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Acquiring vet Brunell eases Saints' QB worries

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The expected arrival of quarterback Mark Brunell into the black-and-gold fold answers one of the most pressing offensive questions for the Saints, and brings up another intriguing, but far more trivial, query. Let's put aside the mundane first. Throughout his ...

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Old 03-16-2008, 02:19 AM   #1
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Acquiring vet Brunell eases Saints' QB worries

The expected arrival of quarterback Mark Brunell into the black-and-gold fold answers one of the most pressing offensive questions for the Saints, and brings up another intriguing, but far more trivial, query.

Let's put aside the mundane first.

Throughout his 14-year NFL career, Brunell has worn the number "8."

Of course, legendary Archie Manning wore that same number here in New Orleans, primarily because when, as a rookie, he joined the Saints out of Ole Miss, his college number of 18 was worn by defensive back Hugo Hollas.

So 8 it was.

In the four years before Manning became a member of the Saints, no player had worn No. 8 in a regular-season game.

Since Manning was ignominiously traded to the Houston Oilers in 1982 for overweight and out-of-shape left tackle Leon Gray -- "We need a left tackle and Archie ain't gonna play much left tackle" was Bum Phillips' pithy explanation -- no Saints player has worn No. 8 since.

The number isn't retired by the Saints. They don't do that any more, and through the years the team unceremoniously "unretired" previously set-aside numbers 31 (Jim Taylor) and 81 (Doug Atkins), presumably because of a dearth of available digits in the 30s and 80s.

But since Manning departed, if anyone has asked to wear No. 8, the request politely was declined by equipment manager Dan Simmons. No. 8 is simply no longer issued.

As it should not be.

Acquiring vet Brunell eases Saints' QB worries- NOLA.com
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