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The mid-December edition of Math News section for this web site discussed the new fad of wearing a goal necklace bearing a single digit. Examples were given of the hollywood elite wearing digits that had some personal significance.

And now, it is deja vue time as a recent issue of USA Weekend discussed essentially the same fad, but now on the side of males. The fad-leaders are still the elite, but the difference is that it is sports stars choosing jersey numbers of personal significance.

Jaromir Jagr, hockey pro, wears the number 68 to represent the year of the Prague Spring (brief period of Czech political freedom ended by Russian invasion). Duane Wade, basketball pro, wears the digit 3 to represent the Christian trinity. Gilbert Arenas, basketball pro, wears the digit 0 because that was "the number of minutes people predicted" he would play on the pro level. Deion Sanders, football star, wears the number 37, because that was his age when he un-retired...plus, the number 37 is a prime number, perhaps representing his nickname of "Prime Time Dion." Finally, the most convoluted connection is Mario Lemieux, hockey pro, who wears the numer 66 as an inverted honor for Wayne Gretzky's number 99, who similarly chose these digits in honor of Gordie Howe, who wore the digit 9.

So, as mathematics teachers, we need to take the next lead in wearing or adopting numbers of significance... perhaps etched on our calculator cases...our license plates...our phone number...room numbers, etc.

Source: Reed Tucker's "It's All in the Numbers," USA Weekend, January 1, 2006.