By John Boyle
Throughout his NFL career, Terrell Owens has been one of the most famous No. 81s in football, but in Seattle, he will wear No. 10.
And no, he’s not wearing that number because the number 10, depending on the font, looks a wee bit like the letters TO (credit AP photographer Ted Warren for that joke). Owens is wearing 10 because Golden Tate didn’t want to give up 81, and with 90 players on the roster, not much else was available.
“81 wasn’t available and there were a couple of options so I took 10,” Owens said. “I look good in 10. That’s going to be my number.”
Tate said he considered giving up his number, but that he plans to be a Seahawks for a long time wearing No. 81, so he didn’t want to give it up. Besides, after an up and down first two years with Seattle, Tate has formed a bond with his number.
“He asked me for it, but just didn’t feel like I wanted to give it up,” Tate said. “Me and No. 81 have been through a lot—donut shops, inactives, rock bottom… I’m going to be loyal to 81.”
In case you’ve somehow forgotten one of the funniest stories from the start of the 2010 season, Tate, then a rookie, was busted for pilfering maple bars from a close Top Pot donut shop in his Bellevue apartment building late at night. From there Tate failed to turn an impressive training camp into a productive rookie season, and was even, as he reference, inactive for the first regular season game of his career.
Tate has so far been a bright spot in training camp this year, and is a front-runner to win a starting job—though Owens’ presence could complicate that depending on how things play out.