View Full Version : Unofficially Retired Numbers

Discipline of Steel
02-02-2011, 10:12 PM
I get the day to day Steeler desk calendar every year for Christmas. The recent factoid said that #12 has not been used since TB wore it. I have also heard recently that Webster's #52 has been out of service and I havent seen #58 or #75 around lately either. Does anyone have a complete list of 'Unofficially Retired Numbers' or is my list pretty much complete? (if its even correct!)

02-02-2011, 10:42 PM
I would guess that the following are all unofficially retired:

32 (edit)
36 (edit)
63 (edit)

Although, as we all know some of them have been used from time to time. It's kind of cool in a weird way that they aren't officially retired, but on occasion they use them.

Here's hoping that #63 becomes the next unofficially retired number this Saturday. Good luck Dirt, SteelNation has your back! :tt2 :tt2

Trying to keep up with Steeler HOFers or potential HOFers is hard work, but, oh so much fun. :tt2

02-02-2011, 10:57 PM
Nobody has worn 36 or 63 either. 1 has been worn once since Gary Anderson left.

02-02-2011, 11:01 PM

And I don't think 82 or 88 have had the same treatment as some of these other numbers.

02-02-2011, 11:13 PM
The Steelers should start a tradition of semi-retiring numbers, but as long as the original player is alive he can be asked by a current player to wear the number. If the original gives the okay, then the current player can use the number.

They could also put the names and numbers of the "unofficially" retired numbers around the inside of the stadium. But, if a current player asks to use the number and it's granted, then the number comes down from the stadium, but their name stays up until the current player is done using the number, then the number goes back up inside the stadium with the name of the original player.

It would be a way to always keep the past Steeler teams connected to the present Steeler teams. It would be able to span generation after generation.


02-02-2011, 11:17 PM
70 is retired. The only one.

02-02-2011, 11:27 PM
70 is retired. The only one.

Yup, so it isn't semi-retired, just sayin. :P


Discipline of Steel
02-02-2011, 11:36 PM
This article sheds a little light on the subject but is not definitive...answers the 82/88 question....

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/4488 ... o-together (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/448833-pittsburgh-steelers-and-retired-numbers-the-two-just-dont-go-together)

I love it here on Bleacher Report.

It gives all of us the chance to speak our mind about the various goings on in the NFL. Freedom of speech at its finest.

Every day, when I log onto the site, I check out all the newest Steelers articles, comment when I can, and reply to any comments people have left me.

Then, on the Steelers page, I check the right hand side of the page, for the Steelers "Around The Web." There are some really great articles there. You should read some of them (after this one, of course!).

I read an interesting article from AOL's Fanhouse concerning the retirement of numbers of the legends of the Steelers.

In the article, it is asked, why players that are on the Steelers today are allowed to wear the numbers of some of the Steelers legends, such as Mel Blount, Joe Greene, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and others.

Since there is no clarity in the article about the reason why, allow me to answer that question for everyone.

First off, the Steelers have never retired a number. There are certain numbers that no player has worn since the player retired.

Terry Bradshaw and his No. 12 are one of them. Bradshaw became the first quarterback in the NFL to win four Super Bowls. Since that time, no one has worn his number.

There are others as well, Jack Lambert, Franco Harris, and Mike Webster.

The question is posed then, how can the Steelers issue numbers such as 82 and 88 to Antwaan Randle El and rookie Emmanuel Sanders?

The reason is because until 2004, wide receivers and tight ends in the NFL were only permitted to wear numbers between 80 and 89.

It was an eligibility issue, so that the officials would be able to tell who was an eligible receiver, and who was not.

Since it would have been impossible for a team to eliminate numbers between 80-89, and still be able to dress the full compliment of the players at those positions, those numbers could not be retired.

Once the NFL added the 10-19 for receivers, the point was dead, because so many players had already worn those numbers so many times between the days of Swann and Stallworth, there was no point to retiring them.

As for Mean Joe Greene, many believe that his number should also not be given out, the offensive line (50-79) shares the same number situation with the defensive linemen (50-79, 90-99).

There are only so many numbers to go around, and if we were to retire the numbers of the Steel Curtain, there would not be enough to field a team.

The other issue is, if you look at all of the amazing Steelers of the past, if you were to start to retire numbers, how many would you have to retire?

The Steelers currently have 20 players in the Hall of Fame. That is not counting Chuck Noll or Art and Dan Rooney. That would be 20 numbers that would be out of the circulation.

That is not counting the players that are currently on the team that have a legit shot at one day being in the Hall.

Ben Roethlisberger (only one QB with two Super Bowl Championships is not in, and Ben could end with more than two), Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward, and Troy Polamalu.

That is not to mention players that will one day be greats, that may not even be in football yet.

The fact is, if you start retiring numbers, then there is no way you can stop.

You can not cut off and say, well Bradshaw deserves to have his number retired, and Ben Roethlisberger doesn't.

You can not say that Mel Blount should, and Troy Polamalu shouldn't. How can you retire Franco Harris, and not Jerome Bettis?

It is a Pandora's box, that is just not worth opening.

02-02-2011, 11:39 PM
I like your idea Pap. The linking-the-generations thing is a great idea. As fans we can never lose touch with the history of this team, and that would be a good way to help achieve that.

02-03-2011, 02:35 AM
If I can remember correctly the numbers are:

12 (Bradshaw)
32 (Harris)
36 (Bettis)
52 (Webster)
58 (Lambert)
59 (Ham)
70 (Stautner)
75 (Greene)

47 (Blount) is close to being retired but it has been worn a couple of times, Scott Shields comes to mind first! 82 (Stallworth) is by no way retired semi or otherwise. Thigpen and ARE have worn it in the recent past. 88 (Swann) is the same, Hastings in the 90's....Courtney Hawkins....and now Emmanuel Sanders wears it. There just not enough numbers for WR's and TE's to retire numbers like that.

I would expect 43 and 7 to join those ranks somewhere down the road.

02-03-2011, 03:01 AM
I would expect 43 and 7 to join those ranks somewhere down the road.

Those were the two I was thinking of also.

Ben's is easy to avoid handing out because QB numbers are 1-19.

43 should be locked away as well.

02-03-2011, 03:18 AM
47 (Blount) is close to being retired but it has been worn a couple of times, Scott Shields comes to mind first!

boy, did Scott Shields ever represent that #47 well... :roll:

The Sodfather
02-03-2011, 08:03 AM

And I don't think 82 or 88 have had the same treatment as some of these other numbers.

Not enough eligible receiver numbers to "retire" those two.

02-03-2011, 05:53 PM
Was someone wearing 47 in the preseason? I thought it was Butler, but he's 28.

Ben should switch to 12 after his gets us no.7. Then he can just say now that he's shooting for 12 for the franchise.

02-04-2011, 12:43 AM
Iirc, Sylvester wore 47 in preseason.

02-04-2011, 01:37 PM
Iirc, Sylvester wore 47 in preseason.

I tawt a taw a putty tat wearing Blount's number in the pre-season! :P