When a sports team or league decides to retire a number, that usually means no one else will ever wear it. The Tigers retired Al Kaline's number 6, so no Tiger will ever wear 6 again. Same with Gordie Howe or Steve Yzerman with the Red Wings. Jackie Robinson and Wayne Gretzky have the same honor with Major League Baseball and the NHL. Now word is the University of Michigan wants to "reissue" Grand Rapids' favorite son Gerald Ford's number 48 "to honor him". Huh?

As an "Honor" to Michigan "Legends", one player will wear Ford's number 48--which was retired in 1994--this season. Last year, Desmond Howard became the first ever "Michigan Football Legend". As one of Michigan's three Heisman Trophy winners, Howard has the original distinction of being the first Michigan Legend prior to the team's home win over Notre Dame.

In a story from AnnArbor.com "Brady Hoke says Michigan plans to re-issue Gerald Ford's retired No. 48 jersey this year, no plans for No. 1", coach Brady Hoke said "We're honoring Desmond Howard now every year with one of our players (senior receiver Roy Roundtree) who really deserves it," Hoke told 94.5 the Jox in Birmingham Alabama. "We're going to do the same with Gerald Ford's jersey here this year."

Is this an honor, or does it cheapen the "Retired" number designation?


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