It is officially the end of an era. For 13 years Brian Urlacher has been the face of the Chicago Bears franchise. Throughout his extraordinary career he has bled only navy, orange and white and has been the one true “Monster of the Midway.” On Wednesday morning the eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker announced his retirement from the NFL.
Urlacher had been testing the waters of free agency this year after the Bears could not reach an agreement with the star linebacker. When it came down to his NFL future, he said, “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear.”
He went on to say, “I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I gave all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss the great game, but I leave with no regrets.”
- 2000 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Winner
- 2005 Defensive Player of the Year Winner
- First-Team All-Pro 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006
- Pro Bowl Appearances: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011
- 2012 Ed Block Courage Award (given to those who showed a commitment to sportsmanship and courage)
As a selfish Urlacher lover, I’m honestly happy I don’t have to see him suit up in another jersey next season, but this isn’t the ideal way to send off a future hall-of-famer.
It is unclear what the next steps will be for #54. Will we see him on NFL network or CSN Chicago providing commentary? Will he be a part of the Bears organization in some capacity, possibly as a coach? Or will he head back to his roots of New Mexico and enjoy his retired life sipping on cold beer and playing some golf? Whatever he chooses, he deserves the best.
Urlacher, you are a class act. Chicago fans everywhere thank you for giving us something to cheer about these past 13 years. You will be missed!