It is the end of the line for future Hall of Fame middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.
On Tuesday May 22, 2013 Urlacher announced via his twitter account that he was retiring from professional football. This was a decision that may have been a short time coming after Urlacher was not resigned by the Bears earlier this off season. There had been rumors of the Broncos and Vikings possibly showing interest in Urlacher, but none of those rumors came to be. With no real opportunity seemed to be knocking on his door Urlacher decided to call it a career.
For me personally it is truly a bittersweet day seeing one of my favorite football players I have ever had the pleasure of watching hang up his cleats. Since he was drafted in 2000 Urlacher has been one of the, if not the biggest reason I have loved football the way that I do. On the field he was everything that you want from a football player. He was fast, strong, smart, had great instincts and was a tremendous leader. You always knew that when Brian Urlacher was on the field that the Bears defense would be up to the task no matter who the opponent was.
One of Urlacher's greatest games was back in 2006 on Monday Night Football versus the Arizona Cardinals. Many of you may remember this game for the famous Dennis Greene tirade after the game, better known as the Crown them speech. Urlacher and the Bears defense really took over this game in the second half after the Bears offense could not manage to get anything going. Urlacher really took over that game with 19 total tackles in the game! This was one of those games that just showed the greatness that was Brian Urlacher.
2005 overall was probably Urlacher's greatest season landing him the NFL’s defensive player of the year. Urlacher and the Bears defense was such a force that the Bears ranked number one in defense that year. I happened to be at a game that year between the Bears and Falcons with Michael Vick in his prime. Vick could not do anything against that Bears defense and was clearly scared of Urlacher. Vick wanted no part of running or going anywhere near where Urlacher may be looming.
For 13 years the Bears and Brian Urlacher have gone hand in hand for 13 years now. I am sad to know that I will never get to see Urlacher in a Bears uniform again, but I am happy that I never had to see him play for another team. That would have been very difficult to watch one of my favorite players of all time in a different uniform. I plan on going to Canton when the day comes that Brian Urlacher is immortalized as one of the NFL’s all time greats!