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.

PLAYERS: James Anderson
TEAMS: Chicago Bears
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Colin Kaepernick wants to buy the Carolina Panthers

John Skipper resigns from ESPN over substance addiction

Seahawks likely to move on from ‘Legion of Boom’ after season

Jackson admits Kizer could be benched before end of season

Jerry Richardson selling Carolina Panthers amid investigation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roy Williams honored late Pat Summitt during game at Tennessee

Burfict responds to Smith-Schuster's TD celebration

Antonio Brown taken to hospital for further evaluation

Captain Munnerlyn calls benching ‘slap in the face’

Twitter reacts to Thomas Davis' dirty hit on Davante Adams

Randall Cobb splits defenders with sick move on catch-and-run TD

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Top takeaways from NFL Week 15

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

With Ezekiel Elliott returning, can the Cowboys realistically make the playoffs?

Studs and duds so far in NBA season

Making sense of MLB's buyers, sellers heading into 2018

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Bears 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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

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