Skip to content

Stripe-o-Rama: Bears Will Wear 1936 Throwbacks on Sunday

Excellent news out of Chicago, where the Bears have announced that they’ll be wearing their 1936 throwbacks — one of my favorite uniforms in the entire league — when they host the Cardinals this Sunday.

This will be the first time this season that Chicago has worn this uniform. It was last worn on Sept. 25 of last year, when the Bears defeated the Texans, 23-20.

This throwback was introduced in 2019. The 1936 original version on which it’s based is probably best known nowadays for its depiction in this portrait of Hall of Famer Bronko Nagurski:

That original version was worn during the NFL’s segregated era, so 2019 was the first time that any Black players wore this design — something the team explicitly acknowledged when unveiling the retro threads.

By my count, the Bears will be the 19th NFL team to have worn a throwback uniform so far this season. The other 18 are the Browns, Bucs, Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, 49ers, Giants, Jets, Lions, Packers, Patriots, Saints, Seahawks, Steelers, Titans, and Vikings.

Comments (22)

    These are great throwbacks, would love to see them matched up against Packers 1936 set for a full throwback game.

    Agreed. I’ve always thought the Bears should wear white over white for road games against division rivals. White over navy for the remainder of their road schedule permitting the home team wears their dark jerseys.

    I wouldn’t mind them wearing white-over-white occasionally, but I prefer their navy-white-navy road look that they’ve been wearing for the last 39 years.

    I’m one of those who don’t care for the look where the shirts and pants match but the helmets don’t. White helmet over mono-dark is worse than dark helmet over mono-white, but I don’t really like either.

    2009 was the last time that happened:
    I’m old enough to have witnessed that…would love to see that again.

    Don’t die just yet, Randy.
    Bears players would also like to see white on white on the field.
    It is being discussed.

    The last few times the Bears have gone white-over-white, they have worn the white road socks, instead of the navy socks that are normally worn with their white pants…



    Is it me or are many of the NFL throwbacks/alternates being worn more in the last few weeks than earlier in the year?

    If yes, I wonder if that has any relation to it being holiday gift buying time?

    Still doesn’t make up for the travesty of 2019, the NFL’s 100th anniversary season, when the league missed out on showcasing throwbacks on an even bigger scale than in 1994 (the 75th anniversary season). Thanks, one color helmet shell rule!

    I am wondering how Chicago is even getting to wear these throwback helmets due to one helmet rule? They have already wore their Alternate Orange Helmets, so how are they able to add another helmet to the mix? Did the rule change I’m wondering? The chargers also wore 2 Alternate helmets this year, 1 with the navy lightning bolt and one with the other less dark shade of blue.

    It’s not a *new* shell. It’s the same blue shell they use for most of the season. All they’ve done is swap decals and cages.

    So are the Chicago Bears mocking the former Chicago Cardinals?

    That would be a great throwback if the Cardinals wore their 1936 uniforms as a revenge game that the Bears won 7-3

    This is what those uniforms looked like in 1936: link
    That was the only year the Cardinals wore gray pants (with red stripes on the back of the legs!), as they transitioned from wearing khaki/brown/tan pants until 1935, then switched to white paints in 1937.

    It really is a shame that the Cardinals are wearing red pants with their red jerseys these days, instead of white pants. This is what the game will look like this week: link

    I can think of no better throwback uniform for the Cardinals to wear as they return to Chicago than these:


    Why do they continue to resist having an olde-timey option?

    In addition to being gorgeous, these helmets can be used to explore a fun quirk. The Bears’ three stripes are not exactly parallel, but the implied intersection point is far below the facemask. The Bears’ striping is decently consistent across different helmet models, as far as I can tell.

    Meanwhile, Mater Dei high school in California also uses a three-stripe helmet. Mater Dei has inconsistencies (more on that in a sec) but it seems that in their official style, the side stripes meet underneath the nose bumper, creating a 0-45-90 effect.

    If you look at some Mater Dei group photos, you can see that the players end up with all kinds of different arrangements. In this picture, number 14 has the stripes meeting above the nose bumper, and even though #78 and #42 have the same intersection point, the angles are vastly different: link. This picture reveals that the intersection at the back is inconsistent too: link. I am pretty sure I see a pattern of MD using different sets of decals for different helmet models.

    These differences have noticeable impacts on the overall look. I much prefer the Bears’ stripes head-on, but find that they leave a lot of empty space on the sides, which Mater Dei’s setup (one of them, at least) handles better: link.

    I would love to be able to compare all the different side strip decals being used here, to be able to compare the arcs and curves. It’s a fun manifestation of the classic underlying design challenges of putting a flat decal on a round surface and of the increasingly broken-up helmet surface.

    As a Bear fan I think white over white is the blandest uni out there unless you have a white helmet to go with it.

    I find it fascinating the Bears wore seven, count ‘em, seven uniform combinations in 1936! That number includes three jerseys, two pants and a number of sock styles. We often think multiple uniform sets are more of a modern thing — but no — our grandparents and great-grandparents were able to see such a gorgeous variety of threads.

Comments are closed.