Saturday, April 25, 2009

Significance of Number 33

As a youngster growing up in Detroit, former Red Wing and Hall of Famer Gordie Howe was my favorite player therefore my lucky number was nine. If that number was taken, Plan B was number 11 because former Detroit Tigers Catchers Bill Freehan and Bruce Kimm wore it proudly and I played baseball, basketball and hockey growing up as a kid.
But now I have another number that has taken over. When I saw 33 straight Detroit Lions games home and away during Hall of Fame Running Back Barry Sanders illustrious career, plus covered my first Super Bowl which was Super Bowl 33 in Miami where another Hall of Famer John Elway retired with a win over the Atlanta Falcons, this number stuck. Ironically, Sanders and Elway were inducted into the Hall of Fame together in 2004. In Fort Lauderdale, my favorite restaurants are off Exit 33 which is Cypress Creek Road.
In sports, No 33 has a great significance to it. Here are some of the most interesting No. 33's and I encourage you readers to come up with other suggestions.
* Magic Johnson wore this number when he led the Michigan State Spartans to the 1979 National Championship over Larry Bird's Indiana State Sycamores in Salt Lake City.
* Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Johnson's NBA teammate wore it with the Los Angeles Lakers.
* The Lakers won an NBA record 33 straight games.
* Larry Bird wore No. 33 for Indiana State in 1979 and also in his NBA career with the Boston Celtics.
* Michael Jordan holds the NBA post-season record with a career mark of 33.5 points-per-game.
* Lou Saban was a head coach for 33 years with 25 teams.
* Former Miami Heat Center Alonzo Mourning is the only player in franchise history to have his number retired.
* Tiger Woods will be 33 by the end of 2009.
* Grant Hill won a national championship with Duke and has worn the number for the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns.
* Kris Draper has worn No. 33 with the Detroit Red Wings since 1993 and has four Stanley Cup Championships playing in Hockeytown.
* Patrick Roy, Draper's rival with the Colorado Avalanche, is the sixth player in NHL history to have his number retired by two different organizations. Roy has won four Stanley Cup Titles, two a piece with Colorado and the Montreal Canadiens, and was selected to the NHL Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2006.
* Can you believe that it's been 33 years since the late Detroit Tigers Pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, who became famous for talking to the baseball and his antics on the mound became an American Folk Hero, posted a 19-9 record during the Bicentennial year of 1976 and appeared in the All-Star Game in Philadelphia?
* Nick Swisher wears No. 33 for the storied New York Yankees, one of the few numbers that isn't retired.
* Marcus Thames wears No. 33 for my hometown Detroit Tigers another tradition rich franchise.
* The Michigan Wolverines bowl streak ended at 33 games.
* The 2008 NFL Draft marked the 33rd year of Mr Irrelevant which is the last player selected in the draft. That dubious honor went to St. Louis Rams Linebacker David Vobora. He was the 252 player chosen, has a jersey with the No. 252, received many other gifts, uses the Mr Irrelevant honor to gain endorsement deals and has a permanent spot in the Rams media guide.
* The Detroit Lions used their 2009 second round selection, 33rd overall, to select Western Michigan University Broncos Safety Louis Delmas.
* There are 33 drivers for the Indianapolis 500.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats. If you've been writing for 30 years, I can only hope you have a day job.

How is the collection of random, unconnected stats involving "33" at all interesting, relevant, or meaningful?

This post is so horrible, it is nothing more than a waste of the energy that was used by various computers to post this to the internet.

You could have written the same post about ANY number!

You are the WORST sports blogger.

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