If you haven’t heard already this morning, longtime Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has decided to hang it up and retire from the NFL. While there was speculation of Urlacher continuing his career next season, he sent out the following tweet this morning thanking all of his coaches, teammates, and fans and officially retiring from the league.
This, for me, was really sad news. Growing up in a state where Viking purple and gold was plastered everywhere, you can only imagine how many times I heard about that dreaded Urlacher fella, the one man Vikings fans always feared when playing the Bears. Throughout my years of watching the NFL, I really enjoyed the way Urlacher played and handled himself. He seemed to be one of those players that could really play in any era. He had it all; size, strength, intelligence, leadership, but most importantly, he had a hell of a heart. His love for the game was unmatched and his blue-collar work ethic made everyone love and appreciate him as a player. I will never forget that ’06 championship run that the Bears had. While they eventually lost to Colts, it was simply inspiring to see the passion and leadership that Urlacher displayed. It seemed as though he was attached by a string to the ball, always being there at the end of the play whether it be making the tackle, interception, or just simply encouraging his teammates that had just made a great play. All in all, a truly great human being, and an outstanding football player. I will always remember #54.