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Deuce: Athletes And Their Weird Obsession With Jersey Numbers

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(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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I’ve never understood the attachment to jersey numbers and how some athletes seem to go to great lengths to make sure they’re wearing their favorite number.

For instance, new Cardinals pitcher John Lackey wanted to wear No. 41 but pitcher Pat Neshek sported that number. The solution? Lackey gave the former A’s pitcher a ball signed by Babe Ruth just so he could wear the No. 41. How ridiculous is that?

San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy changed his number from 43 to 22 on Aug. 13, according to the Chronicle. The Giants were in the midst of a five-game losing skid yet for some strange reason, Peavy was motivated to get that number. I can only imagine how Peavy brought up the topic: “So, I know we’ve lost five straight but I really think it’s important we talk about my jersey number. It’s an issue. It’ll totally help our chances in the NL West if I wear No.22”

Peavy has won both starts since switching to No. 22 with a combined 11Ks and 3 earned runs in those games.

NFL cornerback Darrelle Revis paid $50,000 to safety Mark Barron so he could wear the No. 24 with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Yes, Revis dropped $50k just so he could have the No. 24 stitched on his jersey.

The most ridiculous jersey acquisition story was in 2005 when Washington running back Clinton Portis offered to pay defensive back Ifeanyi Ohalete $40,000 for No. 26. Ohalete was released by the team prior to the season and took Portis to court because he alleged that Portis stopped payments after he was cut by the team.

Why do some athletes spend thousands of dollars just to wear a number? If I’m Lackey and No. 41 is taken? Oh well. Put on your jersey and pitch. I’m not paying anything to have a number because it literally has zero impact on how I perform.

Listen to Deuce every day from 12-3 p.m. on KHTK Sports 1140

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