Forget Andrew Luck. John Elway is the most famous quarterback to ever play at Stanford. And the school wasn’t even good when Elway played there (seriously, they won 20 games during Elway’s four years on campus; Luck had that many in his first two years).
So, 31 years after Elway last took a snap for the Cardinal, the school is retiring his No. 7 for good. It’ll be the third number retired by the football program, after Ernie Nevers’ No. 1 and Jim Plunkett’s No. 16.
Elway, a consensus All-American as a senior and two-time Pac-10 player of the year, rewrote almost every Stanford school passing record during his four years, only for, ahem, Andrew Luck to later shatter them. Elway still does have the single-game passing touchdown record with six against Oregon State in 1980. Surprisingly, Luck didn’t eclipse that mark against San Jose State or some dopey FCS team.
The No. 7 will be formally retired during a ceremony at halftime of what’s most likely going to be the one of college football’s biggest showdowns of the season, between Oregon and Stanford on The Farm Nov. 7.
Here’s Elway, via a Stanford press release:
“Being a student-athlete at Stanford and earning my degree from the school are two things I take the utmost pride in accomplishing. Without question, my four years at Stanford played an integral role in who I am and any success I’ve had. In particular, my teammates and coaches deserve so much credit for making me better, both on and off the field.”
And from the “Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football” David Shaw:
“Through the years the No. 7 has meant so much to the Stanford community, most recently with the record-breaking career of Toby Gerhart,” Shaw said. “Current student-athletes Ty Montgomery and Aziz Shittu both will wear the No. 7 jersey and be the last two to put it on for Stanford University.”
Here’s Shittu on Twitter talking about the honor:
Wow I'm going to be the last player in Stanford Football history to wear the #7! Gotta make it something to remember. #JohnElway
— Aziz Shittu (@AzizShittu) August 6, 2013
No pressure, bro.
And, just ‘cuz, let’s take a look back all the way to 1982 at the final moments of Elway’s final game in a Stanford uniform:
Man, Elway really deserved better. I guess Stanford is making it up to him by retiring his number. But, seriously though, it’s really taken this long?