It’s not much of a secret that we’re pretty big on the idea of restoring the legendary number 44 to the Syracuse football program. It’s the biggest piece of tradition that Orange football has, and the jersey has been in the rafters for nearly 10 years, a legacy that’s been sidelined. Well, I don’t know about you, but I think this is the time to let the University we all love know that it’s time to restore 44.

Word has come out that Syracuse has had at least preliminary talks about restoring the jersey number, which was set aside in the fall of 2005 and has not been worn by an Orange football player since. Well, now the word is trickling out that the Syracuse administration is getting set to talk about the future of the number. No, not the number. TheĀ legacy.

I’ve already talked at length about what the number 44 means not just to myself, but to Syracuse fans in general. The fact that the administration is proving to be open to rethinking what many of us considered a mistake in the first place – retiring the jersey at all – is a massive step forward.

You may not agree with me on the importance of 44, and may not subscribe to the #Restore44 movement. That’s fine, and you’re certainly entitled to that opinion, or any other variation. But if you’re like me, and you want to see the legacy restored to the football field – to see a worthy running back take the field with the number worn by the likes of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little on his back – it’s as good a time as ever to let your voice be heard.

This is the time when the #Restore44 movement needs your help. If you believe that this is a legacy that needs to be continued, a tradition that needs to be carried out by generations of great young running backs to come, e-mail the Syracuse athletics administration and let them know how important the number is to you, and to the University, and to the city of Syracuse.

It’s an important piece in the history of the University, and it symbolizes the greatness that once graced the field for the Orange. Dr. Daryl Gross has done many wonderful things for Syracuse athletics – the incredible growth of programs like field hockey, cross country, and men’s soccer, to name a few, is a testament to this – but right now, there’s a missing piece to the Syracuse puzzle. We all want to see Syracuse football returned to glory. The indoor practice facility was a monumental step.

The next step is to restore the legacy of 44 to the field, where it belongs. Let Dr. Gross know how much passion you have for Syracuse, and how strong your desire is to see the legacy and tradition restored.

Important note to remember: this cannot be about one recruit. This is about restoring the legacy. If you choose to participate in this campaign, please keep that in mind when writing to Dr. Gross.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish


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