Mike Ditka Speaks About Chicago Bears Plans to Retire His Jersey (VIDEO)

The Chicago Bears announced last week that they plan to retire former head coach Mike Ditka’s No. 89 jersey on Monday Night Football, December 9, during halftime when the Chicago Bears meet the Dallas Cowboys. The Bears franchise said that Ditka’s No. 89 Jersey will be the last number they plan to retire.

Chicago Bears plan to retire Mike Ditka's No. 89 jersey on December 9, 2013.

Chicago Bears plan to retire Mike Ditka’s No. 89 jersey on December 9, 2013.

Pro Hall of Famers Dan Hampton, linebacker Mike Singletary, defensive end Richard Dent and linebacker Brian Urlacher (probable future Hall of Famer), will not be honored in the same way. The franchise felt it would diminish the honor if they retired too many numbers.

“If there is going to be a last one, there is no more appropriate one than 89,” team chairman George McCaskey said in a statement. “Mike Ditka embodies the spirit of everything the Bears are about. He’s an icon. The last time we won the championship Mike Ditka was our coach and the last time we won before that Mike Ditka was a player. The organization knew it was the right thing to do.”

“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,” Ditka said. He will now join Chicago Bears legends Walter Payton, Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers who have had their numbers previously retired.

Ditka, currently an ESPN NFL analyst, coached the Chicago Bears for 11 years and New Orleans Saints for three years. Ditka and Tom Flores are the only two people to win an NFL title as a player, an assistant coach, and a head coach. Ditka was the only individual to participate in both of the last two Chicago Bears’ championships, as a player in 1963 and as head coach in 1985. He was awarded NFL Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1988 by the Associated Press.

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