Saturday, March 13, 2010

Favorites By The Number…Part Five

This is it, the final installment of my Favorites By The Number series. The previous four have included 47 football players, 19 baseball players, 9 basketball players and 19 hockey players. This final list consists of another 18 footballers, 15 of which played for the Packers (there’s a surprise) and two more hockey players.

#81 – Marv Fleming, Green Bay Packers. He is the first player in National Football League history to play in five Super Bowls - with Green Bay Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II; with Miami Super Bowl VI, Super Bowl VII and Super Bowl VIII.

#82 – Paul Coffman, Green Bay Packers. Played college ball at Kansas State before playing tight end for eight seasons for the Green Bay Packers.

#83 – John Jefferson, Green Bay Packers. Along with James Lofton and Coffman, J.J. teamed up with quarterback Lynn Dickey to give the Packers one of the most explosive passing attacks in the NFL in the early 1980s.

#84, #85 and #86 – Carroll Dale, Max McGee and Boyd Dowler, Green Bay Packers. This trio of receivers were Bart Starr’s primary targets during the Lombardi years. A hung over McGee scored the first touchdown in Super Bowl history when he replaced an injured Dowler.

#87 – Willie Davis, Green Bay Packers. After completing a Hall of Fame career, Davis went on to become one of the most powerful business people in the world, as a member or former member of the boards of Alliance Bank, Dow Chemical, Johnson Controls, K-Mart, L.A. Gear, Manpower, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MGM Mirage, Rally's Inc., Sara Lee, Schlitz Brewing, and WICOR Inc.

#88 – Lynn Swann, Pittsburgh Steelers. Swann was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 21st pick of the first round in the 1974 NFL Draft. That draft class is considered to be one of the best in NFL history and included 4 eventual Hall of Famers: Swann, John Stallworth, Mike Webster, and Jack Lambert.

#89 – Dave Robinson, Green Bay Packers. Robinson played 10 seasons at outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers from 1963 to 1972 and was honored on the NFL's all-decade team for the 1960s.

#90 – Ezra Johnson, Green Bay Packers. Johnson played for the Green and Gold from 1977-1987. He was most notable for eating a hot dog on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of a 38–0 Packers' home exhibition loss to the Denver Broncos on August 30, 1980.

#91 – Brian Noble, Green Bay Packers. After graduating from Arizona State, Noble played in Green Bay for nine seasons. One of my fondest memories of Noble was seeing him, along with a couple of rookie linemen, at the Body Shop Gentlemen’s Club on Monroe Avenue in Green Bay during training camp.

#92 – Reggie White, Green Bay Packers. During his professional career, he became famous not only for his outstanding play, but also for his Christian ministry as an ordained Evangelical minister. This led to his nickname, "the Minister of Defense." White was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, two years after his death.

#93 – Gilbert Brown, Green Bay Packers. Nicknamed "The Gravedigger," in honor of his celebratory dance following a thunderous tackle, Brown played for the Pack from 1993-2003. During the 1996 season, it became known that Brown would regularly order the "Gilbertburger", a Double Whopper with extra everything, cut in half with extra cheese, no pickles.

#94 – Kabeer Gbaja Biamila, Green Bay Packers. Commonly referred to as "KGB", he was drafted by the Pack in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He played college football at San Diego State.

#95 – Bryce Paup, Green Bay Packers. Paup played 5 years in Green Bay before going on to play with Buffalo, Jacksonville and Minnesota. In 2007 he returned to Wisconsin and was introduced as the head football coach at Green Bay Southwest High School. He is also on the Packers' Board of Directors.

#96 – Sean Jones, Green Bay Packers. This hard-charging end recorded 113 career sacks over 13 seasons in the NFL, the last three with the Packers. He was part of the Super Bowl Championship team in 1996.

#97 – Jeremy Roenick, Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. J.R. played 20 seasons in the NHL, the first eight with the Blackhawks where he wore number 27. The final 12 years of his career he sported number 97.

#98 – Tony Siragusa, Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens. After a successful career in professional football, the rotund Siragusa began his new line of work on television. He is a sideline reporter during NFL games on the Fox Network, has also appeared as the character Frankie Cortese in the HBO hit series The Sopranos and hosts "Man Caves" on the DIY network.

#99 – Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. The Great One held or shared 61 NHL records upon his retirement on April 18, 1999, including 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and 6 all-star records.

#00 – Jim Otto, Oakland Raiders. Born in Wausau, Wisconsin, Otto played for the Oakland Raiders from 1960-1974. Otto punished his body greatly during his NFL career, resulting in nearly 40 surgeries, including 28 knee operations (nine of them during his playing career alone) and multiple joint replacements. His joints are riddled with arthritis, and he has debilitating back and neck problems. On a lighter side, Jim is the only player on any of my lists whose last name is a palindrome.

That wraps up my lists of favorites by the number. I will try to write something new by Tuesday, perhaps an Arno story or maybe another tale about the exploits of the 400 Club softball team. Until next time…from the booth.


Gregory (Greg) P Turco said...

This is a clever way to post.It must have taken a lot of time to assemble.

It will be interesting to revisit in a few years.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Thanks Greg, it did take a little time doing the research for some of the specifics. But it was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. As always, the actual typing was the slow part. My typing skills are nonexistent.