The Bears are one of the oldest franchises in the NFL and therefore have one of the most recognizable uniforms. Dark blue and orange have long been the team’s colors and the team’s uniforms have seen few changes in the club’s history.
However, an important one was added in the 1980s and it remains there to this day.
“GSH” was placed on the sleeve of Chicago’s home jerseys in 1985. While the meaning of this three-letter acronym may not be familiar to those outside of Chicago, there’s a very specific reason it’s stuck there.
So what does the GSH on the Bears jersey stand for? The Sporting News breaks it down.
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What does GSH stand for on the Bears jersey?
The inclusion of the “GSH” in the Bears’ jersey is intended to pay homage to George Halas. The longtime Bears player, coach and owner’s full name was George Stanley Halas Sr., so his initials are GSH.
Who is George Halas?
Halas was born in 1895 and started playing professional football in 1919 for the Hammond All-Stars. His decision to play football came after a hip injury that ended his MLB career with the Yankees after just 12 games and a .091 batting average.
Halas took charge of the Decatur Staleys – originally a company-backed work team managed by the AE Staley Company – in 1920 and became the full-time owner of the team in 1921. He was in charge of this franchise, which was renamed the Chicago Bears in 1922, for 63 years.
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Halas won a championship as a player in 1921 and played through the 1929 season. He coached at various positions from 1920 to 1967, winning eight championships and being named AP Coach of the Year twice, in 1963 and 1965.
During his playing career, Halas had 10 touchdowns in 104 total games. As a coach, Halas compiled a record of 318-148-31 in the regular season and 6-3 in the postseason. His 318 regular-season wins are the second-highest in NFL history, behind Don Shula (328) and ahead of Bill Belichick (290).
Halas would likely have been the NFL’s all-time winning leader had he not served in the US Navy during World War II. He was on duty from 1942 to 1946, serving as a captain in the Seventh Fleet. He received a bronze star for his service during this period and also fought in the First World War in 1918.
After retiring as Bears coach in 1967, Halas continued as the team’s owner until his death at the age of 88 in 1983. To this day, the Bears are owned by the Halas family when his daughter – Virginia Halas McCaskey – took over the team after her father’s death. She is still the main owner of the team in 2022 at the age of 99.
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How long has GSH been on the Bears jersey?
GSH has featured on Bears jerseys since 1985. According to the Fanatics official blog, it was added as a crest to the team’s home kit and has stayed there ever since.
Both Chicago’s home and street jerseys now carry “GSH”.