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In honor of 12-12-12, here are the 12 greatest No. 12s in sports history

Dec 12, 2012, 12:12 PM EDT

1212122 Getty Images

Remember when 12-12-12 was a true celebration of math, and wasn’t so commercial? Now it’s all about the presents. It’s 12:12 on Dec. 12, 2012, and this collection of digits won’t happen again until 12-12-2112, so I thought I’d commemorate the moment with a list of the 12 greatest No. 12s in sports history. List commences below (no slide show, because I am awesome).

In related news, here’s a kid who turned 12 at exactly 12:12 on 12-12-12. He’s naturally stressed out about all the media attention this has received, and of course some on the Internet are calling him the anti-Christ, harbinger of doom. Perhaps by 12-12-2212 we’ll be a more evolved species. But I doubt it.

1. Joe Namath, Alabama, New York Jets. Somewhat of a sentimental pick, because some quarterbacks with this number are statistically superior. But no one added more luster to these two digits than Broadway Joe.

2. Tom Brady, Serra High School, Michigan, New England Patriots. I coached him at Serra (albeit in basketball), so I get to add that part. May go down as best NFL QB ever.

3. Gil McDougald, New York Yankees. Five World Series rings, Rookie of the Year in ’51.

4. Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers. His stock diminishes with every NFL highlight stumble, but still has the high ground with four Super Bowl rings.

5. Dick Barnett, New York Knicks. Mostly known for nine seasons with the Knicks and a 1970 NBA Championship. Lesser known for leading Tennessee A&I (now Tennessee State) to three NAIA national titles.

6. Bob Griese, Purdue, Miami Dolphins. Unbeaten, unbent, unbowed in ’72.

7. Dickie Moore, Montreal Canadiens. Left wing won five straight Stanley Cups (six overall), and was a six-time All-Star. Inducted to NHL Hall of Fame in ’74. Beauty, eh.

8. Roger Staubach, Navy, Dallas Cowboys. Won two Super Bowls and the Heisman. Not too bad for a 10th-round draft pick.

9. John Stockton, Gonzaga, Utah Jazz. Must I recite his stats? OK … averaged career double-double (13.1 points, 10.5 assists) and holds the NBA record for most career assists (15,806). No. 2 in that category, Jason Kidd, is more than 3,000 behind.

10. Aaron Rodgers. Fat guy with frizzy hair, banging on window: “Rodgers! You’re number ten!”

11. John Brodie, Stanford, San Francisco 49ers. Best pure passer of his era, great golfer, father-in-law to Chris Chandler.

12. No. 12 at the Masters. Jack Nicklaus called Augusta National’s shortest hole (par-3, 155 yards) the most difficult tournament hole in golf.

  1. florida727 - Dec 13, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Great list, and a good read, Rick. Thanks! Wonder what round Staubach would have been taken in had he not been tied into a military commitment after college? Regardless, I hear it worked out pretty well for him :)