The Bears announced Monday that in celebration of their 100th season in 2019 they will place a ‘1’ in front of all player jersey numbers, transforming the numbers into triple digits.
For instance, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will wear No. 110 instead of No. 10, outside linebacker Khalil Mack will don No. 152 rather than No. 52, etc.
“First, I thought the idea was kind of crazy,” Trubisky said. “I’m like, ‘Why are we all changing our numbers?’ But you know what, it’s an honor to be part of this historic franchise. We’re celebrating our 100th-year anniversary and I think it will be pretty cool to put the ‘1’ in front of every single jersey number.”
The NFL office initially balked at the idea but eventually changed its mind after a strong lobbying effort spearheaded by chairman George H. McCaskey, whose grandfather, George Halas, helped found the Bears and the league in 1920.
Get a first peek at mockups of the Bears' updated jerseys for the 2019 season, with all players wearing numbers in the hundreds.
“We just kept working on them. We said, ‘Hey, we’re a charter franchise. We’re the only team celebrating its 100-year anniversary, and this will be for one year only.’ It took some doing. We wore them down a little bit. They finally said, ‘OK, for 2019 only.’”
Trubisky also needed to be convinced it was a good idea, but now he’s fully on board.
“I’m pretty pumped that I’m going to be wearing ‘110’ this year,” Trubisky said. “We’re just going to roll and everyone’s going to be sporting the nice ‘1’ in front of their jersey number.”
It is believed that the only other sport in North America to employ triple-digit jerseys is LigaMX, Mexico’s first-division soccer league. All LigaMX organizations field teams in the major league as well as U-20, U-17, U-15 and U-13 leagues. Every player throughout each system is required to have a different number, which is why triple digits are utilized.
The Bears will wear their triple-digit numbers on their navy, white and alternate jerseys this season. Fans will eventually be able to preorder the jerseys from the Chicago Bears Pro Shop. Details will be provided on ChicagoBears.com when they are finalized.
UPDATE: Happy April Fools’ Day!