Tuesday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN continues the Prime Numbers series, looking at among other things the best of the best to wear No. 88.
One guy made a huge impact wearing the number, but only for a handful of years before switching to his college number of 81.
“Lynn Swann wore 88, Marvin Harrison wore 88, my Uncle Charles wore 88 when he was in high school,” former Rams receiver Torry Holt said, explaining his decision to wear the double-eights. “He played tight end, he was probably about 5’11″, 165 pounds soaking wet but he was tough, he could catch, reliable. So when I got to St. Louis and 81 wasn’t available because Az Hakim had 81 and then I didn’t want to shell out any money to get 81, I figured give me 88 I’ll make the number. . . . I’ll make the number, I’ll rock it, I’ll make it special and my first two or three years I wore 88 I was able to do some pretty good things in that number. So that’s where 88 came about from Lynn Swann, Michael Irvin, and more importantly, my Uncle Charles.”
Once 81 became available, Holt had no qualms about ditching the jersey that got him to a pair of Super Bowls and Pro Bowls.
“I wasn’t concerned at all,” Holt said regarding a possible jinx. “No doubt set in my mind about changing numbers. 81 came available when Az went to Detroit, 81 came available, a lot of people recognized me from the number 81. It resonated from my college days at N.C. State so I wanted to get that number immediately. And 8 plus 1 equals 9, I wore 9 when I was in high school and 9 came about for Michael Jordan when he was in the Olympics and I was a huge Michael Jordan fan and I wanted to wear that 9 so I could try and be like Mike. But 81 came available in St. Louis, I jumped on it, and my play continued to roll. But there was no doubt that I’d have any setbacks when I changed the number. And then when I changed the number my pockets were able to fill up a little bit more because now everybody had to switch from 88 to 81 so it was a good business decision but more importantly it was a number that I respect and a number that resonated with Torry Holt.”
To find out whether anyone asked Holt for their money back after they purchased a jersey with his name and the number 88, you’ll have to watch the show. If you aren’t happy with the interview, we won’t be giving out any refunds.
Tune in at 5:30 p.m. ET to hear more about the best of the players to wear No. 88, 63, 53, and 3.