The Bears Honored Brian Piccolo's Legacy By Wearing His Jersey Number at Practice

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The Bears Honored Brian Piccolo’s Legacy By Wearing His Jersey Number at Practice

Chicago Bears

If you’ve seen as many coaching changes as we have over the years, one thing we tend to see is how the new guy tries to honor the past. And I must tip my cap to first-year Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus for pulling this rabbit out of his hat.

In honor of Brian Piccolo, a franchise icon who died 52 years ago today, all of the Bears players at today’s minicamp practice were wearing his No. 41. This video from the Bears features the No. 41 for as far as the eye can see:

Naturally, Eberflus’ explanation as to why he chose to honor Piccolo in this way will hit you in the feels:

“To honor the legacy and family of Brian Piccolo, that was the main message. Sometimes it’s hard for people, or anybody, to go back so far, and it’s hard for some to see the impact that Brian Piccolo had in the late 60s,” Eberflus said. “He was a really good teammate, he liked to have fun with his teammates, play practical jokes on ’em. Just a real man, a real person, and a Chicago Bears. And I wanted to make sure they got that message.”

You’ll need to excuse me, I believe someone is cutting onions near my keyboard.

Louis Brian Piccolo was a Bears halfback from 1965-69. Piccolo is known by most for his friendship with teammate Gale Sayers, which was highlighted in the movie “Brian’s Song” — which is a must-watch. If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, look it up and give it a watch. It tells the story of Piccolo’s life fighting terminal cancer after turning pro, but it also has so much more. Piccolo died at age 26, but left a lasting impact on the Bears, Sayers, and anyone coming across his story. So I’d encourage you to check it out on your own time when it becomes available.

Piccolo’s number is retired, so no one will wear it again for the Bears. So this nod to let everyone wear it during today’s practice is a solid gesture.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.