Retired Jerseys or Numbers?
|Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 10:21 AM- -|
Retired Jerseys or Numbers?
I am big New York Yankee fan, so I learned very early on as a kid the significance of retired numbers. I have toured Monument Park in Yankee Stadium and respect the history of the organization and the game. But the Yankees are running out of numbers, especially the traditionally good ones.
This leads me to my thoughts on Clemson bringing out a retired number for the second time with Tavien Feaster getting to wear number 28 this season.
In case you have been under a rock for the past few years, you know that with his permission Clemson re-issued Steve Fuller's number four. Deshaun Watson has made the number at Clemson even more famous.
This fall true freshman running back sensation Tavien Feaster will wear previously retired number 28 that C. J. Spiller wore in his fascinating Clemson career.
Some may have an issue with it, but I don't. Remember Fuller gave his blessings to Clemson when they asked permission. David Hood's terrific article on Tigernet yesterday explained Spiller's stance and why he gave permission for Feaster to wear the number.
For the record, the only other number retired at Clemson is Banks McFadden's 66. The Clemson legend has passed, so we can't get his permission if the issue ever came up with that number.
Again while I respect history, I have two arguments that support using the number again. First, is the attention it brings to the original star. I would guess many young Clemson fans would have never heard of Steve Fuller if it were not for the Watson patch. I was lucky enough to see Fuller help turn around this program, but I imagine many fans in the stadium this year never got the privilege.
Second, it can become a terrific recruiting tool. As much as I love Clemson's football history, I am more interested in the future. I want great players to strive to become the next Fuller, Spiller or Watson. If that incentive can help secure a commitment from a future legend, then I say let's roll with it.
In the end, the way I would frame the issue is that Clemson should retire jerseys and not numbers. We can hang the jerseys, but occasionally still use the number. At Clemson, we have an athletic hall of fame and a ring of honor. Those honor our legends. Retiring a jersey but having the tradition of greatness continue to wear that number is another honor in a unique way.
I know Clemson is recruiting quarterbacks who hope to be the next Deshaun Watson. I know Watson has done the number four at Clemson a great service and has advanced the tradition. I am hopeful that Feaster is good enough that the same can be said for him in three years.
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