Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 5/22/13
This morning  Brian Urlacher announced his retirement after 13 years with the Chicago Bears. The Bears decided not to re-sign  Urlacher after last season when a reasonable contract deal couldn’t be met. It was an emotional moment for the organization and its fans, but it was a decision I supported and thought necessary for the Bears to stay competitive in a tough NFC North division. Despite that, it was still sad to see Urlacher go. He’s the only player on the Bears I remember watching throughout most of my life, and a player that became iconic not only in Chicago but around the NFL. Even though he wasn’t happy with the Bears’ decision, I think it means a lot to the fans that he decided to retire as a Bear. It wouldn’t feel right otherwise. He brought credibility and pride to the Bears’ defense, and fans and opponents knew and respected that. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler, winner of the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 2005, and retires as the franchise’s leader in tackles (1,779). He ranks right up there with other Bears middle linebacker greats like Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary. Even one of our biggest die-hard Packers fan and Chicago-hating writer here at MSF, Chris Callaway, went out of his way to pay respect to Urlacher. Here are his kind words on Urlacher’s retirement: I hate most things about Chicago. The drivers, the weather, the Cubs, Jay Cutler, etc. Growing up in Milwaukee, I wasn’t a fan of Michael Jordan, but I came to respect and appreciate who he was and what his career meant. When Brian Urlacher came into the NFL in 2000, I had many of the same feelings. I hated that he was so good right away, earning Rookie of the Year honors and a spot as a Pro Bowl alternate in his first year. When he was healthy, he was undoubtedly the best in the league. He was the player that, as a Green Bay fan, you kept your eye on when the Packers were on offense.   I typically only watched two games a year – when Chicago and Green Bay squared off – but it was easy to see Urlacher’s impact on the game. He wasn’t the biggest or the strongest, but even to a casual observer could see that Urlacher played the game on another level. The Packers have gotten the better of the Bears over Urlacher’s career, winning 18 of 27 games, but #54 has made it difficult for Green Bay each and every time. Urlacher was the catalyst that helped turn the Bears defenses into some of the best of the era. He’s deserved every award and accolade he’s attained over the course of his career, and I’m in full support of his candidacy as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.  He’s had some great games and plays against the Packers, and I’ll miss seeing lining up against Green Bay twice a year.   I have no doubt Urlacher’s next stop in his career will be Halas Hall as part of the Bears’ front office and he’ll eventually earn a plaque in Canton, Ohio. I only wish the Bears could have won him a Super Bowl. The post Brian Urlacher retires as a Chicago Bear, leaves historic legacy appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
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