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Number Three Should be "Retired" from NASCAR

Feb 19, 2014 -- 12:05pm

It’s no secret the Jaguars need a quarterback. But when it comes needing a quarterback for the here and now, the Jaguars certainly aren’t alone.

By my count, more than one-third of the NFL teams – that’s 12 of 32 -- will be closely eyeing all of the QB prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The combination of the importance of the position, the money quarterbacks demand and the lack of patience for developing them has created a situation that makes this year’s draft more interesting and important than ever.

Quarterbacks are often over drafted and we may see more of that than ever this year. NFL scouts and draft gurus have identified at least a dozen prospects who have a reasonable chance to succeed at the next level.

General managers who guess right – yeah, it really is a guess – will be called geniuses. GMs who miss likely will soon be looking for new jobs.

***

I’m not happy that a No. 3 car will be on the track Sunday in the Daytona 500. I don’t think the No. 3 should ever be used again in a NASCAR racing. Generally speaking I’m not big on retiring numbers in sports, but like everything else in this world there are exceptions.

What individual franchises do with their numbers is their business, but there are cases when certain numbers should be taken out of a sport. Those honored should be so revered not only because of their incredible achievements on the fields of play, but because their impact when beyond the world of playing games.

In baseball, for example, retiring Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 was the right thing to do. I think Babe Ruth’s No. 3 and Hank Aaron’s No. 44 also should be retired. I’d retire Michael Jordan’s No. 23 and Magic Johnson’s No. 32 in basketball. I don’t think football has such a number.

NASCAR has two such numbers. In addition to Dale Earnhardt’s No. 3, No. 43 should have been put in mothballs the day Richard Petty retired.

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