Donít Expect McNown To Wear #8
June 16 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Steve Youngís number eight is not retired yet, but if Cade McNown thinks he can where the number, like he did in Chicago, and Miami, heís dead wrong. The number eight, in red and gold is put aside by the team, so that one day they can honor one of the two greatest quarterbacks in their history - Steve Young.
Putting a players number on hold after they retire or leave the team, is not a new thing. It was done for Joe Montana (whose number is now retired), and Ronnie Lott. All of their numbers were unavailable. A quick look at the roster shows that along with the retired team numbers: 34, 12, 39, 37, 73, 70, 87, 16, and 79; the team also has not handed out numbers: 2, 4, 8, 9, 10, 42, 49, 51, 52, 60, and 80 to any of its players. The history behind most of these numbers is quite interesting.
The number two has only been worn by one player in team history, Punter Ralf Mojsiejenko. Too be honest I donít know why this number hasnít been dished out, perhaps itís a simple case of no one ever wanting it. There is nothing significant about number four or ten either.
The number eight has also been worn by just one player. The legendary Steve Young. This number is not going to be used again with the 49ers, so Cade will just have to find another number.
The number forty-two belongs to Ronnie Lott. Interestingly, this number was also worn by Leo Nomellini who wore 73, and had the number retired.
The number forty-nine has a fair bit of nostalgia to it. Earl Cooper wore it, as did Jeff Fuller and Adrian Cooper, but I donít see this as a number the 49ers are withholding.
Fifty-one was of course Ken Norton Jr.ís number with the team. A great linebacker of recent history, Nortonís number will at least be put aside for someone worthy.
The number fifty-two likely is not being reserved for any purpose. Number nine belonged to Aaron Garcia who was recently released and number sixty was Ben Lynchís number, who recently had his contract recinded.
Of course, number eighty is not going anywhere. Jerry Rice had made sure that his number is just untouchable.
So while Cade McNown still has a fair number of numbers to choose from, itís likely that heíll wind up as the teamís third player wearing eighteen in training camp. Receiver James Jordan and corner Ryan Frenandez will be the other two. McNown wore number eighteen at UCLA. He will be the third quarterback in team history with that number, following Elvis Grbac and more recently Steve Stenstrom.