For Syracuse fans 44 is so much more than a number, it’s the number. From Jim Brown to Ernie Davis and onwards, 11 players have worn 44 for the Orange since 1954. The last player to wear it was Rob Conrad in 1998, and in 2005 the number was officially retired.
However, the number has transcended the football field. The university’s changed its zip code from 13210 to 13244, and the school’s phone systems were changed from “423” to “443” numbers in 1988. It’s hard to argue that any number has meant more to a school than what 44 has been for Syracuse, and it’s time to bring it back.
Robert Washington, one of the best running backs in the 2016 class who’s talents have drawn offers from schools such as Alabama and Michigan, wants to wear 44. Washington has made it clear that he’d like to bring back number if he decides to come to Syracuse, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t.
Washington would be the biggest recruit to choose the Orange since KJ Williams, and if giving him 44 will get him here then why the hell not?
Even if Washington wasn’t considering Syracuse, it’s time to bring 44 back to the football field. 44 isn’t a number a great player wore once, but one that was handed down from player to player for decades. Why did that have to end? 44 is what Syracuse is, not was Syracuse once was.
The re-emergence of 44 is looking more and more likely nowadays. Washington’s talk has led the #Restore44 movement that many Syracuse fans have joined. Also, the athletic director who retired 44 in the first place is now out. The new AD is going to want to separate himself from Daryl Gross, and bringing back 44 could be a nice first impression.
As fore Washington, he announces where he’ll play college ball tomorrow.
The Fizz will be talking more about Robert Washington and the number 44 on Fizz Radio on Saturday morning; tune into The Score 1260 at 9 AM to hear all we have to say. If you can’t make it to a radio Saturday morning, you can listen to the full episode at orangefizz.podpean.com later that day.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson