Early in the first quarter of the Chicago Bears' loss to the Houston Texans, former Bear Danieal Manning made a game-changing play. He hit tight end Kellen Davis, forcing a fumble that was returned 32 yards.
It was a great play by Manning, who played for five seasons with longtime Bears star Brian Urlacher. As the two crossed paths, Urlacher told Manning it was a nice play. Sure, it meant bad things for the Bears, but a nice play is a nice play.
Urlacher talked about his moment with Manning and the supposed criticism for it during ESPN Chicago's "Waddle and Silvy Show."
"The guy had a good game, he caused a fumble, had a pick. He's my friend. I wish he wouldn't have caught it, but he did, so nice play to you. I don't give a crap about what fans or people say, they can kiss my butt. I don't care."
Manning appeared on the "Mully and Hanley" radio show in Chicago, and shared similar, if not as colorful, feelings.
"I mean, we've been playing this game for such a long time and now we're professionals. I feel like we deserve the chance … we respect this game enough. We are both competitors. We both respect each other. I was out there with Brian for five years and we developed a friendship. I think the guy was just happy for me. I mean, if he makes a great play I'm gonna be the same way."
I've looked for actual examples of this criticism and have come up empty. Though I live in Chicago and cover the Bears, have been a Bears fan since the cradle and am related to or friends with more Bears fans than I can count, I know absolutely no one who had a problem with Urlacher congratulating Manning.
No Facebook posts ripping him. No tweets calling for his head. Deadspin made mention of it, but just to point out the oddness of it. Bears fans were more concerned about Cutler's health, Jason Campbell's ability to fill in for Cutler and Davis' inability to hold on to the ball.
Urlacher and Manning, shake hands all you want. No one is ripping you.