92 days until football: Reggie White and his enshrinement in Green Bay

With 92 days left until the start of the NFL season, our countdown to the big day, Thursday, Sept. 4, when the Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to take on the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks will focus on the the number that represents the number of days remaining … today it’s #92.

Is there anyone who doesn’t know who best wore #92?

Reggie White.

The name, the legend.

images-1We highly recommend “Packers by the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore Them,” by John Maxymuk. The book, published in 2003, chronicles every Packers jersey number and the characters who wore them. Maxymuk provides a thorough background about the players and their numbers up to that point in time.

The first to wear the number, according to Maxymuk, was defensive tackle Rich Dimler. He was acquired from Cleveland and spent the 1980 season with the Packers, according to Maxymuk. 

In addition to Dimler, John Jurkovich wore the number in 1991 and 1992 before White came to Green Bay in 1993. White wore 92 and Jurkovic wore 64 for the remainder of his time in Green Bay – through the 1995 season.

But it was White who was one of the first to make the lucrative jump in free agency and then bring a championship to a team. He was a key piece of the Packers domination in the mid-1990s as they went to three straight conference championships and two straight Super Bowls, winning one title.

Maxymuk says this about Reggie in his book:

Eagles owner Norman Braman was adamant that he would not overpay to retain Reggie White, asserting that White’s best years were behind him. Reggie went on a well-publicized 37-day free agency tour before shocking the sports world by signing with Green Bay. Reggie said that God told him to go to Green Bay; cynics figured that money had more to do with the decision …

Braman was right, Reggie was not as good a player as he was in Philadelphia, but he was still among the best linemen in the game, would still make big plays that no one else could, and was an unquestioned, respectable leader in the clubhouse and on the field. Braman was penny-wise and pound-foolish. He saved some money, but his football team never went to the Super Bowl.

Reggie White

Reggie White

The Packers went to the Super Bowl twice with Reggie helping lead the way. His place in the NFL and Packers Hall of Fames was earned through years of consistent play and the uncanny knack for making the plays when they counted most.

His untimely death caught the world by surprise …

And while he was the best ever to wear #92, he should be in the “best Packer of all-time” conversation.

According to ProFootballReference.com, these are the players who have worn #92.

From To AV
Rich Dimler 1980 1980 0
John Jurkovic 1991 1992 4
Matt Koart 1986 1986 1
Ben Thomas 1986 1986 1
Reggie White 1993 1998 62

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  • Michael Castelaz

    There is so much more to be said about The Minister of Defense. One could make the case that the Packers would have dwindled in mediocrity for the next couple of decades without him. Anybody who watched him play… You could argue that he was the Michael Jordan of defensive linemen. There was NEVER… EVER a defensive player I’ve ever watched that was more “clutch” than Reggie. Watching TV you’d sit and say… “We really need a sack here… please God… we need a sack.”

    The ball was snapped… RW swatted away one lineman and hurdled another… and boom. The quarterback was sacked for a 7 yard loss, the team was out of field goal range, and the clock was nearly out. Reggie won the game.

    The guy was absolutely incredible… and the best “character guy” you could ask for. I’ve also read a very convincing article that he had a lot to do with helping lure the “black athlete” (article’s words, not mine) to Green Bay. The article asserts that GB is not as appealing to some athletes because of the fact that it’s not a big city and it lacks the glitz and glam (unless, of course, you’re staring at the lights adoring the “trophy room”). Reggie not only attracted great players, but he attracted great team members… and the ones who weren’t inclined to be great team members? He made them better.

    He might be my favorite Packer of all time… if not, he certainly could never be excluded from the conversation.