In a move that excited a number of people, Syracuse University football has un-retired number 44. Now, while many are looking forward to seeing the return of the famous jersey, one rather notable alumnus is not. Our very own Donovan McNabb tweeted to express his displeasure in allowing #44 to be available once again:
It bothers me to see the decision being made by my alma mater to u retire the legendary 44. The great RBs who wore the number put SU on the— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) May 20, 2015
Map. What message are we sending across college football and to the football world that it's ok to un retire such history that was so strong— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) May 20, 2015
That a movie was made about one of our great RBs in Ernie Davis. No one should be rewarded in wearing that number. Do u see other schools— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) May 20, 2015
Taking numbers down from the raffters for any reason at all. I think it is totally disrespectful to those who have worn it and for those who— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) May 20, 2015
Who wore the mighty Blue and Orange. It was retired in 05 for a reason. Which it should have been done along time before then.
— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) May 20, 2015
Why does he care so much? Maybe McNabb is annoyed that someone less deserving might wear #44 at some point in the future, thus diluting the legendary status of the number. Previous 44-ers, Floyd Little and Jim Brown didn't seem so affected, though.
Many responses over the course of the day seem to show that people understand the importance of our beloved 44. If anything, wouldn't incoming student athletes be afraid to wear it and do it a disservice? Just because it's available, doesn't mean that someone will have it on his jersey this season.
Regardless, it's clear that Donovan McNabb is dead set on preserving a historical aspect of Syracuse University football, and what's wrong with that? He holds it in such high regard that he's lobbying for a number he never wore.
Was it wrong to bring these numbers back to life? Or does reinstating these numbers bring life back to Syracuse football? I suppose it remains to be seen.
Until we know the answer, May the Fours (continue to) be with you.