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Urlacher bids adios to Da Bears, NFL PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:44 PM

By JIM METCALFE

Staff Writer

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Brian Urlacher has joined the ranks of retired National Football League players.

The Chicago Bear middle linebacker — who continued the long, long line of Bears’ Hall-of-Famers at the linebacker position like the menacing and intimidating Dick Butkus, the wild-eyed Samurai Mike Singletary, Bill George, George Connor and Clyde “Bulldog” Turner, along with some other great players not in the Hall like Doug Buffone, Wilber Marshall and the like — decided to hang it up for good instead of trying to go the free-agent rout.

Urlacher played 13 seasons after making the transition from college rover at New Mexico.

No doubt in my mind that he will join those legends with his bronze statue when he becomes eligible in five years.

 

He won’t be the only automatic lock for the Hall in five years, either, in my most humble — and correct — opinion.

 

No matter what you think of former Baltimore Raven middle linebacker Ray Lewis, he is in that class without a doubt, as are Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber and Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson.

By the way, Hanson got me an awful lot of points in my various fantasy football leagues!

I am not going to say that any of these guys are among the all-time greats at their positions. After all, I can only speak about the players I saw with my own two eyes.

I remember Butkus toward the very end of his career and he was not even close to the flat-out beast he was earlier in his time.

I do remember reading a story about Miami Dolphin great Bob Kuechenberg, who played guard, about when he played against Butkus toward the end of the great Bear’s playing time. As a youngster, he had been told to go low on the linebacker but he thought that was not sportsmanlike — until he tried to take the guy up high and got summarily crushed.

That was the end of the “sportsmanship.”

The big thing is they all did it with the same team throughout their professional careers. That is becoming more and more uncommon.

Urlacher’s reason for deciding to hang the cleats up for good was because he couldn’t see himself in any other uniform.

It will be different to see something like long-time All-Pro safety Ed Reed playing for someone other than the Ravens.

Or erstwhile Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker James Harrison not donning the Black and Gold but joining Da Bengals.

The Tiger Woods/Sergio Garcia feud seems to be finally coming to an end.

This has been a simmering relationship from the word go but really wasn’t in the popular imagination because Woods had dominated this so-called rivalry and Garcia seemed to go the way of the do-do in majors.

It re-ignited a couple of weeks ago at The Players Championship when Garcia accused Woods of a faux pas on the golf course — pulling a club out of his bag while he was driving the ball — and there was a he-said, he-said, they-said — there were two marshals that agreed with each guy, so that made for interesting theater.

Well, Garcia was asked about having Woods for dinner during the U.S. Open and made what he considered later a silly remark about fried chicken — you can read the whole article for yourself.

Woods — who had called Garcia a whiner during the TPC in regard to his accusations — took offense at it even after Garcia issued an apology.

One has to wonder if this will continue to simmer and maybe actually ignite a genuine rivalry — which means Garcia will stop choking in the big events when he does have a chance to finally win a major — or will this make Garcia shrink into the background.

Don’t worry about Tiger; he will use this as motivation.

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:46 PM
 

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