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Mike Spofford

Mike Spofford has worked as a sportswriter in Wisconsin since 1995 and has been a packers.com staff writer since 2006. He has covered the Packers' last two Super Bowl appearances, XXXII and XLV.


Best by numbers: All results are in

Posted Jul 1, 2011

The votes are in.

Over the past month, packers.com asked you, the fans, to cast your votes in our “Best by Numbers” series, selecting which players in team history were the best to have worn specific uniform numbers.

We picked eight numbers for you to debate. Here’s what you decided.

Closest votes: The first six numbers were pretty much landslides, but with the last two, no candidate topped 50 percent.

At No. 88, Ron Kramer won amongst a quartet of tight ends with 38 percent of the vote, followed closely by Jermichael Finley at 28 percent and Bubba Franks at 23 percent. Keith Jackson came in fourth with a respectable 11 percent, making No. 88 the only number to have all candidates earn a double-digit percentage.

No. 90 was similarly close, as B.J. Raji took 47 percent in a vote of four defensive linemen, edging Ezra Johnson at 35 percent. Vonnie Holliday (13 percent) and Tony Bennett (6 percent) followed.

Biggest injustices: Two Pro Football Hall of Famers didn’t even come close against fringe Hall of Fame candidates.

At No. 30, Clarke Hinkle got only 9 percent of the vote to Ahman Green’s 87 percent, while at No. 36, Mike Michalske also garnered just 9 percent to LeRoy Butler’s 69 percent.

It must have been that same 9 percent of folks with reverence for a pair of all-time greats who played the bulk of their careers in the 1930s.

Lombardi’s boys get their due: In addition to Kramer winning at No. 88, two other players from the Vince Lombardi era won their respective numbers.

At No. 31, Jim Taylor easily beat Al Harris, 74 percent to 25 percent, while at No. 63, Fuzzy Thurston won the battle of offensive linemen with 72 percent over Scott Wells (16 percent) and Adam Timmerman (9 percent).

No doubt: Even with five candidates to choose from, the most of any number, No. 84 was no contest. Sterling Sharpe grabbed 80 percent of the vote, followed by Carroll Dale at 13 percent. None of the other three receivers on the ballot captured more than 3 percent.

Fan favorite: The vote at No. 80 probably should have been closer based on statistics and overall ability, but a tally of 77 percent for Donald Driver to only 22 percent for James Lofton speaks to just how popular and well-loved Driver is amongst Packers fans.

On the cutting room floor: In the interest of keeping “Best by Numbers” to eight installments, some potentially good debates were never realized. Dorsey Levens or Ryan Grant at No. 25? Henry Jordan or Aaron Kampman at No. 74? Boyd Dowler or Antonio Freeman at No. 86?

Any thoughts, here’s your last chance to chime in.

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