Eric Dickerson tells hilarious story of how he chose No. 29 with Rams
Eric Dickerson only spent four-plus years with the Los Angeles Rams, but they were four wildly successful and decorated seasons. He quickly made a name for himself by winning Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1983 and setting the all-time rookie rushing record (1,808 yards) in the process, earning All-Pro honors in four of his first five seasons in the NFL.
He wore the number 29 throughout his NFL career with fans in Los Angeles and elsewhere rocking his name across the backs of their jerseys. Few people realize that those No. 29 shirts almost had the number 25 on them instead.
Eric Dickerson shared a funny story on the “Dan Patrick Show” Monday about how he ended up with No. 29. It’s all thanks to his best friend, who called him out for picking No. 25 originally.
“I wanted to be 19 when I got drafted to the Rams. So I show up to L.A., they say, ‘What number?’ I say number 19. They say, ‘You can’t wear number 19 – that’s a quarterback or receiver number.’ I said ‘OK, what numbers do you have?’ They had 25, 29, 45, 32. … I said, ‘I’ll take 25. So I took number 25,” Dickerson recalled. “You look on draft day, I’m holding up number 25. You can see I’m holding number 25. So when I fly back to Dallas that night, my best friend picked me up. He said, ‘What number did you take?’ I said, ‘I took 25.’ He said, ’25?! Why’d you take that slow number? That’s a slow number!’ So I’m like, ‘Man, you’re right. That number does seem slow!’”
After a sleepless night, Dickerson realized the mistake he made. He couldn’t stop thinking about the jersey number he picked, so he had to do something about it.
On the advice of his friend, he decided to switch to No. 29. It wasn’t that simple, though.
“I call back to the Rams the next day, because I could hardly sleep that night thinking about that number,” he continued. “That’s crazy, I know. So I call and I say, ‘Mr. Hewitt, I need to change my number.’ He said, ‘Eric, you’re holding up number 25 in the L.A. Times, we can’t change the number.’ I said, ‘You know what, I’m not coming then.’ He said, ‘Oh, you’ll be 29 when you get here.’ So that’s how I became 29.”
Numbers are important to the majority of players, and Dickerson perfectly explained how difficult a decision it is for some to pick their digits.