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Ben’s Ten: 14 for ‘14

btenTo athletes and fans, numbers mean everything. They are the most focused on part of a game, from the number of points scored, to the time left on the clock, to those three extra yards an unnamed running back could have gained to send me to the fantasy football playoffs…but I digress.

Numbers are better known for adorning the jerseys of our favourite (or feared players). “Number 99” became an easy identification for kids who had difficulty spelling “Gretzky,” and often we remember a number more than a name.

So folks, a new year is upon us and to kick off the 14th year of this millennium, here are some of the most fantastic fourteeners we could think of. Shout-out to loyal fan Mark Altweger for the idea for this one. Party on, dude.


Honourable mention: Kent Hrbek, Minnesota Twins– I’d like to buy a vowel, Pat.


10. Ryan Fitzpatrick, former Bills QB– You can do a lot with a Harvard degree, but what’s the point if you end up in—shudder—Buffalo?


9. Thierry Henry, French international striker– This formidable Frenchman once scored a goal to propel his country into the World Cup…with his hand. Isn’t that not kosher? Incroyable.


8. Chicago baseballers- Ernie Banks and Paul Konerko make #14 more popular in the Second City than #23. On second thought, maybe not.

Ernie Banks

MLB: APR 07 Twins v White Sox

7. Johan Cruyff, Dutch international forward– Dude was big in Europe. Once you Google him, consider yourselves cultured.


6. Vida Blue, Oakland A’s- To answer your question, no, I cannot go a single issue without mentioning the “Moustache Gang” A’s. Nor should I.


5. Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers- Equipped with stellar receivers and revolutionary coaching, Fouts single-beardedly led the Air Coryell offence in the late 70s and early 80s, expanding the NFL’s passing game.


4. Brendan Shanahan, Detroit Red Wings- Anyone else find it funny that a guy with 2,489 penalty minutes is doling out suspensions for the league now? Oh, he was also a Hall of Fame player and whatnot.


3. Pete Rose, Cincinnati Reds- Bit of a gamble putting ol’Charlie Hustle this high on the list, but it was worth it for the sake of reusing a 25-year-old joke


2. Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals- Mister Triple Double rocked the 1-4 during his career with a basketball team that’s now only mentioned in Trivial Pursuit.


1. Dave Keon, Toronto Maple Leafs- One of, if not the, greatest Maple Leafs of all time. The guy deserves a reintroduction to popular hockey discourse. You’re welcome.


Benjamin Blum
Benjamin Blum
A lifelong sports fan, Benjamin Blum entered the world of journalism after suffering a concussion playing rugby for the University of King’s College. From that moment, his twin passions for writing and sports motivated the Thornhill, Ont. native to give this journalism thing a try. Having been an athlete, coach and fan for many years, Ben brings his diverse knowledge of sports along with a witty sense of humour to the sports section. Ben was Sports Editor of the Gazette for Volume 146.

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