Which Number Should the Bears Retire Next?

The other day I read about the Packers discussing retiring Brett Favre’s #4. Even though he singed the bridge, he didn’t burn it down, so some day probably before his wang is completely unrecognizable to Jen Sterger, the Packers will hold the ceremony and retire his jersey number.  It got me to thinking two things about our Beloved Bears:

1. Which jersey number should be the next one the Bears retire?

2. Are there any current Bears whose jersey deserves to be retired?

Before we decide which jersey should be retired next, let’s look at the 13 jerseys have already been retired, after the jump…

Not only do you have some of the all-time greats on the list like George Halas, Sid Luckman, Bill George and Red Grange in there, but you have the most recognizable Bears like Sayers, Butkus and Payton.  It’s really an impressive list.  It’s kind of sad that most of the guys on this list are old-timers.  Why aren’t we drafting more elite players nowadays?  (And I’m not just ripping on Jerry Angelo here!)

So who is missing?  In all fairness, I can’t speak to some of the old-timers but I’ll address a handful of Bears Hall of Famers whose numbers haven’t been retired yet and most that I’ve been fortunate enough to see in my lifetime:

#89 – Mike Ditka

While most of us know Ditka as Da Coach of Da Super Bowl XX 1985 Bears, Iron Mike was one hell of a tight end.

#50 – Mike Singletary

Many consider Samurai Mike as the lynchpin of Buddy Ryan’s 46-defense.  It’s all in the eyes.

#95 – Richard Dent

The Colonel chewed up quarterbacks and spit them out throughout his career.  It’s hard to argue with the MVP of the only Super Bowl that this storied franchise has won.

#99 – Dan Hampton

The number not only represents the jersey he wore on his back, but also the number of knee surgeries he had.

And the only current Bear I might even consider, which answer’s Question 2 above…

#54 – Brian Urlacher

We keep hearing that he’s a sure-fire Hall of Famer.  You only wonder what kind of numbers he could have put up in his career if he wasn’t required to spring backwards at the snap of the ball to cover the deep middle in Lovie’s Cover-2 defense.

So, help us answer the question.  If you vote Other or None, back up your opinions with a Comment.

Which number shoud the Bears retire next?

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  • Doshi

    I feel that they shouldn’t retire ANY numbers. There are 53 players on an NFL football team. Hopefully, after this CBA, there will be more. And certain number ranges are reserved for certain positions or position areas. Basically, there are only so many numbers you can retire (47 maximum) before you are unable to place players on the field.

    The Bears need a Ring of Honor system, rather than a Retired Numbers system. Under this system, we can finally get the players up there that really deserve to be up there. And under said RoH system, I’d say drop ALL of those guys up there. Including Jimmy Mac and a couple of guys nobody would ever think of putting up there.

  • ryansnow89

    I love all of these selections, I chose Ditka’s #89 because I’ve been lobbying for that for a long time. I would love to see any of them retired (or Ring of Honor), along with one of my favorite all time bears Olin Kruetz. Not as good as he once was, but he was as good once as he ever was! Plus I have a bit of a soft spot for him since I grew up (I’m only 21) watching him play, learning from film of him since I played center as well.

  • squinn34

    I think all of the above suggestions are valid but one that is missing and in my opinion should be the next number the Bears retire is #81 for Doug Atkins. He played 12 seasons with the Bears, was an 8 time Pro Bowler (all while he was with the Bears), was the Pro Bowl MVP in 1958, was a dominant force helping the Bears win the title in 1963, is in the Hall of Fame, already had his number retired by the Saints even though he only played his last 3 seasons with them, was voted 9th most dominant pass rusher of all time by the NFL Network, etc, etc. The list goes on and on. You just need to check out his highlights on YouTube to see what a force he was. The only reason I can think to why his number is not retired by the Bears was that he and Halas fought a lot but so did Ditka and Halas…… which is maybe why his number is not retired either. Either way I feel that the next two numbers retired by the Bears need to be Atkins and Ditka. It’s crazy that the Saints have retired his number already and the team that he played all of those incredible years with has not yet.