With 67 days left until the start of the NFL season, our countdown to the big day continues. Thursday, Sept. 4, is the day when the Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to take on the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks. Over the course of the next 67 days we focus on the number that represents the days remaining … today it’s number 67.
FOR AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT EVERY NUMBER AND THE PLAYERS WHO WORE THEM, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND “PACKERS BY THE NUMBERS: JERSEY NUMBERS AND THE PLAYERS WHO WORE THEM,” BY JOHN MAXYMUK.
Today we take a look at a number that has been worn by a total of 20 players since 1950.
The question is whether you can name a single one of those players … I guess I started with Don Barclay, the current Packers player wearing the number, but stopped abruptly at that point. I couldn’t think of another single player.
But there’s one player that we might all want to forget who was selected to feature by John Maxymuk, the author of “Packers by the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore Them,” – Russell Maryland.
I’m not sure why he chose to feature Maryland, a former Dallas Cowboy and Oakland Raider who was brought to Green Bay for a single season. But judging from his comments below, it’s pretty clear he just wanted to pound on him a bit.
Maybe there will be a day when we highlight Don Barclay, but just for fun we’ll take a look at Maryland through Maxymuk’s eyes. Here’s what he had to say about Maryland:
"Seeing Russell Maryland in a Packer uniform never seemed right. He was only in Green Bay for a year and did the job he was signed to do – shore up the middle of the defense – but he was still a stinking Cowboy.By all reports, Maryland is a fine person devoted to his wife and children, and he clearly was an on-field leader with an admirable work ethic, but he was a Cowboy. He had spent the previous four years in Oakland, but the mark of the Star would always be part of him.He was only the seventh player to first play in Dallas and then Green Bay; the first six were Jerry Norton, Malcolm Walker, Ron Widby, Ike Thomas, Jim Jensen and Chris Akins. In addition, Clarence Williams was obtained from the Cowboys’ taxi squad in a trade. In 2002, former cowpokes Bryant Westbrook and Alcender Jackson played for the Pack. Players moving in the other direction included those selected by the Cowboys in the expansion draft (Nate Borden, Bull Butler, and Don McIlhenny) plus Fred Cone Bill Howton, Andy Cvercko, Lee Folkins, Gary Barnes, Herb Adderley, Forrest Gregg, Lee Roy Caffey, Syd Kitson, Alan Veingrad, Fred Strickland, George Teague, and Jackie Harris. Marco Rivera also finished out his career in Dallas.Tony Liscio was a Packers draft choice cut right before the beginning of the 1963 season who was then picked up by the Cowboys.But back to Maryland …He came to Dallas out of the University of Miami, selected as the first player in the 1991 draft by his former college coach, Jimmy Johnson. Maryland had a good year with the Packers, plugging the middle. They re-signed Gilbert Brown to perform the same function for less money. The realities of living under a hard salary cap prompts teams to make these difficult decisions every year and players are in a continual state of movement.However, Maryland was a part of that 1990s Cowboys team. the team whose dirty play specialist tackle Erik Williams took a diving cut block at the back of John Jurkovic’s knee and ended his Packer career. The team that called a timeout in the last minute of an easy victory over the Packers in 1996 so that their kicker could tie a record by kicking a seventh field goal in one game. A team with several talented, arrogant, ignorant players like Michael Irvin, who were in constant trouble with the law and were often a disgrace to the game.Russell Maryland was nothing like that himself, but he was a part of that braggadocios, undisciplined team. Seeing him playing for the home team in Lambeau only brought back bad memories, and it is good that he moved on, because Cowboys have never been heroes in Wisconsin."
So, with that bashing of a player today, we can’t wait to move on to #66 tomorrow … we all know who wore that number.
Here are all the players since 1950 who have worn #67: