Among the profitable moves made by monomaniac Peyton Manning was to usurp the retired number of Denver Bronco great Frank Tripucka upon signing with his new team. The long-retired Bronco didn't have much choice, and a new generation of disrespect came from the ashes of Manning's juggernaut organization.
Taking numbers is a well-respected tradition in bakery shops. It is seldom thought of with great regard in the sports world.
Perhaps Peyton took some of that ton of pay and gave a few measly dollars to the 84-year-old Bronco of yesteryear. Cash might have ameliorated the crime, sort of like Pay for Pey.
In some locations, great stars have done the amusing to keep the superstitions from biting them on the backside. Carleton Fisk went to the White Sox from the Red Sox in a reversal of fortune. He simply took his number 27 and turned it inside out to 72.
Ray Bourque found his number 7 facing retirement for Phil Esposito of the Bruins. Borque doubled his pleasure and took off the number 7 before the crowds and revealed his new number was 77 (with the snappy fingers of a Sunset Strip theme song).
Perhaps the NFL refused to allow Peyton Manning to reverse his QB numbers to 81. And, yes, the NFL does control numbers, among all the other things they dictate. We have yet to uncover evidence the NFL even controls the numbers on the scoreboard at the end of the game, but we are working on it.
Ochocinco changed his name to suit his number, and when he came to New England he should have taken the number 00. Some speculate that he paid for the change, but some players do respect the numerology of sports, like Aaron Hernandez, who gave Ocho the shirt off his back.
All this goes to the fact that professional sport is more than a numbers game. The game is primarily the number on the ATM receipt on Pey-a-ton Day.