Moritz Seider is No. 1 in the hearts of Detroit Red Wings fans, and No. 53 in the program.
On a day when the most well-known Detroit athlete to wear No. 53 has passed away, it seems like an appropriate moment to explain exactly how those digits came to be worn by Red Wings rookie sensation Moritz Seider.
The root cause could be described as an earworm for a Love Bug.
Seider donned the number because of a famous fictional sporting hero that also wore No. 53, Herbie The Love Bug.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Seider admitted. “That’s pretty much about it, though.”
Seider had juist watched the movie. We’re going to assume it was the Lindsay Lohan remake and not the classic Dean Jones-Buddy Hackett original. Upon arriving for practice the next day with his German club Adler Mannheim, Seider was greeted by some shocking, yet delightful news.
“I had a chance to be playing pro when I was 16 in Mannheim, and they were asking me (which number) and it caught me off-guard,” Seider explained. “I watched the movie the day before and it stuck to my head somehow.
“That’s why I’m wearing 53.”
Sad News From Lions
Tuesday, the Detroit Lions announced that Mike Lucci, an All-Pro linebacker with the team from 1965-73, has died at the age of 81.
Lucci was the heart and soul of the Lions defense. During his nine seasons with the Lions, Lucci was named the team’s defensive MVP on three occasions.. His career highlight was earning Pro Bowl honors in 1971.
He also wore No. 53. Arguably, Lucci is the most legendary Detroit athlete to don those digits. Certainly, fans of the Detroit Pistons Bad Boys era will be seeking to make a case for James Edwards. And those with a knowledge of Lions history might also point out that Pro Football Hall of Fame center Alex Wojciechowicz also was No. 53 for the Lions from 1938-46.
Famous Sporting 53s
Herbie The Love Bug draws his number from perhaps the most famous sporting No. 53 of all, Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale. Bill Walsh, producer of The Love Bug, came up with the blue and red racing stripes and gave the car No. 53 to honor of one of his favorite ballplayers.
Besides Wojciechowicz, two other famous NFL centers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame wore No. 53 – Mick Tinglehoff of the Minnesota Vikings and Mike Webster of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fomer New York Giants linebacker Harry Carson is another Hall of Famer who donned No. 53.
NBA Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore was another prominent No. 53.