Getting your first NFL jersey number is a big moment for any rookie, whether they’re a top pick or an undrafted free agent. Different numbers mean different things to different people, obviously, and a lot of players try to find some sort of consistency with their numbers as they progress throughout their careers.
Such is the case with Minnesota Vikings’ linebacker Brian Asamoah, who was the team’s third-round pick this past April. He was part of a story that ESPN put together about rookies explaining why they chose the numbers they did. Asamoah wound up with #33 for the Vikings, and here’s his reasoning.
After losing out on his first choice, No. 6, to first-round safety Lewis Cine, third-rounder Asamoah chose No. 33 to continue an unusual streak. The digits of every number he has worn in football have added up to 6. He wore No. 6 in high school, No. 24 at Oklahoma and No. 33 in the NFL.
“I thought it was going to be 6,” he said, “but it’s OK.”
Nothing too fancy or complicated, but there was a bit of confusion when the rookies got assigned their numbers earlier this offseason. Cine was originally listed as #6, but a lot of people thought that might have been a mistake as the number he wore in college (#16) was reportedly available at the time. Asamoah might have assumed that Cine was going to go with #16 after all, but that turned out not to be the case.
There haven’t been a lot of top Vikings players that have worn the #33 over the years, as we discovered with our Vikings By The Numbers series some time ago.* Perhaps Asamoah can be the guy that fans of the purple instinctually associate the number with in the future.
* - It’s worth pointing out that the “By the Numbers” series was done before the Dalvin Cook era, which means Cook is pretty clearly at the top of that heap at the present time. He switched to #4 this year, though.