Why did the Chicago Bears change their helmets vs the Minnesota Vikings?

Joshua Rogers December 21, 2021
Why did the Chicago Bears change their helmets vs the Minnesota Vikings?
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chicago Bears took on the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night but it was the Bears’ uniforms that had people talking. So, why did the Bears change their helmets? Let’s find out.

The Chicago Bears took on the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football in what was a chippy affair. The Bears’ depleted second unit was the headline going into the game, while their offense just never got going in the 17-9 loss.

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Short-handed Bears suffer another frustrating defeat

Chicago had two fumbles and two turnovers on downs in the red zone, and racked up five personal fouls out of nine total penalties, including a red flag for Matt Nagy. Nagy received the red flag after Bears safety Deon Bush was flagged for a hit to Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin.  

The Bears head coach reportedly used “inappropriate language” during his protests to which he later responded: “I explained my opinion on it. And I don’t regret it.” Chicago are now 4-10 in what’s been another frustrating season.

Why did the Chicago Bears change their helmets?

Away from the actual football being played, fans noticed the Bears rocking alternate helmets and wondered why they’d changed them. Essentially, they were the same colour as their normal helmets but they’d taken off their standard “C” logo decal and replaced it with the three-striped decal.

The new Bears helmets received a mixed reaction online with some people loving them and some loathing them.

However, there was some confusion as to why the Bears changed their helmets when alternative versions aren’t allowed until next season (more on this in a minute). However, the reason they were allowed is because they aren’t technically throwback helmets, as they’re the same colour as their normal helmet.

The helmets used last night are similar to the 1936-37 helmets but are not exact throwbacks. That’s because the stripes go to the bottom of the helmet vs the 1936-37 version, which stopped midway down the back. The helmet history shows they have been four three times before, including last night.

As one person further explained: “One other part of the ‘one-shell only’ rule that’s set to expire is that teams can actually unscrew different-coloured face masks. That has allowed some teams to implement throwbacks so long as it simply required switching face masks of their same-coloured helmets.”

Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL will allow alternate helmets for throwbacks in 2022

In June, the NFL officially announced the restrictions regarding alternate helmets would be lifted beginning the 2022-23 season. Until then, a uniform regulation regarding helmets has limited clubs to no more than one helmet option, leading to some awful outcomes (see the Rams uniforms in 2017).

The new alternate rule coming into effect next season opens up the door for some throwback looks. Could we see the return of the classic Bears helmets with the white “C” on them? Only time will tell.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.