Earlier in the week, the Bears announced several team executives and Lance Briggs, the man who has served in the Bears' linebacker corps next to Urlacher for nine seasons, would attend the funeral, but Peppers and the rest of the defense clearly wanted to be there for the man who Bears quarterback Jay Cutler called "the heart and soul of the team." After the funeral, they returned to New Orleans, where the Bears will take on the Saints.
Bears fans also showed their support to Urlacher via Twitter. Early on Sunday morning, Chicago fans started to use #ChicagoLoves54 on Twitter messages to Urlacher. That was spread by Bears safety Chris Harris, who tweeted, "Hey let's get this trending today for not only my teammate but good friend #ChicagoLoves54." Messages of love and support also filled Facebook pages and Bears fan sites.
Urlacher has been a crucial part of the Bears since 2000, making seven Pro Bowls and leading the team to the playoffs four times. Judging by how both his teammates and his city has reacted to the untimely death of his mother, Urlacher's impact has reached much farther than the football field.
- Brian Urlacher