Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I'm all for the retiring of jerseys for elite players. The Yankees do it, the Jets would do it if they had elite players, the Celtics do it, everyone does it. It makes sense. If he's one of the very best players of all time on your roster for a lengthy period of time than it's the best way to honor them. Hang their jersey on your stadium walls with pride and make sure no one will ever be there to tarnish that number.
I do have the occasional problem with retiring numbers however. To this point almost all of these disagreements come when players who have no business being honored to the highest degree receive this honor. I guess it's each franchises decision with which players deserve this award, but sometimes it seems that they are just embarrassing themselves. If your honoring say John Starks to the rafters you have to wonder what kind of standards your franchise truly has. Sure he was an excellent player, but there will be no great injustice if other players wear the Knick #3 jersey.
Then yesterday occurred and I had a knew retirement disagreement. This time with the University of North Carolina who for some reason or another have already declared that they will be retiring Tyler Hansbrough's jersey at the conclusion of his playing career. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this is ridiculous, but Hansbrough isn't even a senior yet. First off I don't think you should retire a player's jersey while their still active ever. I don't care if it's their last game or not. But a year in advance? You don't see Tom Brady or Derek Jeter's #s already in the rafters. And you won't seem them raised in their last regular season game as a pro either. Why because it's stupid and it makes no sense.
Sure Tyler Hansbrough has been a superstar for North Carolina in all of his three seasons. Sure he'll win some player of the year awards. And sure he'll probably deserve the right of watching his #50 jersey raised to the roof. But he hasn't even lead the Tarheels to a Final Four yet. Hell in his freshman year they lost to George Mason in the 2nd round. Can we at least wait until he's had some kind of success during the month of March. Check that, just wait until his career is over, it's the only thing that makes sense.