Poor Syracuse. The Orange tried to do something positive within the football program and it just continues to receive bad press. While not quite as hot and bothered by the decision to unretire the uniform No. 44 as former Orange quarterback Donovan McNabb, the legendary Jim Brown did not seem to be too enthusiastic about the decision either.
In an interview on “The Rich Eisen Show” on FOX Sports Radio Thursday, Brown was asked about Syracuse’s plans to unretire the number he once wore while playing his college ball. The response he had was lukewarm at best.
“I didn’t exactly give my blessings,” Brown said, as transcribed by Syracuse.com. “I just didn’t complain.” Brown went on to say he was not approached by Syracuse before the decision was made by the university, and made it seem as though he simply is not going to stand in the way of the plans moving forward.
“When I did get a call from an executive up there, I didn’t make a fuss about it and I told them whatever they wanted to do was OK with me.”
Brown had more to say on the subject. His comments are quite interesting as well, as someone who previously worn the No. 44 at Syracuse.
“To un-retire something, there has to be a commercial aspect to it,” Brown said. “So if it’s going to help the team commercial or help a scholarship fund or something like that, then that’s good. But for me, to endorse something that takes away something from you, that doesn’t make sense. Unless I did something to deserve it. It seems like a punishment to me. I don’t take it that way, but it couldn’t be a positive thing unless someone explained it so all of us could see the positive aspect of it.”
Syracuse has yet to really lay out the plan for the No. 44 moving forward, other than to clarify it will be a special honor and not necessarily a yearly thing. But who knows. All I know is if I were at Syracuse and part of the decision-making process for this, I probably would have picked up the phone and asked what Brown thought about it.
Helmet sticker to Syracuse.com.