Not only is 2021 going to be the BIGGEST NFL season ever with a 17 game schedule, but thanks to relaxed uniform number rules, that's not the only change fans will have to get accustomed to.
While Tom Brady thinks single-digit linebackers will be worse for football than the publishings of Dr. Bennet Omalu, we need to remember that football and all sports are games. Games are supposed to be fun, not ruined by billionaires worried about saving $50.
After a busy off-season full of record-setting spending, the Patriots have many new faces in-house, which means new numbers. In the age of social media, where memes are king, I assumed teams would get their creative juices flowing for posts revealing new digits. The Patriots have the DOL Seal of Approval with this back of a CD (compact disc) styled graphic.
I love the creativity! It brings me back to the days of going to Strawberries to check out the latest CDs. Maybe if they didn't hire loser clerks who told my mom to not buy Tenacious D's self-titled debut album because "the rest is nothing like Tribute" and "inappropriate for a 5th grader" after I convinced her to look past a Parental Advisory sticker, they wouldn't have gone out of business. A sale is a sale, bucko!
We see that free agent signing like Jalen Mills and Matthew Judon are taking advantage of the new rules, wearing #2 and #9, respectively. Ja'Whaun Bentley (51 to 8) and Kyle Dugger (35 to 23) changed their numbers, but only Bentley's wouldn't have been allowed under the previous rules.
Of all the number news, my biggest takeaway is that two-time Super Bowl champ, Tyler Gaffney is back on the Patriots. Whaaaaat? I had no idea until this post. I didn't even realize he retired to play baseball like the newest Jaguars TE until further Wikipedia research. What a career path. Not bad for a guy who has played zero career downs. Watch him rush for like 700 yards this year.
I guess even with more numerical possibilities we're still doing repeats until the real games start.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.