Few men get to say they were the face of a franchise. But from the moment Brian Urlacher pulled on a blue jersey, curled his lips into a scowl and stared with dead eyes into the camera, he became Chicago Bears football.
This is not a simple thing because the Bears have a vast Rushmore of men who were in their time the busts of Chicago football: George Halas, Red Grange, Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka, Gale Sayers and Walter Payton to name a few. Men who defined a style, a culture, a way of life – something as sturdy and cold as the team's stadium on the banks of Lake Michigan.
The Bear of this young century?
Urlacher. There's nobody else.
On Wednesday, Urlacher walked away from football. It was time, of course. He probably should have left at season's end when the Bears showed little interest in bringing him back. Knee and leg injuries had stolen his speed and his power, rendering him less than average. He chased another year and another free-agent contract but thankfully interest wasRead More »from Newly retired LB Brian Urlacher face of the Bears in the 21st century