Just A Minute: Jersey Controversy Regarding Tua Tagovailoa Only Reflects Ridiculous Expectations

The idea that a Hall of Famer should bow down to an unproven rookie in any way only shows how the expectations surrounding athletes are beyond reasonable

There's a debate going on about Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Florida this week, and it has nothing to do with his hip. 

The suggestion has been made that maybe the Dolphins should let Tagovailoa wear No. 13.

It's the most famous jersey in franchise history as it belonged to Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, and has since been retired. 

The thinking is that it would be a gracious and magnanimous gesture, and a tip of the hat to future of the franchise. 

First off, it's an idiotic idea, and that's a word I rarely use.

Marino is still the face of the Dolphins. He earned the honor of having his jersey retired, and it should never be taken away from him or diminished in any way. 

Second, it's not like Tagovailoa is irrevocably linked to the number.

"I’m not too worried about what number I have," he told reporters after being drafted fifth overall. "I understand No. 13 is retired, and it should be. Dan Marino, he’s the GOAT. He’s like the mayor out there and I have much respect for him.”

The bigger issue is the unreal level of expectations that continue to placed on athletes, both at the collegiate and professional level. 

Tagovailoa has never thrown a pass in the NFL and he's already being compared to Dan Marino? 


Similarly, college fans clamor for true freshmen to take the field when they may not be ready only helps create undo pressure.

On both level, expectations have to be checked. 

Maybe Tagovailoa will eventually post Marino-type numbers. But he played from 1983-99, and threw for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns. 

Tua Tagovailoa just needs to focus on being Tua Tagovailoa right now, regardless of what number he ends up wearing.

But perhaps he can take a cue from Alabama's other first-round draft picks.

Henry Ruggs III will continue to wear No. 11 with the Las Vegas Raiders and Jerry Jeudy has No. 10 for the Denver Broncos. Ruggs' number won't change from with the Crimson Tide, but very few wide receivers opt for a jersey number in the teens versus one in the 8-s, the only options per league rules. 

TakleJedrick Wills Jr. ran a quick social media poll asking fans for their opinion before announcing that he would wear No. 71 with the Cleveland Browns. 

His reason was the best of all, "Starting my own legacy."