Hint 1: the three grid spanners have a part of their clue italicized and bold
Hint 2: The italicized/bold clues relate in some way to their respective entries... "numbers" from the title gets us thinking about numbers... can you match each answer to a number?
Hint 3: for example, the entry "par for the course" has the clue "PGA Masters"... when you google "PGA Masters par, you'll find that the par for the entire course is 72
Hint 4: similarly do the same for "playing the field"... you can google how many players are on an American football or soccer team (use the number for one team on the playing field, not both teams combined), and for "why am I so unlucky?," googling "fear of Triscuits Friends" yields a very specific word
Hint 5: "so they say"... instead of first letter extraction, or first letter clue extraction, just say the entries aloud from the 3 relevant numbers you found... you may need to google for the correct spelling of the crossword constructor's name in case you are not familiar with this puzzle's dedicatee