Should the Chicago Bears Let James Anderson Wear #50?

December 11, 2011; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers line backer James Anderson (50) during pre game against the Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears signed James Anderson over the weekend to fill the strong side linebacker spot and play alongside new teammate DJ Williams and longtime Bear Lance Briggs.  There’s one small problem – Anderson wore #50 for the Carolina Panthers.   Anderson hasn’t been assigned a uniform number with the Bears and it will be interesting to see if Hall of Famer Mike Singletary’s #50 will be made available to him.

It’s not like Anderson is a fly-by-night #50.  He’s worn that number throughout his career in Carolina and his website and Twitter account include the number 50 in them.  To my recollection, no one has worn #50 since Singletary’s crazed eyes were behind that number. 

The Bears are in a tough situation.  They’ve taken a bit of a PR hit with the decision to part ways with Brian Urlacher.  They already have two jerseys in the 50′s retired – Butkus’ #51 and Bill Hewitt’s #56.  Current players on the Bears roster don numbers in the 50′s – Costanzo (52), Briggs (55), Dom DiCicco (57), Jerry Franklin (58) and Patrick Trahan (59).  I highly doubt the Bears would put #54 on anyone for a few years.

Nothing says the new linebackers have to wear jerseys in the 50′s, but that’s sort of the convention.  JT Thomas wears #97 but that’s sort of the exception rather than the rule.

During an interview on The Score, Anderson said that if the number were available to him, he would contact Mr. Singletary to request his permission.  Is it time to free up Singletary’s #50?

I remember seeing veteran Bears linebacker Jim Morrissey running around in Dick Butkus’ #51 in the late 80′s until the Bears finally wised up and retired it on a rain soaked Halloween night loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football back in 1994.  It still feels a little strange seeing Shea McClellin running around in Hall of Famer Dan Hampton’s #99.  Am I just stuck in a time warp?

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Should James Anderson wear Mike Singletary's #50 for the Bears?

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Topics: Chicago Bears, James Anderson, Mike Singletary

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  • JenT

    No way! I guess if Singletary okays it, but that number should be retired!

    • BearGogglesOn

      If the Bears retire every Hall of Famer’s number, they’ll cut 32 numbers out of rotation. With a 53-man roster, that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.

      • JenT

        But Hall of Famers should have their numbers retired!

  • Pulyx

    If the number isn’t retired maybe the Bears should issue it. It’s been 20 years since Samurai Mike retired man. Time to let go.

    • BearGogglesOn

      That’s kind of where I’m leaning. Time to move forward.

  • Rumpelstilskin

    How about Roman Numerals? L

    • BearGogglesOn

      I’m hoping they get rid of the Roman Numerals for the Super Bowl. Super Bowl L? Don’t like it.

  • Dago T

    Knowing Mike Singletary the way I do (not!) I bet he’s cool with someone else wearing the number. He did give me a ride from the Bears’ dorms to the practice field in Platteville once, which was and still is one of the coolest things to happen in my pathetic little life.