So the Syracuse Orange world got itself into a tizzy again when the Syracuse Football Facebook page posted a photo of a current SU jersey with the No. 44 on it.
Obviously, this is the jersey used in that promotional video that's going to premiere Saturday and is not actually a jersey that someone will wear this year. Still, we needed clarification (via Dave Rahme).
That sparked a host of comments from fans wondering if the jersey, last worn by Orange fullback Rob Konrad in 1998, was being brought back. An email sent to SU just to be certain the number was being used as a promotional tool only was answered with the obvious: "There is no No. 44 on the roster."
I've made my case for why I think it's silly to retire No. 44 in the long-term and you can go read it here. I don't think there always needs to be a No. 44 but the option should be available if a player worthy of the honor wants to wear it.
That said, all due respect to the guys on the 2012 roster, I don't exactly see anyone who should be wearing it even it were available.
A little harsh, sure, but, you know... Delone Carter was probably the last guy who would have been 44-worthy and even then it's a tricky dance. Do you wait until someone has proven they have star potential before you give it to them or do you give it to them as a freshman based on potential and desire to wear it?
Ashton Broyld doesn't fit the mold of the bruising RBs that made the number famous, but perhaps the hype he carries with him would make him a worthy owner. Then again, he's probably going to be playing quarterback in a year or two so it's a moot point.
My guess is that it's going to take someone really special for DOC Gross to relent and bring No. 44 back on the field. Like a five-star RB who's choosing between Syracuse, Ohio State and Florida State and by offering him 44 it tips the scales. Of course, if Doug Marrone gets enough juice as coach here and wants to reinstate it (as I think he secretly does), maybe he can make it happen as well.
Until then, we'll keep rooting for the No. 32s and the No. 34s and the No. 1s all the same.