Seeing as how the Chicago Bears have more Hall Of Fame players than any other franchise, I shouldn't be surprised when I see their players litter any all-time best-of list. And since the Bears have retired more jersey numbers than any other franchise in the NFL, I shouldn't be surprised to see them so well represented in list of all time best players by number.
Mitchell & Ness is a clothing company that specializes in sports apparel. They've really found their niche' by focusing on vintage stuff like throwbacks.
They recently compiled a list of the best player to wear all 101 numbers ever issued in the NFL. The Chicago Bears, as expected, were all over the list. Not only were numerous numbers associated with all time Bears, but there were a number of Chicago honorable mentions on their list too.
Here are the Chicago Bears that made the best number list.
#3 - Bronko Nagurski
#6 - Kevin Butler
#34 - Walter Payton
#40 - Gale Sayers
#50 - Mike Singletary
#51 - Dick Butkus
#69 - Jared Allen
#89 - Mike Ditka
#90 - Julius Peppers
#95 Richard Dent
Kevin Butler as the best number six of all time surprised me, but then so too did having Jay Cutler listed as an honorable mention. Jim Harbaugh was an homorable mention for #4, but let's face it, it'll be a very long time before anyone supplants Brett Favre as the best #4 of all time.
Charles Tillman received a mention at #33, but Hall Of Famer Tony Dorsett has that one locked up for the time being. Four time Pro Bowl Bear, Neal Anderson garnered a mention among the best 35s, but Hall Of Famer Aeneas Williams has a stranglehold on that number.
Hard hitting Gary Fencik was beat out by a Hall Of Famer as well, with number 45 going to Emlen Tunnell. Since I never heard of Mr. Tunnell, I'll pass along this important bit of info on him. The former Giant and Packer was the first African-American to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 1967.
Brian Urlacher is sure to make the Hall Of Fame at some point, but his credentials still fall short of the best #54, Randy White. Urlacher's running mate, the recently sort-of retired Lance Briggs, is am honorable mention behind Junior Seau's #55.
There were a few other honorable mention players that had a cup of coffee in Chicago that I didn't spotlight, but I wanted to touch on the last number.
My only issue on this list is at #99. While I understand picking Warren Sapp because of his on field resume, the fact that he's an ass-hat knocks him off my list. Dan Hampton is also a Hall Of Fame player, and he did it while excelling at 2 different positions, defensive end and defensive tackle.
What are your thoughts on the huge Bears' representation on the all time best jersey numbers list?