I lived a very fortunate football life. My first real memories of football was the 1985 Chicago Bears and I remember them playing in and winning a Super Bowl. The older I get, the more I cherish those memories. My father brought me to both playoff games that season and I lost out on going to New Orleans because my mother won.
I was at Soldier Field when Walter Payton at that time broke Jim Brown’s rushing record against the New Orleans Saints in 1984. But today, I’ve come to the realization that Brian Urlacher is my favorite Bear of all time.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love Payton. But I’ve gotten so much joy out of watching Urlacher play linebacker and lead the Bears. This season, even one essentially on one leg, he still plays the game at a high level. His interception return for a touchdown was the highlight of today’s game. While Charles Tillman also played out of his mind, Urlacher proved why he’s now in the conversation as the greatest Bear of all-time.
Now, I have to admit that I’ve never seen the likes of Dick Butkus, Gayle Sayers or Sid Luckman play, but I cannot imagine any of them are any more special than Urlacher. From the guys I have seen like Payton, Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton and Richard Dent, he’s as good if not better than all of them.
Last season, when he injured his knee against the Minnesota Vikings, the two lasting memories I had of that horrific day was Urlacher standing on the sideline trying to get back into the game and him refusing to take off his helmet as he went into the locker room. He’s a warrior and someone I’m glad I’ve had the privilege to watch his whole career.
The icing on the cake would be if the Bears finally got Urlacher a Super Bowl championship. This is his team and winning the big game is fitting of such a warrior.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please follow me on Twitter @ChicagoBearJew and Hashtag #RML with your thoughts.