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Somebody, Please Tell Us Whose Clothing To Worship

The debate of the day in Cuse Nation is the rumored retiring of Billy Owens' jersey when he receives his Vic Hanson Medal of Excellence and if so, who else is deserving and who's next?

As far as Axeman is concerned,
it's Gerry or it's nobody (and I tend to agree). Mike Waters is fine with Owens receiving the honor but didn't think have him pegged as his first choice.

If you've read the blog for a while you know my stance on these types of things. Retiring jerseys and Hall of Fame nominations have become such watered down, easily-attainable makeshift PR events that we've stopped honoring the truly great and have just decided we'll always honor the "pretty good." Just look at this year's (or most year's) Baseball Hall of Fame induction as proof.

The idea of retiring a player's jersey but not specifically retiring the number feels lazy and just an excuse rather than any kind of real honor, but that's just me. Not to take away from what people like Billy Owens accomplished while at SU but if you're gonna honor the guy, fuckin' honor him.
Do it or don't.

I while back I did my own rundown of which post-1990 Orangemen were worthy of having their number truly retired at SU. I completely forgot that when it came to whether or not Billy Owens deserved the honor,
my answer was no. As far as I was concerned, the list is Moten, Wallace and Gerry. No Owens (lacked the overall success), no Carmelo (one season, regardless of how it turned out) and no Warrick (good but not truly great). Maybe my criteria is a little high but for God's sake, it should be.

My guess is, if Owens simply gets his "jersey" retired (but not his number), expect the floodgates to blow open in the coming seasons with ceremonies for the aforementioned guys as well as Lazarus Sims, Jason Hart, Etan Thomas, Preston Shumpert, etc. If we're instead talking about retiring actual numbers, my guess is that they will go Owens, then Moten, then Wallace and finally G-Mac (The Derek Jeter of SU basketball).

Ultimately, the honor or lack thereof doesn't do anything to the legacy of the players. Billy Owens was a great player at SU and whether he's "jersey retirement-worthy" or not, we'll remember him fondly. However, for the integrity of the process and the history of the truly one-of-a-kind players that walk onto that court, I hope we only reserve places in the rafters for the all-time-greats.