Published: April 16th, 2010 | Tags: Alundis Brice, Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears, Colt Brennan, Dallas Cowboys, Davone Bess, Deion Sanders, Donovan McNabb, Jarron Gilbert, Julius Peppers, Miami Dolphins, Robert De Niro, Washington Redskins, Wesley Snipes
NFL players often have an attachment to jersey numbers — an attachment that could prove lucrative in the right circumstance. That’s because players joining a new team often have dropped hefty sums of cash to retrieve their number. Sometimes even more.
One of the most famous examples is CB Deion Sanders, who purchased a brand-new BMW for little-known DB Alundis Brice in exchange for No. 21 upon joining the Cowboys (as told in Jeff Pearlman‘s book) in 1995.
Talk about your ultimate lucky number.
Just this season, there have been some high-profile players changing teams — and some wrangling for jersey numbers. New Bears DE Julius Peppers told Jarron Gilbert that he would compensate him for yielding the No. 90 that Peppers wore in Carolina (via the Chicago Tribune). Gilbert refused payment, but Peppers said he would make it worth his while.
Colt Brennan surrendered the No. 5 jersey he was wearing with the Redskins to Donovan McNabb, happily going back to No. 15, which he wore for the University of Hawaii.
So it all works out in the end, right? Well, the agent for Dolphins WR Davone Bess confirmed to the Miami Herald that his client will not surrender his No. 15 jersey to newly acquired WR Brandon Marshall.
Kenny Zuckerman told the Herald that “[Bess] loves that number and wants to keep it. Seriously, it’s not about money. He sincerely won’t sell it.”
Bess — in news that might only interest me — was a college teammate of Brennan and wore No. 7. But Bess should be careful. Refusing to surrender a jersey number was one of the key plot points in the Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes movie, “The Fan.” In retrospect, though, knowing the plot of that film is a rather embarrassing admission. It’s something for which you also would pay good money — for people to forget.