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What does GSH stand for on the Chicago Bears jersey?

Jake Nichol November 29, 2021
Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
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On their jersey the Chicago Bears have the initials ‘GSH’ on their shoulder pads, what does it stand for and who are they honouring?

2021 has been an up and down season so far for the Chicago Bears, with a mixed record.

After 11 games, they are 4-7, having won just once in their last six games – a 16-14 win over the Detroit Lions on Thursday (25 November).

Despite their patchy form, one thing has remained a constant – the presence of ‘GSH’ on their jerseys. But why do the Chicago Bears have GSH on their jerseys? What is the meaning?

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Chicago Bears ‘GSH’ explained

The three letters emblazoned on the jerseys of the Chicago Bears is a tribute to franchise icon George S Halas. GSH on the Chicago Bears jersey stands for the initials in Halas’s name.

Halas, born in Chicago in 1895, was the central pillar at the Bears until his death in 1983 aged 88.

Think of a position in a football club and, in the early years of the Bears franchise, Halas probably did it.

Photo by Nancy R. Schiff/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Not only was he the owner, but also coach, player and looked after the business side of things.

One pointer towards his business acumen was moving the Staleys – as the Bears were then known – from Decatur to Chicago to cash in on gate receipts.

He retired from playing in 1929 but was coach for four periods, totalling 36 years from 1920 to 1967.

Halas was an eight-time NFL champion, the last coming in 1963 as coach – Super Bowl I wouldn’t be played until 1967.

Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

George S Halas NFL championships

  • 1921 – Player/Owner
  • 1932 – Owner
  • 1933 – Coach/Owner
  • 1940 – Coach/Owner
  • 1941 – Coach/Owner
  • 1943 – Owner
  • 1946 – Coach/Owner
  • 1963 – Coach/Owner

The Chicago Bears also opted to retire Halas’s #7 jersey in tribute to the man who put the franchise on the map.

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Not just NFL for Halas

Halas, who played as an End in football, was also handy with a baseball bat.

Before his time with the Staleys/Bears, he turned out for the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball.

As an outfielder, he only appeared briefly for the Yankees in summer 1919. He played 12 times, making 22 appearances up at the plate.

Halas failed to score any home runs, only getting two hits and he has a batting average of .091.

George Halas, player/coach of the Chicago Bears is shown.
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Jake can usually be found writing about or watching anything to do with motorsport – from Formula 1 to NASCAR to British Truck Racing. His work as a motorsport journalist has been published by the likes of Autosport, Motorsport.com and Motorsport News – all highly respected names. Away from racing he is a keen amateur astronomer, podcast listener and enjoys long walks in the park with his three dogs.