By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) — Chicago Bears players and coaches will be wearing the gear of a different team this week, but it’s not what you think.
The Bears got permission from Washington Community High School to print t-shirts of their school logo that the team will wear this week around Halas Hall. It’s just a small part of what the franchise is doing to help those in Illinois who suffered devastating losses Sunday when powerful storms spun tornadoes south of Chicago.
Washington, Illinois was especially hit hard as a tornado ripped through the town. Among those wearing Washington High t-shirts Wednesday were Bears right guard Kyle Long and head coach Marc Trestman.
“Everybody knows about the damage that was done in Washington and the Washington Panthers football team is playing in a semifinal game on Saturday and we just wanted to do something as an organization to let them know that we support them and we wish them well,” Marc Trestman said.
Because of NFL rules, the Bears will not be able to wear anything on their uniforms in honor of Washington Community High School Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, as was rumored, but the franchise is doing much more than that to help.
The Bears have partnered with the American Red Cross, Greater Chicago Region to raise money for the victims of Sunday’s storms. They’ve set up a website where they will auction off game-worn and game-used equipment from Sunday’s game against the Ravens, which was interrupted for nearly two hours because of the storms. Most of the items will be autographed by players and the Bears will match every dollar raised up to $100,000 and donate it to the American Red Cross.
The Rams are doing their part to help too. They reached out to the Bears to donate a 16-person suite for Sunday’s game, which will be included in the auction. The suite includes food and beverages, as well as 16 pregame field passes.
Other items in the auction include game-worn jerseys from defensive end David Bass, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive end Julius Peppers. There are also game-worn pants from Bass, Peppers, Long, running back Matt Forte, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, right tackle Jordan Mills and quarterback Josh McCown. A game-used football autographed by Trestman will also be included in the auction, along with the game-used coin.
All of this is in addition to the effort of current and former Bears players, led by kicker Robbie Gould, who traveled down to Coal City, Illinois Tuesday on their off day to deliver supplies, mostly water and food.
The auction ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m CT, but the deadline for the suite is Friday at 4 p.m. CT.