Should the NFL stop teams from retiring numbers?

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NFL teams should have never started the tradition of retiring jersey numbers, and those teams that have retired numbers should end the practice today, immediately in fact, and re-issue those fabled jersey numbers, writes Jonathan Jones for today.

For a second I thought this was a serious proposal.

I mean for all the wife beating and head injuries, I was like who in the hell has the time to even think about running out of numbers in the NFL. Although, I must admit, I have thought about it myself. I mean how many Steelers should have their numbers retired—what numbers would be left.

Thankfully, I was relieved when it appears this SI article is a tongue-in-cheek take on issues we simply don’t care that much about. It is part of the Bad Takes Week, states Jones.

Jones writes:

Welcome to Bad Takes Week, where MMQB staffers have been asked to expand upon some of their worst football takes. These are columns on the ideas they believe in strongly, even if it makes the rest of the room groan during our pitch meetings. Keep an eye out for more of these throughout the week.

Funny idea. Write about stuff nobody cares about. Who really cares about retired numbers and that it is a pressing problem? But, like most matters related to football, we can find importance in the most mundane and trivial aspects of the game. How may less pounds per square inch did Tom Brady let out of his footballs? Antonio Brown done went and dyed his mustache blonde?

Yes, we are aware of the danger of running out of numbers, but it is a touchy subject. Hell, I can’t imagine that I actually read articles questing when the Steelers would give out Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell’s respective old Steelers numbers to new players—so shortly their asses were run out of town. What is this like grieving over a past girlfriend?

The Bears, Chiefs, Giants and 49ers have each retired 10 or more jersey numbers through the first 100 years of the NFL, Jones writes. There will continue to be great players, Jones concludes, coming into and out of the league who will be just as worthy as those already enshrined. If you keep putting numbers on the shelf, eventually you’ll run out.

Well, running out of numbers. I bet we have some math school teachers that might disagree. Obviously Jones is referring to numbers 0-99 and whole numbers at that—I mean we could be decimals in some of those numbers right?

Me personally, this is a Bad Take. I safely think this is a problem that we can kick down the road to the next generation—kind of like Global Warming. Yeah, its a problem, but F’ it. When the kids outgrow Fortnite, they can figure it out.

Maybe players uniforms shouldn’t have numbers at all? Maybe every player that comes into the league can now have a user name, like a Fortnite or Twitter name? Put that on an NFL uniform instead of those big white numbers. Or get rid of their names and use Twitter handles.

Anyway, in today’s day and age of constant attention to what players are blaming what other players for their shortcomings on social media channels and the importance we lend to it, I am inclined to believe that when it comes to the Bad Takes Week, the real joke is on us.

The NFL is full of serious news—like social injustice, head trauma, wife abuse, drug abuse, pass interference rules, overtime guidelines—but most fans will gladly indulge in Bad Takes Week, any day of the weeks and weeks of the year, if not to momentarily take their mind of the serious stuff going on the world—like war. Hey, a Bad Take is a good time to put the head in the proverbial stand—at least until Fall.

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