Posted May 24, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Hall of Famer Mike Ditka will have his No. 89 retired by the Chicago Bears next season.
The Bears said Friday the number will be retired at halftime of their Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field on Dec. 9, a fitting tribute for a player who revolutionized the tight end position with his pass-catching ability and later coached the 1985 team to the Super Bowl championship.
In a statement, he called it ''a tremendous honor'' and added: ''When you think of all the great Bears players who have had their jerseys retired, I can't say that there's any greater honor. I'm very humbled by it and very thankful that (chairman George McCaskey) made the decision to go ahead and do that because it's really great.''
McCaskey said Ditka ''embodies the spirit of everything the Bears are about.''
Ditka is the only person in the NFL's modern era to win a title with the same team as both a player (1963) and head coach.
The fifth overall pick in the 1961 draft, he played six seasons with the Bears and made five Pro Bowls. He caught 316 passes for 4,503 yards with 34 touchdowns with Chicago before going on to play six more years with Philadelphia and Dallas.
He was hired as the Bears' coach in January 1982 and went on to lead them to a 106-62 record, with the `85 team going 15-1 while shuffling its way to the championship.
Ditka's number will be the 14th retired by the Bears. And McCaskey indicated there won't be any more, saying, ''After this, we do not intend to retire any more numbers but we thought if there is going to be a last one, there is no more appropriate one than 89.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
IT'S AN HONOR
The Chicago Bears have plans to retire the jersey number of former coach and player Mike Ditka, but they say that's the last one.
The Chicago Bears are in a very good mood today.
They have announced that they will honor Mike Ditka by retiring the #89 jersey he wore during his six-year career as a tight end for the Bears. The ceremony will take place on December 9th before Chicago plays Dallas on Monday Night Football.
The Bears drafted Ditka with the fifth overall pick in 1961 and he responded by winning Rookie...
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has nothing but high praise for his former mentor and new Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman.
While he does call the hiring a "bold, unconventional move", he couldn't agree more with the Bears' line of thinking when they chose him, although he's been away from the NFL for so long. Trestman took his talents...
Former Marc Trestman quarterback Rich Gannon says the coach is very demanding and he expects his signal callers to be multi-faceted, to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.
The ex-Raiders QB Gannon was a top student of Trestman and had unbelievable success under him.
With the Raiders, Gannon achieved his greatest successes, including four consecutive seasons making...
The great Brian Urlacher will go down as a Chicago legend. He was one of the NFL's most famous faces during his 13-year career with the Chicago Bears. He was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, a five-time All-Pro and sits right behind Ray Lewis as one of the finest defensive players of his generation.
Urlacher has retired, but if he had his way, he'd be playing one more...
As the Bears get ready to wrap up their OTA workouts and then close out the middle of June with their mandatory veteran mini-camp it's time to look at where the depth chart stands from last year at this time to this year. Most people are focusing in on the starters and trying to gauge whether this team is better now than it was a year ago. On paper certain positions appear...
The Chicago Bears already said good bye to Brian Urlacher, but the former great didn't decide to call it a career until yesterday (Wednesday). Personally, I didn't see him really hanging it up; I thought he was likely going to drag his feet filing his papers and as soon as someone got hurt and teams had a need he would be back.
After reading some of his comments in the...
The announcement for Brian Urlacher’s retirement came unexpectedly after he visited several teams this offseason, but he ultimately decided to hang up the cleats. He is one of a few rare legends of the game that played their entire careers for one team.
In the past, when players left a team or retired, they’d take out an ad in the papers thanking the team. This time, the Bears...
For 13 seasons Brian Urlacher patrolled the middle of the field for the Chicago Bears.On Wednesday morning he announced his retirement from the NFL.It has been a strange offseason for Urlacher.His contract with the Bears ran out after the 2012 season and after rejecting an offer from the Bears to return he decided to test the free agent market. After not finding anything that was...
The Chicago Tribune, instead of posting money-making advertisements, used the back page of their Friday paper to pay tribute to Brian Urlacher.
The Chicago Bears have two All Pro starting cornerbacks but beyond Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, there are potentially three roster spots up for grabs. We break down the competition.
2013 is really a make or break year for Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears. The front office has done their best to improve that train wreck of an offensive line in front of him. Kind of.
He’s had Brandon Marshall, a legit #1 target, back with again for over a year. And he’ll finally be playing in an offense that suits his talents. Possibly.
So all the pieces are in place for him...
The following is a Sports Bank flashback piece from summer 2008. It’s written by former TSB contributor Sarah Spain. It’s very likely that Sarah Spain will soon leave ESPN 1000 for Fox Sports 1. In light of today’s events; and the fact that’s a VERY SLOW news day, I felt the need to bring this old post back to the top.
As you can see, it’s quite well written.
I wrote some time ago that NFL teams should consider reserving certain numbers for awhile after a great player retires instead of simply retiring numbers of great players. The Bears, who will have 14 retired numbers once Mike Ditka's number 89 is officially put on the shelf, have announced that they will no longer be retiring numbers.
"If there is going to be a last one...