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Syracuse's #44

Any halfway conscious college football fan knows that there's something powerful to Syracuse's #44 jersey.

It was worn by Heisman trophy winner Ernie Davis, as well as NFL great Jim Brown and Floyd Little.

The College Football Hall of Fame is honoring the #44 uniform this year in a special exhibit to be displayed until December 1, 2005.  In addition, Syracuse is just now getting around to permanently retiring the number, in a halftime ceremony November 12 during their game against South Florida.

Read the release for more details, but we like this quote:

"The Syracuse 44 is the most legendary jersey number in all of college football," said Hall of Fame curator Kent Stephens. "What makes the legend even more notable are the numerous links and similarities between Brown, Davis and Little. The inspirational story of Ernie Davis further adds to the mystique."

Neat. What do you think, is Syracuse's #44 the most famous jersey in college football?  Also, didn't Rob Konrad once wear the uniform?


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Reader Comments (14)

wondering if fans from other teams can reply here and let us know what number is usually sought after most...has a certain mystique.... given to the best player at that position for their teams....

#55 for USC
July 2, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSynthroid
I think Notre Dame's #3 is fairly sought after. BlueGraySky did a post recently about the #3, it's not ALL that it's cracked up to be, but Joe Montana obviously wore it.
July 2, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterResource Admin
Or Michigan's #1
July 2, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterResource Admin
More pictures-good! We like shiny things...
July 2, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterOrson Swindle
Texas #60
July 3, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Kim
The question posed - whether Syracuse's 44 is the most famous jersey in college football - has only one reasonable answer.


Michigan has a nice little history with #1 (starting with Anthony Carter, I believe) and ND's #3 is at least arguable (lest we forget the enigmatic Ron Powlus, no?), but no other school in the country has embraced one number as uniquely as Syracuse University has.

First, just look at the 44 lineage. Brown, Little, Davis, etc, etc. Jim Brown actually took the jersey as an afterthought, passed it down to Davis (who incidentally became the first black Heisman Trophy winner), and it eventually fell into the hands of New Haven's Floyd Little who would eventually go on to break both Davis' and Brown's Syracuse rushing records.


Second is the association the university has with 44. The university zip code is 13244. All the campus exchanges begin with 44 (443 or 442). When I was a student at SU, we had a bar called "44's" (which eventually became Konrad's and is now defunct because they'd serve beer to people with the equivalent of library cards.)

In essence, 44 has actually surpassed the tradition of the football program itself. 44 is Syracuse football, not merely a part of the tradition. I find it difficult to believe that any other school would merely point to a football jersey as its defining aspect.

Notre Dame is Ara and Knute. Not Montana's number.

Alabama is Bear Bryant, not a specific number on the helmet.

Syracuse is 44.
July 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Glaude
GREAT response Matt, glad you could give us that insight. CFB is great, isn't it?
July 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterResource Admin
hey dont forget john wallace who led the Orange run in i think '94 it was? but he wore 44 too, i think that 44 was jsut one of those numbers on that campus that just rings... yeah i dont think any other school has that, except for #1 at michigan...although my high school, has ahd a pretty good run with the number 4...Mike Rumph and then Omar Jacobs...
July 11, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterkenneth
wallace played basketball by the way...lol.
July 11, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterkenneth
CFB just may be the greatest invention ever.

Move over, penicillin. Pigskin and marching bands are moving in.

I think the greatest thing about CFB is not necessarily the tradition, but how people fervently embrace the tradition.

Most people have had no significant contact with a college football program outside of paying admission fees and watching games on television. Yet, people feel as if they are part and parcel with a program.

It's really a feat of sociological gymnastics that goes against the human instinct of pursuing self interest for some material gain.

Unlike the Packers or Manchester United, there is no personal stock ownership that would compel due diligence as to the matters of a particular school's football program. As for economic benefit, the great reason to invest time and money into some pursuit (in this case college football) is to generate some legal financial gain. Embracing CFB cannot accomplish this task.

And yet we're gluttons for punishment (some more than others, I suppose) and keep coming back for more, for no apparent reason other than the leaves are turning colors and its time to grill hot dogs. It's pretty amazing.

Here's to August 9th, or thereabouts. These games can't start fast enough, because I need something concrete about Syracuse to gripe about.
July 11, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Glaude
Sorry to hear about 44 the bar's demise. I played lax for Yale and we were up there to play SU over a St Patrick's Day in 1992. I remember 44 served beer in cups the size of hot tubs. Good bar. Tough stadium.
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June 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterperdre la cellulite

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