, Yashin #79 and Crosby #87 just to name a few. When Scott Gomez signed with the Rangers and lost #23 to Chris Drury in a coin toss I crossed my fingers he'd go with #49 since he is always proud of being from Alaska but he went with #19 ... sigh.

So what does all this mean? Nothing really I suppose. Perhaps all the players on this year's squad are boring traditionalists? Around the league there aren't too many nontraditonal numbers either. At MSU-M goaltender Dan Tormey wears #49 (does that make him an honorary Alaskan?). And that seems to be as weird as it gets this year in the league. But the WCHA isn't any more boring numbers-wise than the rest of college hockey it seems. A quick random check of 15 or so other Division I teams and I got pretty disheartened; not a #64 or #51 or #73 anywhere to be found ... sigh.

14 comments:

LetsGoMavs said...

Tormey wears #49 as a tribute to his mom. She died of cancer a few years back. He also has a lot of different chinese symbols on his goalie mask in tribute of her. There was a write up on it a few years back, I wish I could find it because it's a pretty touching story.

#37...good choice in numbers. That number belongs to my favorite (and your not so favorite) Mav Jon Kalinski!! :)

The other non-traditional Mav number that's cool is Chris Clark switched from #1 last year to #28 to symbolize Anthony Ford's birthday (Feb. 8). Anthony was a little hockey player that was very close to Clark and the team that lost his battle to lukemia the year before.

It's cool when a number has some meaning behind it. I'm sure there are lots of touching, interesting, and just plain weird reasons behind most of the guy's numbers.

Donald said...

LGM:
Well I guess I couldn't have picked a less appropriate picture.

Runninwiththedogs said...

That picture is creepy as Donald trying to hit on sorority girls.

Donald said...

RWD:
I don't know what you heard but that chick was stalking me ... not the other way around.

Runninwiththedogs said...

Um, yeah, when MEg revealed the real reason you were rejecting people's offers to put you up for the Final Five, I pretty much barfed.

I had just assumed it was xenophobia.

Anonymous said...

Please do not ever speak or even think of making Tormey an honoray Alaskan. It makes me have violent feelings.

Donald said...

RWD:
Yeah I can see why. Gee ... A single guy on a roadtrip keeping his options open is pretty much beyond the realm of belief. I'm surprised you even visit my blog after hearing that sort of horrible disgusting crap.

Anon:
It was a rhetorically sarcastic question. Try to save your potential violence for later in the season when I seriously insult Mankato. Besides your little berg already set the world record for the simultaneously hanging of human beings back in the 19th century. Perhaps you should take some historical pride in that fine accomplishment and and maybe get some vicarious satisfaction for your anger.

Runninwiththedogs said...

You have to remember the potential fan bases you'll be drawing from at the Final Five... St. Cloud... Michigan Tech... Wisconsin... :::shudder::: I wouldn't keep my options open for a St. Cloud fan, is all I'm sayin'.

Donald said...

RWD:
There's always tommyboy's wife if I can't work my mackdaddy magic on some local twinkietown bar trollop.

Goon said...

donald,
That anti-smoking lobby is going to be all over you on that picture.

Donald said...

Goon:
I wish.

Anonymous said...

what are you DTP, a one or two pack a day kinda guy?

Donald said...

Anon:
Rather than focus on my pack a day nictotine dependency, I think my point with the picture was simply to challenge those among us whom Neil Peart (of the most excellent Canadian band Rush) so eloquently described as ...

"Those who know what's best for us
must rise and save us from ourselves"

Each and every propagandized advert that smarmily degrades me for my dependency while parading its (poorly veiled sanctimonious self-righteous bullshit) point as "truth" hardens my resolve to control said dependency on my own terms.

Fuck them and the horse they rode in on.

Someone I know used to often wish they could "just be normal" without realizing that the "normalcy" they desired is in reality only attained by about 1 percent of humanity. The other 99 percent of us simply put one foot in front of the other and trudge on the best we can. It's a shame that most of that 99 percent delude themselves otherwise and "act" as if they really are the 1 percent they admire as "normal". To borrow one of the few precepts from Xtianity that makes sense ...

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"

A philosophy that is FAR too often missing in action in a country that proclaims itself to be based in an ideology of "Love, Peace and Understanding". Much more often I've seen just the opposite ... "Judgement, Hate and Violence".

And so ... yes. Hypocrisy tends to engender irreverence and/or disgust in me.

Bet you wish you never asked. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ok - you quoted my favorite Canadian in my favorite band, smoke all you want!

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