Here's one I simply can't explain. Might need help from other UWers. Paul Hornung wearing #35 in the Pro Bowl.Wow. You've got me.
Can't even think of another player in the league at the time who wore #5 (y'know, someone who would have had seniority in the game). Weren't more than a handful of single digit guys at most.
Unless he was an injury-replacement for someone who wore #35. Rick Casares of the Bears, maybe? But I can't figure Hornung as late replacement. And even if he were, you'd think they'd have known who the kicker was gonna be. From the content of the cutline he wasn't there just as a kicker.
I have to admit that the Pro Bowl isn't my area of expertise. Although it must be fun for the players (at least the "spend a week in Hawaii" part), it isn't much fun for me to watch.
I do know that Hornung only played in two Pro Bowls, 1960 and 1961. Based on the caption, this photo was taken during the 1961 game. The Western Conference wore the same uniforms in both; blue helmets, white pants and jerseys with Northwestern sleeve stripes. Here's what the games looked like in color:
Looking at photos of the game, it appears that it was not uncommon for players to wear different numbers in the Pro Bowl. Here's Y.A. Tittle in the 1960 game:
Tittle was #14 for the Niners that season, and I'm not aware of him ever wearing #8.
So what do you guys know about this? When did it become standard practice for players to keep their numbers in the Pro Bowl?
UPDATE 3/31: Reader Jeff Fedenko provides us the answer.
From an interview with Todd Hewitt, former equipment manager for the Los Angeles Rams, who worked the Pro Bowl games at the Los Angeles Coliseum:
After the (Pro Bowl) ended I set up a table just outside the locker room. Glen Davis, the former great running back from Army, would sit there with me and distribute game paychecks to each player but only after they had handed over their game issued jersey, pants and sock to me. Unlike today where the Pro Bowl players get to keep everything, we reused those uniforms year after year. In those days the jerseys did not have the player names on them so they were easy to reuse the following year.Thanks, Jeff! Mystery solved.