Shamus Clancy

Who has the best jersey number on the Eagles? Ranking them from worst to best

Who has the best jersey number on the Eagles? Ranking them from worst to best

Every Eagles fan has had the dream of running out of the tunnel of The Linc (or The Vet) as the stadium PA announcer bellows, “At quarterback… No. 7....” before saying their name amidst a rocking crowd. The position and number may vary depending on the person, but the dream remains the same. Given that the Eagles’ rookies and UDFAs received their new uniforms last week and piggybacking off an idea from the good folks at Bleeding Green Nation Radio, I’ve decided to rank the best and most fitting jersey numbers for the Eagles roster.

It’s not as simple as deciding which numbers are the “coolest.” I’m taking into account the position the player plays, his size, his past performance and his style of play. Here are my tiered uniform numbers rankings of players on the Eagles’ current 90-man roster:

No Numbers Tier

90. OG Johnny Gibson

89. QB Cody Kessler

Yikes. No number is worse than a terrible number! No jersey numbers have been given out yet for these recent roster additions.

Shared Numbers Tier

88. RB Boston Scott #49

87. LB Alex Singleton #49

86. DT Hassan Ridgeway #64

85. OT Tyreek Burwell #66

84. DT Anthony Rush #66

83. C Keegan Render #64

82. DE Daeshon Hall #74

81. DT Kevin Wilkins #78

80. OG Sua Operta #78

79. P Cameron Johnston #1

78. OT Ryan Bates #74

77. WR Deandre Thompkins #1

As a wise man once said, “You can’t have two #1s” because that would make 11. Even if you were a stud running back wearing #25, sharing your jersey number with another player just takes away the special, unique feeling that uniform numbers create to begin with. I’m not an idiot. I know that they have to do this during the point in the offseason when you have a 90-man roster, but roll with me.

Sorry, Boston Scott, but #49 may just be the worst running back number of all time. Feels like the number for a fourth-string fullback on a JV football squad.

The Special Teamers Are People Too Tier

76. LS Rick Lovato #45

75. K Jake Elliott #4

Every long snapper’s goal should be that no one in the fan base knows his number because that means he didn’t screw up at some point.

The I Wish I Wasn’t Born a Lineman Tier

74. C Anthony Fabiano #63

73. OG Nate Berbig #67

72. DE Vinny Curry #75

71. DE Shareef Miller #76

70. OL Stefan Wisniewski #61

69. OG Brandon Brooks #79

68. OT Jordan Mailata #68

67. OL Isaac Seumalo #73

66. OT Andre Dillard #77

65. OT Lane Johnson #65

64. OT Jason Peters #71

63. OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai #72

62. C Jason Kelce #62

Every big-for-their-age adolescent who got stuck playing lineman in CYO and Pop Warner football, much like myself, was extremely jealous of all their smaller friends who got better numbers while they were stuck with the 60s and 70s like a complete afterthought. I feel these linemen’s pain in my hearts, but I cannot lie. These numbers suck.

The “Who Is That Guy?” Tier

61. CB Jay Liggins #46

60. CB Josh Hawkins #48

59. CB Blake Countess #39

58. DB Jeremiah McKinnon #38

57. S Deiondre’ Hall #36

56. S Tre Sullivan #37

55. TE Richard Rodgers #82

54. DB Godwin Igwebuike #33

53. WR Marken Michel #80

52. TE Joshua Perkins #83

51. TE Will Tyle #85

50. WR Braxton Miller #89

49. RB Donnel Pumphrey #35

48. LB BJ Bello #59

47. LB Zach Brown #51

46. S Andrew Sendejo #42

45. LB Joey Alfieri #50

44. LB LJ Fort #58

43. LB Paul Worrilow #52

42. LB TJ Edwards #57

41. RB Josh Adams #33

40. LB Nathan Gerry #47

39. LB Kamu Grugier-Hill #54

These are the players your dad may angrily ask you, “Who is that guy?!?” in the middle of third quarter of a game in late October if they’re on the field. Forgettable numbers from non-marquee players.

The DB Tier

38. CB Jalen Mills #31

37. CB Avonte Maddox #29

36. CB Rasul Douglas #32

35. CB Cre’Von LeBlanc #34

34. S Rodney McLeod #23

33. CB Ronald Darby #21

32. CB Sidney Jones #22

Even bad defensive back numbers are better than almost any other position’s good numbers. #22 is the second-best of them (#20 is tops obviously). It’s being wasted on Sidney Jones. Another disappointing season from the Washington product may result in him needing to give his number away to Avonte Maddox, who is stuck with #29 likely as the result of being a fourth-round pick last year.

Super Bowl Heroes Tier

31. RB Corey Clement #30

30. LB Nigel Bradham #53

29. S Malcolm Jenkins #27

28. DE Chris Long #56 (on the team technically for now)

27. DE Brandon Graham #55

Not the best numbers ever, but the above players’ success has brought them to folk hero status in Philly and I will always associate each of these numbers with them.

The Rules Need to Be Changed Tier

26. WR Greg Ward #6

25. WR Charles Johnson #3

Skill position players should be allowed to wear single-digit numbers that otherwise fall to quarterbacks and special teamers during the regular season. There’s no reason that a guy like DeSean Jackson shouldn’t be allowed to wear #1 like he was in college at Cal. He would look even more electrifying than usual. Players like this just feel effortlessly cool. The NFL should think hard about overhauling their old school uniform number system with this change in mind.

The Nice Tier

24. OL Matt Pryor #69

Nice. Nice.

Sweet Spot Running Back Tier

23. RB Wendell Smallwood #28

22. RB Jordan Howard #24

21. RB Miles Sanders #26

Every running back seems faster with a number in the 20s. If your number is in the 30s, I assume you run a 5.3 40-yard dash.

The I Hope This Guy Doesn’t Play One Meaningful Snap Tier

20. QB Clayton Thorson #8

19. QB Nate Sudfeld #7

Everyone wants to be a quarterback. #7 is the best number of all time. It’s not debatable. A stud number for Nate STUDfeld.

The 1991 Eagles Memorial Tier

18. DE Josh Sweat #94

17. DE Joe Ostman #95

16. DT Bruce Hector #98

15. DT Treyvon Hester #90

14. DT Malik Jackson #97

13. DT Timmy Jernigan #93

12. DE Derek Barnett #96

11. DT Fletcher Cox #91

Throw it back to a trio of dudes just known by their first names. Reggie. Jerome. Clyde. Jersey numbers in the 90s are the perfect move for defensive linemen.

The Modern Receiver Tier

10. WR Carlton Agudosi #14

9. WR Shelton Gibson #18

8. WR Mack Hollins #16

7. WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside #19

6. WR Nelson Agholor #13

5. WR Alshon Jeffery #17

If you’re a traditionalist, you may think it’s sacrilegious for wide receivers to wear anything other than a number in the 80s. If you came up in the era of Twitter while watching DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr. making absurd one-handed catches every week, you’ll (correctly) think receivers wearing a number in the teens is the new wave.

James Thrash and Freddie Mitchell haunt me too much even all these years later to really dig 80s on receivers.

The 12 Personnel Tier

4. TE Zach Ertz #86

3. TE Dallas Goedert #88

I’m one Dallas Goedert red zone touchdown against an NFC East team away from stumbling into the Eagles Pro Shop after a couple of Miller Lites and dropping $100 on his jersey. The league’s best tight end duo deserves these numbers. #88 is great for a straight overpowering beast and #86 is ideal for the nimble, masterful route-runner.

The Franchise Player Tier

2. QB Carson Wentz #11

#11 in your programs, but #1 in your hearts.

The Fastest Man Alive Tier

1. WR DeSean Jackson #10

#10 is the perfect number for a 5-10 wideout with game-breaking speed who’s been a threat to take it 80 yards to the house every time he’s touched the ball for the last decade. The only way this could be better, as I said above, is if the NFL allowed him to wear #1.

I’m going to go try to find an old black Reebok DJacc jersey on eBay now.

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A guide to enjoying the Sixers on Sunday without worrying about Game of Thrones spoilers

A guide to enjoying the Sixers on Sunday without worrying about Game of Thrones spoilers

Make sure you take your mom out to brunch early on Sunday. May 12 is the culmination of years of hype, nonstop fan theories and chaotic family dynamics. The two nerdiest things about me are the hundreds of Sixers blog posts I’ve written in my parents’ basement (I live on my own now) and my absolute obsession with Game of Thrones. Those worlds will come crashing together on Sunday night. 

The Sixers tip off against the Raptors in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at 7 p.m. on TNT. The penultimate episode of Thrones starts at 9 p.m. on HBO. The second half of the game will overlap with Thrones. How do you watch the Sixers without getting Thrones spoiled for you? Let me run you through your viewing options:

1. Turn the Sixers off and watch Thrones when it starts. I cannot stress this enough: if you do this, you are a coward. Every Sixers game for the last two weeks has been billed as “THE BIGGEST SIXERS GAME SINCE 2001,” but this is literally THE BIGGEST SIXERS GAME SINCE 2001. Game of Thrones is the last true television event. The rise of streaming services has killed the collective experience of millions of people simultaneously watching a single episode of a television series. I get it. It’s become my favorite show ever in such a short amount of time. Come on though. Game 7? Game 7. Don’t overthink it. Five years ago, an Iranian man named Arsalan Kazemi was playing for the Sixers in the 2014 NBA Summer League. Do you know who that is? If for some reason you do, you owe it to yourself to watch Joel Embiid send a Pascal Siakam shot flying across the court as it hits Drake in the face.

2. Turn your phone off when Thrones starts. The easiest thing in the world for anyone born before 1987 and essentially impossible for anyone born after. You would have to DVR Thrones, turn your phone off at 8:59 p.m. sharp, catch up with it through your DVR or HBO NOW after the game ends and go without your phone cold turkey until the episode is over. Seems simple enough, but you would miss out on Sixers Twitter going ballistic watching the team advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 2001. Chaos is a ladder. By the time you turn your phone on, someone might have Jimmy Butler’s face tattooed on their neck. Conversely, you could miss the a colossal fan base meltdown if the Sixers come up short. You win or you die. There is no middle ground.

The idea of not being able to compulsively and anxiously scroll through my Twitter timeline during the fourth quarter of a Sixers elimination game is terrifying, but this is the option I’m going to choose. Valar morghulis. 

3. Mute every word even remotely related to Game of Thrones on your Twitter app. It’s quite time-consuming, but it’s what I did when I was catching up on the show in between Season 7 and Season 8. It’s not foolproof though because some nitwit will spell Targaryen incorrectly or tweet, “ARYAAAAA KILLED HIM!!!” or use some weird unpredictable hashtag that you couldn’t possibly have muted ahead of time and ruin everything. This is the riskiest option, but if your heart is going to pop out of your chest if you don’t tweet “#MikeScottHive” after a huge fourth quarter three-pointer, go for it. 

4. Share this article on Facebook and Twitter before throwing your phone into the Schuylkill. Can’t get spoiled if you have no communication with the outside world! 

The idea of a Sixers Game 7 is as electrifying as it is downright frightening. The same goes for the experience of watching the loose ends of Game of Thrones come together. In these trying times, I think to what Brett Brown might say if he was a Westerosi water dancer:

“What do we say ta tha gawd of death? Nawt today.”

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Sixers fans should play the villain and boo Jared Dudley relentlessly in Game 5

Sixers fans should play the villain and boo Jared Dudley relentlessly in Game 5

Joel Embiid may have called Jared Dudley “a nobody” after this past weekend’s Sixers win against the Nets, but he’s certainly somebody to Philly fans. He’s the latest embodiment of all the city’s frustrations. My student loan debt? Jared Dudley’s fault. My 2004 Ford Explorer not starting once per month? Also his fault.

Dudley, who looks more like the Pillsbury Dough Boy than an NBA combo forward, played his role perfectly on Saturday: he instigated a fight and got one of the Sixers' star players in Jimmy Butler ejected from the game alongside him. He knows what he’s doing. He knew what he was doing when he called Ben Simmons “average” last week. He’s stirring the pot. Dudley did his job. Now it’s time for Sixers fans to do theirs.

Boo the you-know-what out of him. No mercy.

During the Sixers’ embarrassing performance in Game 1 last Saturday, boos rained down throughout the Wells Fargo Center. Following that nine-point loss, Simmons was quick to say, “If you go on that side, stay on that side,” in response to Sixers fans’ boo birds. There are two certainties in life when athletes are addressing the city’s fans. One: don’t do that. And two: if you play like crap, you’re going to hear about it. The Sixers slugged their way through the last month of the season and no-showed a home playoff game. It was well deserved. Simmons going berserk early in Game 2 on his way to a triple-double performance only further justified the booing as the kick in the pants the team needed.

The national sports media circuit predictably came out flaming against the Philly faithful after Game 1, creating a referendum on the merits of fans booing their own teams’ players. At the risk of coming off as your cliched, annoying uncle, I will say that if you’re not from the Philly area, you don’t have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about in situations like this. Let us cope with our sports disappointments on our own. No matter how Philadelphians act, there will always be critics policing our sports fandom. You’re not my therapist. You can’t tell me what to do.

Which brings us back to The Round Mound of Zero Rebounds. Everyone already thinks Philly fans are the worst people in the universe. Go full heel. Play the villain. People in this city love wearing a “Philadelphia vs. Everybody” shirt or hoodie. Don’t just lean into the role. Cannonball into it! When Dudley steps off that bus from Brooklyn, he should have the same fear in his eyes as Jaime Lannister did when he saw Bran Stark from across the Winterfell courtyard. He shouldn’t even get off the bus!

Go crazy. Break out J.D. Drew-level boos when he gets announced in the Nets’ starting lineup. “AVEEEE-RAGEEEE” chants every single time he touches the ball. The Sixers should display a video of Elmer Fudd in Space Jam on the jumbotron whenever he checks in. Have the arena shaking like Patrick Robinson just took a Case Keenum interception back to the house if Simmons yams a dunk right on his shiny, bald head. It’s a close-out game. Go out with a bang before worrying about making Canada jokes during the entire second round against the Raptors.

If the city of Philadelphia had an unparalleled period of peace for the next five decades, in which a boo never left a fan’s lips at a sporting event, it would not matter in the eyes of the world. We’ll always be terrible. We’ll always be mean. We’ll always be snowballs and Santa Claus and D batteries and puking on little girls and eating literal horse feces.

There’s a song by the band Titus Andronicus where frontman Patrick Stickles screams, “You will always be a loser!” 30 times in a row before triumphantly proclaiming, “And that’s okay!” at the track’s conclusion.

We’ll always be the worst. And that’s okay.

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