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Real Reason Behind The Number Change

Posted by Chris Herting on April 6, 2013 – 9:44 am


The Redskins announced earlier this week that CB Richard Crawford will change his number from 39 to No. 20.

Crawford was drafted by the Redskins in the seventh round (213th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. That you know. The interesting part is how he got to that point and why he decided to change his number every year while he was in college.

Players change their numbers all of the time. Actually, it’s pretty routine, especially in a busy time like free agency when players are coming and going, leaving teams and joining new ones. Some athletes willingly give up their number while others seek payment to relinquish the jersey.

Why? Well, for some players the number holds a deeper meaning, something internal and emblematic. For whatever reason, it could be a sort of good luck charm, an inspiration, or even just a creature of habit. You may view it as a ridiculous concept but if you’ve ever played sports at a competitive level, or even if you haven’t, numbers sometimes represent more, telling a story of the past and the present in a players life.

Whatever the reason, every player goes through a journey to get to where they are in the NFL and most guys experience trials and tribulations along the way that’s in apparent to any outsider. The road to stardom isn’t always an easy one.

That’s why numbers can represent a mentality, or a superstition, and certain players simply don’t want to tempt fate. For them, it could symbolize something greater, a source of motivation, trepidation that helps them stay course and keeps them fighting the good fight.

Here’s Richard Crawford’s story.

He lettered in both football and track and field at El Camino High School (Calif.) before attending Saddleback College (Calif.) where he garnered first-team All-Missions Conference as a sophomore compiling 34 tackles, six interceptions and five pass breakups. At Saddleback, he wore No. 2 for reasons unknown.

Following his sophomore campaign at Junior College, Crawford transferred to Southern Methodist University (SMU) and changed his number to No. 16. Again, for reasons unknown.

As a junior he earned All-Conference USA honorable mention, after starting 13 of 14 games, and recording 59 tackles (42 solo), and four interceptions. Heading into his senior season he wanted more, he expected more of himself.

So, what did he do? Once again he changed his number, this time choosing to sport No. 6. Crawford enjoyed a successful stint at SMU where he started 26 of 27 games played totaling 106 tackles (73 solo), six interceptions, 21 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles as he prepared himself for entry into the 2012 NFL Draft.

Prior to the draft, he competed in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. What number did he wear? He decided to don No. 23 for reasons unknown. Thanks to Richard’s Instagram account (@Richardcrawford6 ) we were able to track his collegiate years and all of his number changes.


So after all of that build up, why go through all of the trouble? According to his Twitter account, the real reason why Crawford wanted to change his number is…just because.

For the first time in his Pro career, he’s decided to change his number from 39 to No. 20. To our knowledge, no form of payment was involved. There’s no superstition or hidden meaning. Nope. Last year’s rookie cornerback simply wanted to keep things fresh.

But hey, after his huge punt return against the rival Baltimore Ravens to help set up the game-winning overtime field goal, can you really blame the man? HTTR!

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Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “Real Reason Behind The Number Change”

  1. By Spitfire71 on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    I guess he’s not expecting to play well enough to have his number retired anywhere, then? On the off-chance he did become a HOFer, which number would you retire if he made a habit of changing it every couple of years? >.>

  2. By E Griffin on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    So What happensa to Cedric Griffin who Wore #20 last year ????

  3. By gaven wessel on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    read this for nothing

  4. By raymusb1 on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    He realy wanted 21 but had to settle with 20.

  5. By Brian Tinsman on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply


    That’s a negative, Ghostrider, the pattern is full.

  6. By Anthony White on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    Make note: never buy his jersey because each year it will be different

  7. By Brian Tinsman on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    @Anthony White–


  8. By Evan8r on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    I like the fact that he’s not playing for the glory. Besides, Redskins don’t retire numbers, so if he plans on remaining a Redskin, then there’s no point in keeping the same number if he really doesn’t want to.

  9. By Camptwitterwashington on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    All of them.

  10. By CapsSkins on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    Never buy this man’s jersey. 😉

  11. By Legislador on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    Who gives a flick?

  12. By RussianBreadMaker on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    He should have snagged 23 to f*** with D Hall, a little payback for the rookie hazing.

  13. By Norman aA Bennett on Apr 10, 2013 | Reply

    I know people have lost site of what matter to real athlete like Richard Crawford and others they want to play and be the best at what they do. I watch most of the games he and others like him. They never leave the sideline when they are not playing and when they are playing true love of the game.

  14. By Paul Moloney on Apr 10, 2013 | Reply

    I’m sure a# of you will find reason to disagree with me but I think that a players # should correspond to the players position. If you’re a QB,punter or kicker your # should fall between 0 & 20.Receivers should be in the 80s. Fullbacks in the 40s etc. Much easier to figure out who’s who on the field. I’ve been asking this question for a long time. Maybe somebody out there knows the answer. Since when & why do some receivers #s be in the teens?It hasn’t always been like that. It happened maybe 10 years ago or I didn’t notice it until 10 years ago.

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