Retiring #40 This Year Right on All Accounts

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Watching the Baseball Hall of Fame inductions this morning and feeling a little ceremonial. While no speech is going to be as exciting as, say, watching Rickey Henderson float from home to third on a triple, seeing the accomplishments recognized of guys who played at the top of their leagues is super-satisfying. /

The University of Washington has only retired the numbers of two basketball players from their entire history: Bob Houbregs, a Husky great from the early 1950s, and Brandon Roy, last season. While honoring only two such players in this way has kept the achievement from becoming watered down, the school has the opportunity to pay tribute to two deserving Dawgs in one fell swoop next season.

First and foremost in the minds of most fans will be seeing that no Husky ever wear Jon Brockman’s #40 again. Imagine the scene if, midway through next year, J-Brock comes back for a celebration of his great career.

But, retiring Brockman’s #40 isn’t so simple for the school, because it’ll also need to retire Christian Welp’s #40. Welp, a member of the Pac-10 Hall of Honor, is the Huskies all-time leading scorer and shot-blocker. He was the key player on their last two Pac-10 title teams until last year (in 1983/84 and 1984/85).

It’d be a bit dubious to honor Brockman while ignoring Welp. But, in a year that we hope to win back-to-back titles for the first time in 25 years, let’s rectify the whole thing with a big double-retirement ceremony before a game this season.

It would be understandable for the school to be a little concerned about overshadowing either legend by combining the honor, but that could be solved by making sure to give equal time to both of them. Sure, it begs the question of why the team waited this long to honor Welp. But, so what? In this case, all’s well that ends well.

Let’s hope the school doesn’t let these concerns stand in the way of doing right by these luminary Huskies and the fans. Bring both men back and hang two #40 jerseys in the rafters at Hec Ed, feeling confident that the UW has appropriately recognized a pair of Husky basketball legends.

Agree? Think I’m crazy? Let me know in the comments section…

And, hey, thanks for coming!