Is Utah Utes jersey 22 cursed? Aaron Lowe death sparks calls to retire jinxed number
Social media users call on the University of Utah to retire #22 following the death of Lowe, who adopted the number as a tribute to friend Ty Jordan
A second University of Utah football payer was confirmed killed on September 25, after a shooting in Salt Lake City. The team confirmed that 21-year-old Aaron Lowe was killed at a house party in the city, less than a year after the accidental shooting of Ty Jordan in Denton, Texas. Lowe adopted Jordan's #22 jersey in honor of his friend and former high school teammate earlier this year.
The tragic passing of Lowe is a stark reminder of America's gun violence, with each year seeing an increasing number of deaths. Up to September 15, 14,516 people have died from gun violence in 2021. That includes the death of pregnant Shanice Young in Harlem and ex-gangster Jermaine Dixon in Queens. Numerous deaths have also resulted from deadly mass shootings, such as the spree of shootings by Robert Aaron Long that rocked Georgia in March.
There's a lot we still don't know about the shooting that killed Lowe, including who the shooter is. However, now we have more details on a strange coincidence linking the deaths of Lowe and Jordan - their jersey number.
Is #22 cursed?
When Ty Jordan joined the Utes in 2020, he adopted the jersey number 22. During his brief run with the team, the running back was named the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year. he was also named to the Freshman All-America team by The Athletic. On December 24, 2020, the Associated Press selected him as the Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year. Just a day later, he accidentally shot himself in Denton and was pronounced dead.
Apart from his stellar career, Jordan also shared a close link with Lowe. It is believed Lowe was responsible for Jordan signing with Utah, who initially committed with the Texas Longhorns. The duo played together in high school at Mesquite. In August 2021, Lowe was also named as the first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship. When he joined the Utes in 2019, Lowe played with #2, but switched to #22 in 2021 to honor his friend.
In an unfortunate twist of fate, Lowe was killed in a shooting with the circumstances still unclear. Of course, the shooting is likely a very strange coincidence, but there appears to be some greater connection between Lowe and Jordan. As journalist Josh Newman noted, "The connection between Aaron Lowe and Ty Jordan makes this more nauseating." One user floated the idea of a curse, tweeting, "Something wrong with number 22 at the Utes. Let’s not use this number ever again at the University of Utah. We are not recovered yet from TY." To that, another user replied, "it's cursed!".
The connection between Aaron Lowe and Ty Jordan makes this more nauseating. https://t.co/Swilax9eRj— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) September 26, 2021
Something wrong with number 22 at the Utes. Let’s not use this number ever again at the University of Utah.— Egyptian Utes in San Diego (@mhelal2) September 26, 2021
We are not recovered yet from TY 🤦🏽♂️😿😿
Whether the curse is real or not, the connection between Jordan and Lowe is too great to ignore. Lowe's death has also led to vociferous calls for the Utes to retire the #22, perhaps a sign that more people believe in the "curse"?
'Utah needs to retire the number 22'
One Twitter user said, "Let’s just retire the number 22 now and not let anyone wear it every again. 2 tragic losses within 9 months to the day of hearing the news about Ty Jordan. RIP Aaron Lowe." Another noted, "There has been a dark cloud over this program since 2019. Then Ty Jordan. And now Aaron Lowe. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s so sad that this happened, and I really hope we can find a way to stop things like this from happening."
Let’s just retire the number 22 now and notlet anyone wear it every again. 2 tragic losses within 9 months to the day of hearing the news about Ty Jordan. RIP Aaron Lowe.— OG 36 Utah Open (@PapaSmurfUTE) September 26, 2021
There has been a dark cloud over this program since 2019. Then Ty Jordan. And now Aaron Lowe. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s so sad that this happened, and I really hope we can find a way to stop things like this from happening.— 🇺🇸Nick Park🇺🇸 (@sput_nick) September 26, 2021
"Utah needs to retire the number 22.. so sad man," one person commented. Another said, "I don’t see how the number 22 can ever be worn again at the University of Utah." Another user chimed in, "Alright Utah …just retire #22. No more kids should wear that number. This is just too much."
Utah needs to retire the number 22.. so sad man— Jeremy Chijoke Wilson 📅 (@TheRealJWIL) September 27, 2021
I don’t see how the number 22 can ever be worn again at the University of Utah.— Nathan Smith (@NateAndSmith) September 26, 2021
It's highly unlikely that the #22 is cursed, and that the death of Lowe is nothing more than a tragic coincidence. The Utes have not responded to the calls just yet to retire the number though. "Aaron was a terrific young man, a leader on our football team, and a rock of resiliency and courage," noted Utah athletic director Mark Harland. The death also got the attention of Gov Spencer Cox, who tweeted condolences to the Lowe family.