“Hey Ricky, costume design fucked up. You think anyone will catch it?”

NOTE: This may contain spoilers if you have yet to watch the season finale of Ballers

I have mixed reviews about HBO’s latest Sunday night series “Ballers”.  I’ve watched every episode and have thoroughly enjoyed myself while doing so, but it’s not exactly ground-breaking TV programming.  Dwayne Johnson’s lines come out as if he’s doing his Barack Obama impression, but overall he does a good job as a former NFL player turned financial manager.  The story lines are decent, but no one has blown their fingers off or shot themselves yet, making the NFL depicted in Ballers a little unrealistic.  It’s pretty much Entourage meets Hard Knocks, two other shows I like, so if you like those also you might as well tune if in you haven’t already.

The season finale was on this past Sunday and I noticed something that irked me.  I’m not sure who was in charge of this decision, but they definitely made a blunder when they showed Ricky Jerret (played by John David Washington) receive his new number after giving #18 to Alonzo (Antoine Harris).


Is that a #41 jersey? Isn’t Ricky Jerret a wide receiver?  This may not mean much to the layman’s fan or TV watcher, but if you know anything about the jersey numbers in the NFL you’d realize wide receivers can’t wear #41.  They are restricted to numbers 10-19 and 80-89.

Below is the numbering system established by the NFL and in place since 1973:

Number Range QB RB WR TE / H OL DL LB DB K P
1-9 Yes No Preseason No No No No Preseason Yes Yes
10–19 Yes No Yes No No No No No Yes Yes
20–29 No Yes No No No No No Yes No No
30–39 No Yes No No No No No Yes No No
40–49 No Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes No No
50–59 No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No
60–69 No No No No Yes Yes No No No No
70–79 No No No No Yes Yes No No No No
80–89 No No Yes Yes No No No No No No
90–99 No No No No No Yes Yes No No No

Unless Ricky is making the move to running back, tight end, halfback, linebacker or defensive back, the person in charge of costume design on the set of Ballers fucked up.  You’d think someone involved with the show would have caught this mistake before the finale aired.


I realize #41 was also the original number the Dolphins gave Ricky Jerret when he first joined the team.  In the “Raise Up” episode that first aired on June 28th, Ricky mentions there must be some sort of “miscommunication”, and that he’s meant to wear #18 like he always has.


At the time I thought nothing of it, seeing that it was his first practice and they probably stuck any old number in his locker.  I never thought we’d ever see the number on his back again, though, but Ballers proved me wrong.