Nebraska Huskers in the NFL

Nebraska-Huskers_header

The University of Nebraska was founded in 1869, less than two years after Nebraska was granted statehood. While their football program also got its start in the 19th century (the first game was held in late November of 1890), the university didn’t have a football coach until three years later. It took a while for the school to settle on a team name, but fortunately the sports editor of the “Nebraska State Journal,” Charles “Cy” Sherman, called them the Cornhuskers in 1900, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Since those early days, Nebraska’s football teams and their players have brought home a number of impressive awards, including five national titles, three Heisman Trophies (Johnny Rodgers, 1972; Mike Rozier, 1983; and Eric Crouch, 2001), and a slew of other awards throughout their impressive history. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is one such player – he  received the Outland, Lombardi, Bronko Nagurski, and Chuck Bednarik awards, and was also named the AP College Player of the Year in 2009.

Unsurprisingly, there have been many former Huskers drafted into the NFL (or signed as an undrafted free agent), including Link Lyman, Guy Chamberlin, Boomer Brown, Will Shields, and Mick Tingelhoff – all Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees. Let’s take a look to see which former Nebraska football players are currently playing in the NFL.

Cornhuskers in the Game

Nebraska-Huskers_asset

There are 26 former Huskers in the NFL today. As we glance over the current players list, one of the biggest names that stands out is Ndamukong Suh, the former Nebraska superstar who continued a high level of play in the pros. Suh has been elected to five Pro Bowls over his career, which got its start in 2010 when he was drafted No. 2 overall by the Detroit Lions (he currently plays for the Miami Dolphins). He’s also been selected to the First-Team All-Pro three times and has been a sack machine over his seven-plus years of professional play (he has 49 sacks and counting).  

Woke up feeling like

A post shared by Ndamukong Suh (@ndamukong_suh) on

Another player to mention is Prince Amukamara, who earned the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 while at Nebraska and is a one-time All-American. He was drafted in 2011, 19th overall, by the New York Giants, and was part of a championship winning team his rookie year. Amukamara currently plays for the Chicago Bears.

@strap_ent @strap_ent 🔥🔥🔥

A post shared by Prince Amukamara (@princeamukamara) on

Richie Incognito is another former Husker currently playing in the NFL. Incognito entered the NFL in the third round of the 2005 draft for the St. Louis Rams after a great Nebraska college career, and has been selected to three Pro Bowls during his time in the NFL. Incognito currently plays for the Buffalo Bills.

I know when I give my guy @shadymccoy a little space he’s about to do something special #TheRealSlimShady

A post shared by Richie Incognito (@68incognito) on

Go Big Red

If you’ve been following the Huskers for decades, or you’re a newer fan of this brand of college ball, make sure you’re properly suited up for a visit to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, by visiting Fanatics. You’ll find loads of authentic Nebraska gear, including shirts, hoodies, and hats.

Sources

What Are The Most Retired Numbers in Sports | Remember The GOATS

most_retired_numbers_header

Across the four major sports, jersey numbers are hung in the rafters to honor those who have so convincingly outperformed the rest of the competition. A retired number is mythological. When scanning available jersey numbers and the list jumps from No. 41 to 43, the MLB rookie knows why he’ll never have “42” stitched onto his jersey.

We did an analysis to see which numbers are most frequently retired throughout all of professional sports. Check out the numbers with the most reverence and the players who earned those spots in the rafters.

most_retired_numbers_Asset5

MLB Retired Jersey Numbers

most_retired_numbers_Asset1

Jackie Robinson pioneered a national civil rights movement in America during 10 seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and ’50s. The first African-American player in Major League Baseball, Jack Roosevelt Robinson amassed Hall-of-Fame numbers during his playing career and earned a league wide retirement of his jersey number in 1997. No other MLB player will wear No. 42 (in fact, it’s the only MLB jersey to be retired league wide).

MLB’s next most popular retired jersey is No. 20. Ten individual players throughout the history of the league have had their No. 20 jersey retired. The most notable athletes to wear No. 20 include Mike Schmidt (18 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies), Luis Gonzalez (18 seasons in MLB – jersey retired with the Arizona Diamondbacks), and Jorge Posada (16 seasons with the New York Yankees).

With nine jerseys, No. 14 is second among the most retired numbers in Major League Baseball. Notable players to have worn No. 14 include Pete Rose (Cincinnati Reds), Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox), and Ernie Banks (Chicago Cubs).

No. 1 has been stitched beneath the name of some of baseball’s biggest legends. Eight No. 1 jerseys have been retired among certain MLB teams. Notable players to have worn No. 1 include Hall-of-Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith (St. Louis Cardinals), Bobby Doerr (Boston Red Sox), and Hall-of-Famer Pee Wee Reese (Los Angeles Dodgers).

NBA Retired Jersey Numbers

most_retired_numbers_Asset2

The National Basketball Association has retired the No. 32 jersey a grand total of 11 times across the league. Among the legends to don No. 32 are five-time champion Ervin “Magic” Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers), basketball legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving (Philadelphia 76ers), and Utah Jazz big man Karl Malone.

Who would Magic be without Bird? Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird donned the No. 33 jersey for 13 seasons, winning three championships during that time. Two more No. 33 jerseys to be retired belong to six-time champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the Lakers and Patrick Ewing for the Knicks.

The No. 10 jersey has also been retired often. Outstanding No. 10 players in the NBA include the Knicks’ Walt Frazier, the Heat’s Tim Hardaway, and Detroit’s Dennis Rodman.

NFL Retired Jersey Numbers

most_retired_numbers_Asset3

Before John Elway ran the Denver Broncos as a championship-winning general manager, he donned the No. 7 jersey in two championships as the team’s quarterback. Denver has since retired Elway’s No. 7. Other notable No. 7 jerseys to be retired include New York Giant Mel Hein and George Halas of the Chicago Bears.

Along with the No. 7 jersey, three others have also been retired a total of five times. No. 14, 40, and 70 are off-limits for a handful of teams across the country. Legendary No. 14 players include Y.A. Tittle (New York Giants), Dan Fouts (San Diego Chargers), and Otto Graham (Cleveland Browns). Notable No. 40 players include the late Pat Tillman (Arizona Cardinals) and Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears.

NHL Retired Jersey Numbers

most_retired_numbers_Asset4

Up in the rafters throughout the NHL, the “Great One” is honored. Wayne Gretzky, No. 99, changed the game during his 21 seasons in the NHL. In homage to the dominance and skill level with which Gretzky played, No. 99 has been retired league wide (it’s the only number retired league wide to date). Gretzky holds 40 NHL regular season records, 15 playoff records, and four Stanley Cup wins.

If you can’t have two nines, one will have to do. The No. 9 jersey has been retired 12 times throughout the history of the NHL. Notable No. 9 players include legends Gordie Howe (Detroit Red Wings), Maurice Richard (Montreal Canadiens), and Bobby Hull (Chicago Blackhawks).

In keeping with the single-digit trend in the NHL, No. 7, 3, and 5 have all been retired at least eight times in the history of the league. All-Stars to retire No. 7 include Edmonton Oilers player Paul Coffey, Boston Bruin Phil Esposito, and Toronto Maple Leaf Tim Horton. Famous No. 3 jerseys hanging in the rafters include those belonging to Keith Magnuson (Chicago Blackhawks) and Bob Gassoff (St. Louis Blues).

Historical Digits

Records will be broken, and athletic feats will be topped, but for those who did it first, the achievements resound throughout generations. So if you’re looking for a piece of history, check out Fanatics.com for Robinson’s No. 42 or Gretzky’s No. 99 to sport on game day.

Sources

 

What does retiring a jersey mean

Retiring the number of an athlete is an honor a team bestows upon a player, usually after the player has left the team, retires from the sport or dies. Once a number is retired, no future player from the team may wear that number on their uniform, unless the player so-honored permits it; however, in many cases the number cannot be used at all.

Dick Butkus: Chicago fans are a certain breed because…

Dick Butkus is a name synonymous with football. Famous for his days as a feared anchor of the Chicago Bears defense, Butkus was a football player since childhood. He recently sat down with us for a little to talk about his roots and what it was like being a fan while out on the gridiron.

Butkus was “born and raised on the south side of Chicago” where he was the youngest of nine children born to working class parents. He attributes his first involvement in sports to his older brothers and the family’s childhood proximity to Fernwood Park, a public park on Chicago’s south side.

Butkus described this green space where he could play sports as a boy as “a dreamland for me.” Butkus built upon these games with his brothers and neighborhood friends and played with distinction at the Chicago Vocational High School.

From 1962 through 1964, Butkus played both ways (center and linebacker) for the University of Illinois, twice earning All-American accolades. In 1964, he finished third on the Heisman Trophy ballot. His number is retired by the University of Illinois and his standout play earned him a number of individual awards. In 1985, the Butkus Award was created to honor the nation’s best linebackers at varying levels of play. It remains a prestigious award at all levels.

Though drafted by both NFL and AFL teams, Butkus signed with his hometown Chicago Bears, for whom he played a legendary nine seasons before injuries forced him to retire. He was six times named All League and went to eight Pro Bowls. A hard hitter who was deeply feared by opposing players, Butkus also had a special knack for forcing turnovers and retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in forced fumbles, though the record has since been broken.

Born on Chicago’s south side, Butkus did not grow up a Bears fan. He said, “I became a fan after I played with the Bears.”

A special moment that stood out in his memory as a player-fan was a famous game in his rookie season. On December 12, 1965, the Bears were hosting the San Francisco 49ers at Wrigley Field. A fellow Bears rookie — Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers – ran for six touchdowns, an individual performance still considered among the greatest ever.

But Butkus remembers a fact lost to the history books. He told us:

“Being a fan while I’m out there on the field … as a fan, I was hoping he was going to get seven … I think we had the ball at the two-yard line and Halas took him out.”

Butkus is referring to legendary Bears head coach George S. Halas, known affectionately as “Papa Bear” who substituted Sayers out on that play. His replacement ran the ball in for a touchdown, stealing Sayers’ would-be seventh touchdown away.

Beloved by Bears fans, Butkus told us the admiration and respect is reciprocal.

“The Chicago fans are a certain breed and that’s because they’re loyal and they’re smart – they know what the hell the game’s about.”

 

Fans can shop for Chicago Bears gear on Fanatics.

 

What does the GSH stand for on the Chicago Bears uniform

The Chicago Bears have one of the more iconic uniforms in the NFL. They are synonymous with tradition, with the old-school and smashmouth brand of football the Bears have been associated with for decades.

Chicago Bears Howard

Chicago Bears Jordan Howard (#24) – Running Back

Their simple dark blue uniforms, rounded numbers, stark and straightforward logo, and burnt orange accents are easily identifiable for any casual NFL fan. But odds are, if you’re not a Bears fan and didn’t grow up in Chicagoland, you may have noticed a curious element of the Bears’ uniform since 1984, the year before their historic Super Bowl season.

It’s the initials ‘GSH’ prominently displayed in the tell-tale orange stripes on the left sleeve. So, what does GSH stand for on the Chicago Bears’ uniform? Well, they’re the initials of George S. Halas. Who is this Halas guy, you ask? Well, Halas played for, coached, and eventually owned the Bears. He was involved with the team in one capacity or another from 1920 until his death on Halloween in 1983. In his different roles, he had a hand in six NFL championships.

what does gsh stand for on chicago bears uniform

After his death in 1983, the Bears honored his historic legacy with the GSH initials on their left sleeve, where they remain to date. Generally, the evolution of the Bears’ uniform has mirrored the many variations of the team over the years, though certain elements have never vanished.

As uniforms have modernized over the years and manufacturers have changed, every team’s jerseys have changed. But the Bears remain one of the truest to their calling card and their roots, including their honoring of the late great George S. Halas.

The Evolution of the Chicago Bears Jersey

The evolution of the Chicago Bears jersey

The Chicago Bears are one of the NFL’s most storied teams, and their uniform, the Chicago Bears Jersey, tells the history of the team’s struggles and triumphs. During the team’s 96-year history, the Bears have won eight pre–Super Bowl NFL Championships, four conference championships, 18 division championships, and 26 playoff appearances. Despite this, the team has not appeared in the Super Bowl since 2007 and has not been in contention since 2010.

For members of Bears Nation, it is the diverse, rich history that encourages them to withstand freezing weather to faithfully head to Soldier Field to watch their beloved team play. This history is represented by the Bears jersey – the most visible, identifiable symbol of the brand.

For a team that will always be “Da Bears,” the name on the front of the jersey—or lack thereof— means everything. While Chicago has had flashier and more successful teams elsewhere (namely, the 1990–1998 Chicago Bulls under Michael Jordan), no team embodies the hard-working, tough-as-nails Midwestern ethics of the Windy City quite like its weather-beaten blue-and-orange.

The History of the Chicago Bears Jersey

The Evolution of the Chicago Bears Jersey

1919–1921: The Chicago Bears started in 1919 as the Decatur Staleys, the company club of the A.E. Staley food starch company. In 1920, the team joined the newly formed American Professional Football Association (APFA) – and later that same year, team manager George Halas purchases the rights to the team. Halas moves his team to Chicago in 1921, and in 1922, the team changes its name to the Bears – a play, as was the style at that time, on the Chicago Cubs MLB team whose field they shared (Wrigley Field). The APFA will eventually become the NFL.

Halas – an alumnus of the University of Illinois and a fan of the school’s blue-and-orange team colors – adopts a darker shade of these colors for his new team: navy blue rather than Illinois Blue and orange (Pantone 1665) instead of Illinois Orange.

The 1920 jersey – raised orange felt vertical stripes on a navy blue long-sleeve sweater – was the Decatur Staleys’ original jersey. It was designed to help the ball carrier maintain control of frequently slippery or wet game balls by wicking away moisture and creating friction. The Staleys/Bears will use this jersey for 12 years.

1932: Due to inclement weather in Illinois, the NFL and the Bears participate in professional football’s first indoor game. This game – on December 18, 1932, at Chicago Stadium – is memorable: It is the very first NFL Championship Game – and Chicago wins. This period marks the beginning of the Bears dominance over the league; in 1934, the franchise achieves the league’s first undefeated and untied regular season, but will lose the championship game to the New York Giants.

The jersey worn at this time was a white sweater with navy blue chest number patches, a blue collar and blue and orange pinstripes at the elbows.

1935: The orange version of the 1932 jersey – with black chest number patches with a white outline and black elbow pinstripes – is so hated they are reportedly booed by crowds in New York upon seeing it. The jersey is considered to be in bad taste, as the colors are seen as “loud.”

1943: After a second undefeated regular season in 1942, the surging team changes its jerseys again to black and white jerseys, with either orange or white number patches, and matching horizontal sleeve stripes. The league will not have another undefeated season until 1972, when the Miami Dolphins secure the only perfect season in professional football history.

The “Monsters of the Midway” era (1940–1947) – during which the Bears won four out of the five championship games they appeared in and secured the most one-sided victory in NFL history (73-0 against the Washington Redskins) – is marked with a “Bears Blue” jersey, with orange horizontal stripes and chest number patches. (In 2010, the Bears will bring back this jersey as a throwback.)

1958: The team’s road uniform – a white jersey with white pants – emerges at this time. Additionally, “Bears Blue” (a variation of navy blue that is nearly black in hue) becomes the team’s jersey color, and sleeve number patches – featuring rounded font – first appear. This jersey corresponds with a lull in the team’s performance – despite having a majority of winning seasons, the team only makes one playoff appearance during this period – in 1956.

1969: This season was made famous by 1971’s “Brian’s Song”: a movie about Bears running back Brian Piccolo (who was diagnosed with cancer after playing the first nine games of the 1968 season) and his friendship with running back Gale Sayers in his last year of life. The Bears home jersey makes simple but well-received changes in appearance: First, the white number patches take on an orange border, and the orange sleeve stripes receive a white border. Second, the NFL Shield is added to the left shoulder in recognition of the league’s 50th birthday. The jersey gets short sleeves and, finally, a high-collar cut, raising the neckline to the tight fit associated with the Dick Butkus era.

1977: The team returns to the playoff for the first time in 13 years, and the away jersey receives some alterations, including larger chest numbers that nearly cover the whole front of the jersey and thicker, more widely spaced blue-and-orange horizontal sleeve stripes. The blue number patches on the chest and the sleeves receive an orange outline, and the NFL Shield is removed from the jersey.

1985: This is the era of “Da Bears.” Fueled by the coaching of former Bears tight end Mike Ditka (1961–1966), the Bears and their revolutionary “46” defense put the league on notice.The highlight? When defensive tackle Walter “Refrigerator” Perry, at 315 pounds, successfully substitutes as a running back and scores a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. After losing only one game this season, the Bears win the Super Bowl – their ninth league championship but the only championship won since the AFL-NFL merger. This team will forever be known for their over-the-top cast of characters – their larger-than-life coach, Refrigerator Perry, quarterback Jim McMahon, running back Walter “Sweetness” Payton, defensive end Richard Dent – the franchise’s mentions on Saturday Night Live, and for the novelty rap “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” which hit No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The franchise adds a “GSH” crest to the left-arm stripes on the home jersey in honor of George Halas, who died in 1983. Besides being the team’s first non-company owner, he was also the team’s first coach – serving from 1920 to 1960 and racking up a .667 winning percentage record.

1994: This year sees the introduction of the controversial throwback to the 1920 jersey – which, with the exception of being orange on a blue jersey – looks nothing like the original jersey. After 1991’s incorporation of the NFL Shield to the collar of league regular jerseys, 1994 sees the addition of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary patch.

1999: The “34” patch is worn to honor Walter Payton after his death.

2001: The “Salute to Soldier Field” patch is added to home jerseys.

2012: The Bears switch to a Nike “Elite 51” jersey with sleeve number patches raised to the shoulders.

The Orange and Blue

The Bears have not been able to find the right formula for success since “Da Bears.” Despite being the league’s overall victories leader and having a majority of winning seasons for most of its post-Ditka history, the team has been in a virtual drought in regards to playoff appearances, appearing only six times in the playoffs with the last appearance being five years ago.

Despite this, the legend of one of the only two NFL charter member teams still playing is enough to keep Bears’ fans coming back, year after year, to cheer for the Orange and Blue.

“As a child, I spent my neighborhood days moving around the north suburbs of Illinois dangerously close to Packers territory,” wrote Bleacher Report correspondent Justin Goldman. “But it was the Bears who stole my heart and have been my first love since before I could walk.

“There are a lot of reasons that one would/should/could be a Bears fan, and frankly, there are not a lot of teams that can say that. I’ve been a Chicago Bears fan for as long as I can remember, and I plan to keep it that way until my time is done on this Earth.”

Buy a Chicago Bears jersey on Fanatics:

Chicago Bears white jersey Chicago Bears team jersey Chicago Bears alternate jersey

Sources