Growing up, we all had our favorite numbers based on athletes we looked up to or just a lucky number in general. At Syracuse University we have our own favorite number, and no matter where you are on campus, it’s impossible to ever forget that number. The number known by all Syracuse University students, staff, alumni and the community is the well-regarded and celebrated number “44”. The number “44” has been worn by Syracuse football greats, Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little. While a student at Syracuse University, Jim Brown was an All-American before becoming one of the greatest running backs in the history of the NFL. After Jim Brown was taken in the first round of the 1956 NFL Draft, he later went on to help recruit SU’s next star, Ernie Davis. In 1959, The “Elmira Express,” the nickname given to Ernie Davis, led the Orangemen (now Orange) to its only national championship in football. Ernie Davis also became the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy, when he won it during his senior year in 1961. In 1963, the next, and last bearer of the legendary number, “44” stepped foot onto the SU campus. After being recruited to join the Syracuse football team by Ernie Davis, Floyd Little received word of Ernie’s devastation death to leukemia, Floyd Little was determined to “pay-it-forward” and join Syracuse to honor his mentor and friend, Ernie Davis. The renowned number, “44” spirit lives throughout the Syracuse University community, beyond just the large jersey hanging in the Carrier Dome rafters.
The number “44” has been assimilated into all things SU:
- All campus phone numbers begin with the following digits: (315)-443,
- All bus routes that travel to Manley Field House/Carmelo Anthony Basketball Center and all South Campus bus routes have a “44” in their route number
- All University offices have the zip code, 13244
And just a few weeks ago, our lucky number, “44” once again was a part of this incredible shot by, Tyler Ennis against the Pittsburgh Panthers http://es.pn/1k0VVVJ (check out how much time was left in the start of the possession.)
So I guess you could say, Syracuse’s lucky number, “44” is special in it’s own way!