Don’t they know what happened the last time they did that?
Remember the flak that Don Majkowski – and the Packers – received when they issued the number to him back in 1987? It was significant and strong enough that Majkowski, who was not yet known as the “Majik Man,” changed it to 7. At the time here’s how he addressed the issue:
“People kept asking me how it feels to wear Paul Hornung’s number. I kept hearing that, and I realized the impact Hornung had. I wanted to wear a number people could remember me for.”
That was the last time the number, which is in everyone’s mind as being “unofficially” retired, had been issued.
So, why now? Especially to an undrafted free agent who was picked up last week off the scrap heap? Maybe Sinkfield becomes the next Majkowski. Maybe he comes out of nowhere to make the team, rise through the ranks and become a Packers Hall of Famer.
But before we get way ahead of ourselves we have to ask the question first – shouldn’t Hornung’s number be retired?
Maybe, but probably not. You can’t retire every number.
There are many jerseys worn by great Packers players whose numbers also deserve special recognition.
Why don’t people get upset when Forrest Gregg’s 75 is given out? Or when Herb Adderley’s 26 hits the field? What about Fuzzy Thurston’s 63? What about Willie Davis’s 87? Sterling Sharpe’s 84? Jimmy Taylor’s 31? Heck, what about Zeke Bratkowski’s 12?
After all, it’s just a number … why is Hornung’s 5 so sacred? Maybe it’s the single digit? Maybe it’s Hornung’s mystique?
I don’t know. But I do know that there are many Packers fans who are going to object.
To them I say let’s move on. Let the guy wear the number. It’s a nice number and if he makes the team he’ll switch it anyway to something like Donald Driver’s (or James Lofton’s) 80.
What do you think? Should more Packers numbers be retired?