Fulfilling a quest from above

Looked through my mail the other day.
VISA bill—trash. Phone bill—garbage. Hate mail—ditto. But a telegram was shuffled in between all the flyers and junk mail with the sender reading: Heaven.
Sorry. Stop. Running out of space up here. Stop. Jammed to the rafters. Stop. From now on can handle only one athlete per jersey number. Stop. Doesn’t matter which sports. Stop. You decide. Stop. Fax List as soon as possible. Stop.
So I accepted the Holy Quest. Spent much time at my crowded desk. On my uncomfortable chair. And this is what I came up with.
Each jersey number shall honour one athlete and one athlete only. That’s the law. Now Emmanuel’s Law. So I don’t want any fuss . . .
0—GEORGE PLIMPTON (“Paper Lion”)
00—ROBERT PARISH (Boston Celtics)
1—OZZIE SMITH (St. Louis Cardinals)
2—SECRETARIAT
3—BABE RUTH
4—BOBBY ORR (sorry, Lou Gehrig)
5—JOE DiMAGGIO
6—BILL RUSSELL (sorry, Dr. J)
7—MICKEY MANTLE
8—CAL RIPKEN Jr.
9—GORDIE HOWE (with a nod to Ted Williams)
10—PELE
11—MARK MESSIER
12–TERRY BRADSHAW
13—WILT CHAMBERLAIN (sorry, Dan Marino)
14—PETE ROSE
15—BART STARR (Green Bay Packers)
16—JOE MONTANA!
17—JOHN HAVILEK (Boston Celtics)
18—PEYTON MANNING
19—JOHNNY UNITAS
20—BARRY SANDERS
21—JIM THORPE
22—ELGIN BAYLOR (with a nod to Emmith Smith)
23—MICHAEL JORDAN (forever)
24—WILLIE MAYS
25—MARK McGWIRE
26—SATCHELL PAIGE (with a nod to Wade Boggs)
27—JUAN MARICHAL (San Francisco Giants)
28—MARSHALL FAULK
29—KEN DRYDEN
30—NOLAN RYAN
31—JIM TAYLOR (with a nod to Greg Maddux)
32—JIM BROWN (with apologies to Magic Johnson and Sandy Koufax)
33—LEW ALCINDOR (edging out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Larry Bird)
34—WALYER PAYTON
35—DOC BLANCHARD
36—O.J. SIMPSON (remember him?)
37—CASEY STENGEL (N.Y. Yankees)
38—RAY DANDRIDGE (of the Negro Leagues)
39—ROY CAMPANELLA (Brooklyn Dodgers)
40—GALE SAYERS (with a nod to Vince Lombardi, who wore it at Fordham)
41—ROGER BANNISTER (wore it when he broke the four-minute mile)
42—JACKIE ROBINSON
43—RICHARD PETTY (auto racing)
44—HANK AARON (over Jerry West)
45—BOB GIBSON
46—LEE SMITH (Chicago Bears)
47—TOM GLAVINE (sorry Mel Blount)
48—GERALD FORD (at Michigan)
49—TOM LANDRY (as a N.Y. Giant)
50—DAVID ROBINSON (with a nod to Mike Singletary)
51—DICK BUTSKUS
52—MIKE WEBSTER (Pittsburgh Steelers)
53—DON DRYSDALE (L.A. Dodgers)
54—GOOSE GOSSAGE (N.Y. Yankees)
55—OREL HERSHISER
56—LAWRENCE TAYLOR
57—TOM JACKSON (Denver Broncos)
58—JACK LAMBERT (Pittsburgh Steelers)
59—JACK HAM (also of the Steelers)
60—OTTO GRAHAM
61—BILL GEORGE (Chicago Bears)
62—JIM LANGER (Dolphins of Miami)
63—GENE UPSHAW (Oakland Raiders)
64—JERRY KRAMER
65—GARY ZIMMERMAN
66—MARIO LEMIEUX (forever)
67—SIXTEN JERNBERG (won four Olympic cross-country ski golds)
68—JAROMIR JAGR (as a Penguin)
69—LARRY COSTELLO
70—SAM HUFF
71—ALEX KARRAS (Detroit Lion)
72—CARLTON FISK
73—JOHN HANNAH (New England Patriots)
74—MERLIN OLSEN (L.A. Rams)
75—MEAN JOE GREEN (Steelers of the ’70s)
76—SHAWN BRADLEY (really tall and I didn’t know any other 76s)
77—RAY BOURQUE
78—BRUCE SMITH
79—ROOSEVELT BROWN (N.Y. Giants)
80—JERRY RICE (forever)
81—NIGHT TRAIN LANE (Lions)
82—JOHN STALLWORTH
83—TED HENDRICKS (Oakland Raiders)
84—SHANNON SHARPE
85—JACK YOUNGBLOOD (L.A. Rams)
86—BUCK BUCHANAN (Chiefs)
87—DWIGHT CLARK (“The Catch”)
88—LYNN SWANN
89—IRON MIKE DITKA (Da Bears)
90—NEIL SMITH
91—DENNIS RODMAN (check the stats)
92—REGGIE WHITE (R.I.P.)
93—DOUG GILMOUR
94—This space available
95—RICHARD DENT (Bears)
96—CORTEZ KENNEDY (Seahawks)
97—CORNELIUS BENNETT
98—TOM HARMON (Michigan Wolverines)
99—WAYNE GRETZKY (forever)

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Uncategorized