Stanford set to retire former quarterback John Elway’s number at half time of the game against the Oregon Ducks. Elway’s No. 7 will join No. 1 of Ernie Nevers and No. 16 of Jim Plunkett as the school’s only players to have their jerseys retired.
“It’s unbelievably long overdue,” coach David Shaw said, via the Denver Post. “This is all for John. He’s been everything a Stanford man should be.”
“The greatest Stanford football player I ever saw was Darrin Nelson as far as sheer ability,” said Jim Rutter, the school’s athletics archivist. “But the guy that raised the hair on my arm was John Elway. My breathing would change when he dropped back” to pass.”
Elway initially didn’t want to wear No. 7, he preferred No. 11 but it was taken by a veteran defensive back.
“I was not going to take the number off anybody’s back, that’s for darn sure,” Elway said Monday. “As much as I wanted No. 11, it was an easy change for me.”
Now that No. 7 is a part of his identity, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wears No. 7 to honor Elway.