At the risk of inciting a numbers-based riot, I direct your attention to Tyler Kepner’s latest notebook in The Times with a quote from Number 21 himself:
“I’ve always been blown away by the way the fans have treated me there,” O’Neill said in a telephone interview. “I have absolutely nothing against LaTroy Hawkins, but it’s unbelievable what the fans have done. It makes you feel good as a player, obviously, because that tells you they appreciate what we did as a team.”
To me, it sounds like Paul would love to see his number retired. That is a rather pregnant “but” after the LaTroy Hawkins mention. Either way, perhaps we should put this story to rest for now.