By Fred Sommer

So what space all those letters and also numbers the adorn our jerseys and also keep uniform outfitters in business?

Well, generally the jersey number on one’s ago has other to do with the person’s favourite player while growing up. Back in the day, everyone in Detroit wanted to undertake number 9 for Gordie Howe (Mr. Hockey); everyone in Boston want to stay number 4, because that Bobby Orr; in Toronto, number 27 because that Darryl Sittler; in Philadelphia, number 16 for Bobby Clarke; and so on. But sometimes us can’t every be fortunate enough to wear the cherished number since someone else on the team has already laid insurance claim to it. So we have to improvise a bit, prefer reversing the digits. The number 27 i do not care 72, 16 i do not care 61, etc. Single-digit favorites acquire repeated: 4 becomes 44, 9 becomes 99 (which is why the good One wore 99– due to the fact that of Mr. Hockey). You gain the picture.

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The trouble With twin Digits

Other numbers also intrigue me. The number 1 is pretty much reserved for a goalie. You can understand why: many goaltenders would strive to offer up no an ext than a score a game. So just how do numbers favor 30, 31 and also 35, i beg your pardon are also favored by biscuit eaters, come to be the character of choice? Is it their aim to enable less than 30-something purposes a game? the doesn’t seem an extremely optimistic now, go it? i can’t assist but wonder how those numbers were derived.

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Honestly, ns despise a jersey number in hockey that is past 35. It always seems favor anyone who wears anything over 35 is either yes, really low top top the totem pole (in hockey terms, that method he sit on the end of the bench) or the is wearing a novelty. Brian Lawton, a 10-year NHL veteran, decided to undertake 98. When asked about his jersey number his answer was, “I’m not as an excellent as Gretzky!” Truer words can not it is in spoken.


Know her A-B-Cs

Now, because that the letters. Everyone should understand what the “C” means on a jersey. That player is the captain. That small letter ~ above the breast of his or her jersey dead the enormous weight of having actually to lead a team. Now that we gained that the end of the way, anyone recognize what the “A” stands for? If your answer is “assistant captain,” i am going to vomit; it does not stand for assistant. It means “ALTERNATE captain.” The player put on the “A” does not assist the captain. The is why the captain is the captain; the doesn’t require help. The “A” is there in situation the captain is no on the ice; the alternate captain is the just other player that can comment on (argue) matters with the game officials. I don’t recognize where the “Assistant” thing came from however I shudder as soon as I hear a player gift announced over the PA system as “Assistant Captain.” No such thing.

On to the letter “B.” i think this only could exist in recreational hockey. The “B” stands for the human designated together the supplier of the global post-game refreshment, beer. Depending on your perspective, this person have the right to garner as lot or much more respect than someone wearing one of two people the “C” or the “A.” In some leagues, Canadian beer (or better) is preferred. Heaven aid the man who wears the “B” if he brings lite beer or, perish the thought, non-alcoholic beer. This could be thought about immediate grounds for being stripped the the respect of attract the “B.”

What’s In a Name?

Finally, let’s discuss names ~ above jerseys. Part rec hockey leagues need them on your jersey backs and some don’t. Football player in those leagues wherein names are required and also whose surnames are fairly long can have the unenviable cost of paying the outfitter per letter. We have actually a male on our team who last surname is “Mo.” he gets turn off cheap. Comparison that with another teammate, “Kathirithamby,” and also this unfortunate soul has to pay over 5 times as lot as Mo. He can blame their ancestors for not shortening it when they arrived on Ellis Island.

As you deserve to see, there is nothing uniform about a uniform or jersey number. The only thing the is constant is our love the the game and also the blood, sweat and also tears the wind increase on them.

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Fred Sommer is Manager, R&D engineer at a large pharmaceutical firm. That is proud come wear the letter C top top his jersey.