When Andy Dalton appeared at Saturday's press conference at Paul Brown Stadium, he was sporting his newly issued #14 jersey. Proudly presenting it to his new hardcore and awesomely rowdy fans. But. But that was Ken Anderson's old number, some are bemoaning as if the franchise trampled on Anderson's legacy and memory by not having that number retired in the first place.
Anderson may have been the last quarterback to wear #14, but he's not the last Bengals player so sport that number. In 2009, Bengals wide receiver Maurice Purify also wore #14. Yep. Maurice Purify, who now plays with the Georgia Force in the AFL.
Should that number be retired?
Dating back to the franchise's inaugural season, the Bengals have only retired one number. Bob Johnson's #54. Anthony Munoz, the team's only Hall of Famer that's nominated to mostly every all-time team, hasn't seen his #78 reissued since leaving Cincinnati after the 1992 season. Yet, it's not officially retired. No player has worn #7 since Boomer Esiason's retirement after the 1997 season -- though David Klingler, who wore #15 his rookie season, wore #7 once Boomer was traded to the Jets after the 1992 season.
Generally speaking, numbers in the NFL are less likely to be retired because of the number groupings designating positions. Unlike baseball where any player can wear any number, offensive linemen can only wear a certain set of numbers, much like quarterbacks, running backs, etc. So if teams retired more and more numbers, there could be an issue with a shortage of numbers. Could.
At the same time, what harm is there retiring #14, #7 and #78? But really. What do you expect from a franchise that does a horrible job presenting its history to their own fans? It takes an independent effort by Bengals.com to have a Hall of Fame selection, which is ultimately unaffiliated with the team.