April 7, 2005
By the Numbers

Note: I'll be out attending to family duties Thursday through Sunday, returning Monday. I hope to have some guest columnists fill in during that time. Today's guest column comes from The Commish, my game-day buddy of many years who sits next to me in the front row.

A lot of people will compile a list of their favorite players per position or favorite all-time team. But with free agency & all, rosters rotate so frequently it's hard to keep up with all the new players. Who hasn’t been watching a game this past year and seen a new player with a number that you remember another player wear in years past. Then you say out loud to your buddies, as the kicker misses another kick, "Stupid Danmeier!" Or, "When did Chuck Foreman start playing tight end?" Well, I've taken one it step farther and compiled a list of my favorite player for every number for the Purple! It's hard to be a completely fair judge in this process as I really didn't start following the Purple until the likes of Tommy Kramer, Ahmad Rashad & Matt Blair. But I'm not completely blind to the 60's & 70's, when all those great players used inappropriate numbers, only to get them to be retired. Thus, in like 5 years all of our Wide Receivers will have numbers in the teens. So here is my list with the Winner & Runner-Up at every number:

#1
Winner: Warren Moon
Comments: was awesome his 3 years here
Runner Up: Gary Anderson
Comments: 1st kicker not to miss, in a regular season

#2
Winner: Darren Bennett
Comments: best Aussie we've ever had
Runner Up: Teddy Garcia
Comments: the name rings a bell

#3
Winner: Jan Stenerud
Comments: made Pro Bowl 1 of 2 years here
Runner Up: Jeff George
Comments: learn to dive on fumbles

#4
Winner: Archie Manning
Comments: thought he was coming to a better team…
Runner Up: Donald Igwebuike
Comments: anyone got Coke?

#5
Winner: Chad May
Comments: ugh we need a better #5 soon
Runner Up: Greg Davis
Comments: another worthless kicker

#6
Winner: Bubby Brister
Comments: see #5
Runner Up: Jay Walker
Comments: wasn’t Denny really high on this guy?

#7
Winner: Randall Cummingham
Comments: resurrected career here
Runner Up: Fuad Reveiz
Comments: Fuad the Foot

#8
Winner: Greg Coleman
Comments: towel waver, 'actor', KFAN
Runner Up: Todd Bouman
Comments: local guy makes good

#9
Winner: Tommy Kramer
Comments: Two Minute Tommy
Runner Up: Jim McMahon
Comments: all he does is win

#10
Winner: Fran Tarkenton
Comments: only player to wear #10
***

#11
Winner: Daunte Culpepper
Comments: the highlight films speak for themselves
Runner Up: Joe Kapp
Comments: Daunte has him on spiral alone

#12
Winner: Sean Salisbury
Comments: heard he talked his way into the starting line up
Runner Up: Steve Dils
Comments: best backup ever

#13
Winner: Steve Bono
Comments: started his career here
Runner Up: Bucky Scribner
Comments: isn't a Scribner a bad punt?

#14
Winner: Fred Cox
Comments: now here's a kicker!
Runner Up: Brad Johnson
Comments: played more b-ball in college

#15
Winner: Gary Cuozzo
Comments: did anyone else wear #15?

need another 15 here

#16
Winner: Rich Gannon
Comments: better when not wearing purple
Runner Up: Norm Snead
Comments: Fran's backup

#17
Winner: Mitch Berger
Comments: had a lot of game saving tackles
Runner Up: Bob Berry
Comments: Fran's intern

#18
Winner: Harry Newsome
Comments: ironically one of the best punters we've had
Runner Up: Mike Mercer
Comments: must be a punter #

#19
Winner: Bob Lee
Comments: QB or punter?

Looking for another 19

#20
Winner: Tommy Mason
Comments: helped put franchise on the map
Runner Up: Darin Nelson
Comments: I'm Darin Nelson of the Minnesota Vikings

#21
Winner: Terry Allen
Comments: 1 of the top 3 backs in franchise history
Runner Up: Corey Chavous
Comments: he knows his draft

#22
Winner: Paul Krause
Comments: HOF, NFL all-time INT leader
Runner Up: David Palmer
Comments: more kids then touchdowns

#23
Winner: Michael Bennett
Comments: the guy can run!
Runner Up: Ted Brown
Comments: didn’t he invent the running via brail system?

#24
Winner: Robert Griffith
Comments: great hitter, not catcher
Runner Up: Willie Offord
Comments: at least I thought of another #24

#25
Winner: Vencie Glenn
Comments: great safety during in Floyd Peter's D
Runner Up: Kurt Knoff
Comments: I think I got his autograph as a kid

#26
Winner: Robert Smith
Comments: teams all-time leading rusher
Runner Up: Audray McMillian
Comments: a great cover corner along with Carl Lee

#27
Winner: Corey Fuller
Comments: Ole Pokie
Runner Up: John Turner
Comments: was he one of the guys chasing Dorsett?

#28
Winner: Ahmad Rashad
Comments: Miracle at the Met anyone?
Runner Up: Robert Tate
Comments: WR or CB?

#29
Winner: Karl Kassulke
Comments: stud DB back in the day
Runner Up: John Swain
Comments: or was it Swain chasing Dorsett?

#30
Winner: Bill Brown
Comments: punishing FB
Runner Up: Isaac Holt
Comments: good corner, better known for the Walker trade

#31
Winner: Rick Fenney
Comments: could he go left or right? I never saw him do it..
Runner Up: Eddie Payton
Comments: infamous family name

#32
Winner: Tony Galbreath
Comments: was better with the Saints
Runner Up: Amp Lee
Comments: way to fumble the ball out of the end zone

#33
Winner: Roger Craig
Comments: gave 100% on every run
Runner Up: Brent McClanahan
Comments: 70's RB played 8 years

#34
Winner: Herschel Walker
Comments: oh what a trade
Runner Up: Rickey Young
Comments: one time held NFL record for receptions for a RB

#35
Winner: Robert Miller
Comments: at least someone wore #35
Runner Up: Bob Ferguson
Comments: another hurting number

#36
Winner: Allen Rice
Comments: was he the best back at Baylor?
Runner Up: Malik Boyd
Comments: or was it Alfred Anderson?

#37
Winner: Willie Teal
Comments: man did this guy get burnt a lot!
Runner Up: Jimmy Hitchcock
Comments: big signing, small results

#38
Winner: Todd Scott
Comments: invented the duck walk on Harbaugh INT
Runner Up: Bob Tucker
Comments: I have his football card

#39
Winner: Carl Lee
Comments: best cover corner in Vikings history
Runner Up: Hugh McElhenney
Comments: HOF, but just 2 seasons with the Purple

#40
Winner: Jimmy Kleinsasser
Comments: JIMMY
Runner Up: Charlie West
Comments: I have his football card too

#41
Winner: Dave Osborn
Comments: is this Super Dave Osborn?
Runner Up: Neal Guggemos
Comments: who doesn't remember this guy

#42
Winner: John Gilliam
Comments: stud WR back in the day
Runner Up: Harlon Barnett
Comments: Da Bang Stick

#43
Winner: Orlando Thomas
Comments: was better as #43 then #42
Runner Up: Greg Briggs
Comments: 43 is so bad the even Orlando changed his number

#44
Winner: Chuck Foreman
Comments: could this guy spin, should've played longer
Runner Up: Leroy Hoard
Comments: if you need 2 yards I'll get you 3…

#45
Winner: Ed Sharockman
Comments: another stud DB back in the day
Runner Up: Tom Hannon
Comments: made a lot of tackles as a safety on a bad D

#46
Winner: Alfred Anderson
Comments: what a promising rookie year…
Runner Up: Cullen Loeffler
Comments: he's the long snapper

#47
Winner: Joey Browner
Comments: remember all those returners he's nail before the ball got there
Runner Up: Tim Baylor
Comments: is #47 retired yet?

#48
Winner: Najee Mustafaa
Comments: was better before the name change
Runner Up: Keith Nord
Comments: wasn’t he the placekick holder?

#49
Winner: Ed Marinaro
Comments: better actor then football player
Runner Up: Obafemi
Comments: the name says it all

#50
Winner: Jeff Siemon
Comments: excellent middle linebacker
Runner Up: Jeff Brady
Comments: ole Swivel-head

#51
Winner: Jim Hough
Comments: 9 years on the team
Runner Up: Carlos Jenkins
Comments: OK linebacker with huge neck protector

#52
Winner: Dennis Johnson
Comments: 6 years on the team
Runner Up: Kailee Wong
Comments: don't think he ever made a tackle for a loss

#53
Winner: Mick Tingelhoff
Comments: started the tradition of excellent centers for the Purple
Runner Up: K Mays
Comments: yet another promising LB not to pan out

#54
Winner: Fred McNeil
Comments: made a lot of tackles in the 80's
Runner Up: Jesse Solomon
Comments: now here's a linebacker that did pan out

#55
Winner: Scott Studwell
Comments: best middle linebacker name ever
Runner Up: Jack Del Rio
Comments: pretty good replacement for Studwell

#56
Winner: Chris Doleman
Comments: smart to move him from linebacker
Runner Up: Pete Bercich
Comments: backup to coach

#57
Winner: Mike Merriweather
Comments: great pick-up before the days of free agency
Runner Up: Dwayne Rudd
Comments: Dwayne, Dwayne, Dwayne; stop celebrating!

#58
Winner: Rip Hawkins
Comments: another awesome name for a linebacker
Runner Up: Ed McDaniel
Comments: last stud linebacker we had

#59
Winner: Matt Blair
Comments: great player on some bad teams in the 80's
Runner Up: Lonnie Warwick
Comments: solid LB for 8 years

#60
Winner: Roy Winston
Comments: linebacker that played 15 years with the Purple
Runner Up: Everett Lindsay
Comments: could back any position on the O-line

#61
Winner: Wes Hamilton
Comments: 10 years of service with the Purple
Runner Up: Everett Lindsay
Comments: could back any position on the O-line

#62
Winner: Ed White
Comments: awesome guard in his day
Runner Up: Jeff Cristy
Comments: from out of no where to the Pro Bowl

#63
Winner: Kirk Lowdermilk
Comments: should have made at least 1 Pro Bowl
Runner Up: Grant Feasel
Comments: name rings a bell

#64
Winner: Randall McDaniel
Comments: best guard in NFL history
Runner Up: Milt Sunde
Comments: 11 years with team, solid player

#65
Winner: Gary Zimmerman
Comments: didn't leave here on the happiest terms
Runner Up: Charlie Johnson
Comments: was the1st NT when we ran the 3-4 in the 80's

#66
Winner: Terry Tausch
Comments: another weak number…
Runner Up: John Gerak
Comments: yet another recognizable name

#67
Winner: Grady Alderman
Comments: elite tackle in the 60's
Runner Up: Dennis Swilley
Comments: followed Mick

#68
Winner: Mike Morris
Comments: Superstar
Runner Up: Paul Blair
Comments: they should retire #68

#69
Winner: Doug Sutherland
Comments: the unknown Purple People Eater
Runner Up: Todd Kalis
Comments: he started for a little while

#70
Winner: Jim Marshall
Comments: Cal Ripken is Runner-up Ironman to Mr. Marshall
***

#71
Winner: David Dixon
Comments: was he this big when he played Australian Rules Football?
Runner Up: Ken Clarke
Comments: remember Clarke?

#72
Winner: Dave Huffman
Comments: was a better comedian then blocker
Runner Up: James White
Comments: I don't know who James White is

#73
Winner: Ron Yary
Comments: HOF left tackle
Runner Up: Todd Steussie
Comments: great blocker & false starter

#74
Winner: Bryant McKinnie
Comments: knocked out a heavy weight fighter in a bar fight
Runner Up: Brian Habib
Comments: average player signed huge contract with Denver

#75
Winner: Keith Millard
Comments: how did he always know the snap count?
Runner Up: Bob Lurtsema
Comments: good old Benchwarmer

#76
Winner: Tim Irwin
Comments: still doesn’t look like a lawyer to me
Runner Up: Chris Liwienski
Comments:solid O-lineman still making his mark

#77
Winner: Korey Stringer
Comments: tragic end to a great guy & football player
Runner Up: Gary Larsen
Comments: the 4th Purple People Eater

#78
Winner: Matt Birk
Comments: Harvard man knows football
Runner Up: Steve Riley
Comments: wasn’t he the RT before Irwin?

#79
Winner: Doug Martin
Comments: led the league in sacks one year
Runner Up: Eric Moss
Comments: Randy's half brother

#80
Winner: Cris Carter
Comments: all he does is catch touchdowns
Runner Up: Terry LeCount
Comments: great name for a WR

#81
Winner: Anthony Carter
Comments: my favorite Viking of all-time
Runner Up: Carl Eller
Comments: Runner-up only cause of the love for AC

#82
Winner: Qadry Ismail
Comments: dropped the easy ones, but made the game winning catches
Runner Up: Andrew Glover
Comments: TE who thrived from the 3-Deep Trio

#83
Winner: Steve Jordan
Comments: now this guy was a great football player & TE
Runner Up: Mike Tice
Comments: only caught passes on 3rd & long

#84
Winner: Randy Moss
Comments: Oh Randy, we'll miss those highlight catches
Runner Up: Gene Washington
Comments: great WR in the 60's & 70's

#85
Winner: Paul Flatley
Comments: Pro Bowl flanker back in the 60's
Runner Up: Sammy White
Comments: showed a lot of promise his rookie year

#86
Winner: Jake Reed
Comments: eyes were so bad needed vision training
Runner Up: Mike Mularkey
Comments: was so good he's a head coach now

#87
Winner: Leo Lewis
Comments: Little Leo Lewis could really call a great fair catch
Runner Up: Adrian Cooper
Comments: one of the 1st FA bust we had

#88
Winner: Alan Page
Comments: the name goes hand-in-hand with the franchise
Runner Up: Buster Ryhmes
Comments: who doesn't remember Buster!

#89
Winner: Jerry Reichow
Comments: 5 year tenure with the Purple in the 60's
Runner Up: Matthew Hatchette
Comments: small college kid here during the 3-Deep Era

#90
Winner: Derrick Alexander
Comments: who was the guy we passed up on to take Alexander?
Runner Up: Steve Martin
Comments: that wild and crazy guy

#91
Winner: Greg Manusky
Comments: someone good please wear #91
Runner Up: Martin Harrison
Comments: how many times was this guy cut?

#92
Winner: Roy Barker
Comments: was a moderate RE
Runner Up: Duane Clemons
Comments: good but not great 1st round pick

#93
Winner: John Randle
Comments: Big Dog has gotta go to work!
Runner Up: Kevin Williams
Comments: is earning the right to wear 93

#94
Winner: Tony Williams
Comments: yikes!
Runner Up: Tim Bryant
Comments: more yikes

#95
Winner: Kenechi Udeze
Comments: 1st round pick better step up to the plate
Runner Up: Fernando Smith
Comments: didn’t we cut & then trade for him?

#96
Winner: Jerry Ball
Comments: was solid during his short tenure here
Runner Up: Tim Newton
Comments: The Icebox

#97
Winner: Henry Thomas
Comments: Hardware Hank
Runner Up: Spencer Johnson
Comments: the 90's numbers don’t have a good history

#98
Winner: Esera Tuaolo
Comments: boy could this guy sing
Runner Up: Darrian Scott
Comments: I've never heard him sing

#99
Winner: Al Noga
Comments: false start, sack, false start, sack…
Runner Up: Chris Hovan
Comments: did he bust Tice on the ticket scalping?

Upon compiling this list it was very clear there were numbers that were lacking quality player and then there were numbers that had more than 2 quality players. So here is a short list of honorable mention players: Bobby Bryant, Rick Danmeier, Wally Hilgenberg, Hassan Jones, Joe Sensor, Stu Voight, Chris Walsh, and Wade Wilson. But with this off-season & all the new high profile players dawning Purple this year, there is plenty of numbers for these guys to make their mark!

Posted by maasx003 at April 7, 2005 10:06 AM