Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 5/10/13

Yesterday, it was brought to my attention that the Bears had issued the number 50, the number worn by Mike Singletary, to James Anderson. The significance was that Singletary's former number has not been issued by the Bears in two decades. The Bears have 13 numbers retired, the most in the NFL, and it got me thinking. Should numbers in the NFL ever be retired? Retiring numbers is a sketchy business. If the NFL survives long enough, and some would argue it won't survive too many more decades, players deserving of having their numbers retired won't ever see those numbers permanently hung up simply because teams will run out of numbers to actually wear. The other possibility is that numbers will have to be brought out of retirement. Obviously, speaking of a time when numbers can't be retired out of necessity or when numbers are brought out of retirement is like speaking of the time when global warming floods much of the coastal areas of the world. It probably won't happen in our life times. In my mind, numbers should never be fully retired, except in rare instances. For example, the number 18 in Indianapolis may never be worn again. The number 12 in New England carries the same type of legacy. Outside of those two instances, I can't think of another player in the NFL that deserves to have his number fully retired. Instead, I suggest numbers be reserved, as was number 50 in Chicago. It was never officially retired, but it was not worn. This alternative is a way to honor great players while leaving their jersey open to use. In my mind, there's just other, and often better, ways of honoring great players than by simply putting their jersey away for good. [follow]

This article first appeared on This Given Sunday and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Carmelo Anthony: Knicks were more free-flowing before triangle emphasis

Report: Deal in works for Raiders to play at Sam Boyd Stadium in Vegas

Yoenis Cespedes: MLB would grow if they played with Latin culture

Georgetown fires John Thompson III after 13 seasons

GGG, Canelo Alvarez reportedly resume fight talks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Shaq comes clean on flat earth talk: ‘I’m joking, you idiots’

NFL to discuss possibility of reviewing penalties

Report: Paul George wants to play with Gordon Hayward

Reds pitcher Raisel Iglesias injures elbow, hip in shower fall

Report: Top NFL draft prospect Fabian Moreau has torn pectoral

Five teams that could trade down in the NFL draft

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/22: Team USA is heading to the championship

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker