Brian Urlacher using his new Fox Sports job to criticize Bears

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by The Benjamin, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas
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    Brian Urlacher using his new Fox Sports job to criticize Bears

    BY RICK MORRISSEY

    Sports Columnist

    Last Modified: Mar 11, 2014 02:19AM
    In order to spare you future irritation, allow me to anticipate Brian Urlacher’s very public reaction to the inevitable moments of when the Bears part company with some of his former teammates.

    On long snapper Patrick Mannelly: “Chicago has lost a great statesman. Clearly, Bears general manager Phil Emery is a Communist.’’

    On cornerback Charles Tillman: “Who among us can love again after this?’’

    On linebacker Lance Briggs: “Has anybody seen Emery and Putin in the same room together? Yeah, I didn’t think so.’’

    On cornerback Tim Jennings: “Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, Simba’s father in ‘The Lion King’ and now Tim Jennings. Tragic.’’

    On defensive end Julius Peppers: “Michael Jordan meets Albert Einstein. Somebody arrest Emery for a double homicide.’’

    On safety Craig Steltz: (Biting his fist to fight off tears) “I can’t talk right now.’’

    On quarterback Jay Cutler: “One, he never was a winner. Two, he’ll never work at Fox Sports.’’

    We all understand that Fox pays Urlacher to stir the pot and a TV analyst with no opinions is not an analyst but a coat tree. Perhaps our ears are too acutely tuned to anything even hinting at controversy from the ex-Bear, but it seems that Urlacher’s most-pointed opinions have had to do with his former team. And at least from the vantage point of our fair city, it’s hard to figure out how Urlacher does his job with all the sour grapes in his mouth.

    Last week, he ripped the Bears for letting returner Devin Hester walk.

    “Look at what the Steelers have done the last couple days signing Troy Polamalu, Heath Miller, some older guys to a couple more years just so they can retire as Steelers,” Urlacher told FoxSports.com. “The Bears could do that with Devin. He should retire a Bear. He set all those records in a Bears uniform, and his No. 23 should be retired one day in Chicago.

    “It’s just the loyalty factor. It’s just not there. He should be a guy that retires as a Bear.”

    This is indeed about loyalty and Urlacher’s sense that the Bears showed him none when they made him a one-year, $2 million contract offer in 2013. That memory seems to bleed into everything he says about his former team. He never seems to tire of ripping the franchise for firing Lovie Smith and, more to the point, for existing.

    It’s worth mentioning that no other team was interested in Urlacher’s services when the Bears made what he considered a paltry contract offer. At the time, I thought they were silly to make him any offer. They clearly didn’t want him back and were offering him a contract for public-relations purposes. Dumb decision, and this is what that decision has wrought — a man with a TV show who is angry at the only offer he received.

    The surprising part is that Urlacher, like all the people who have had the privilege of playing in the NFL, knew the day would come when he was going to be cast aside. Death, taxes and the end of a football career. All inevitabilities.

    When things end badly for a beloved athlete, it’s always best for him to get away, create some distance. Time and space can heal a whole lot of hurt. Look at what it did for the Big Hurt, Frank Thomas. He had a messy ending with the White Sox in 2005, went away in body and spirit, and now their differences are history. Everybody’s smiling.

    As we’re finding out with Urlacher, the healing process is not helped when the former athlete is handed a microphone on a regular basis. I’m sure Fox is encouraging him to talk about what he knows best, the Bears, and then branch out. It might want to start a Bear Rip-of-the-Week segment just for Urlacher.

    I don’t sense this is doing a lot of good for his reputation in Chicago, though the memories of him chasing down running backs will be the lasting ones. The grumblings about his former team won’t last.

    But it has gotten old already. And it’s not particularly valid.

    It was time for Hester to go. It was well past time for Lovie to go. It might be time for Tillman to find employment elsewhere. That’s how it works in pro sports.

    Maybe Thomas can lend Urlacher his nickname. The Bears icon still seems to be hurting in a big way.


    Copyright © 2014 — Sun-Times Media, LLC
     
  2. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Pretty good Summation. Urlacher needs to go away for a while and come to peace with the situation before he is the most disliked Bear in History
     
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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    Yep, but it's allowed, if that is how he chooses to use his knew position and voice he's allowed. It won't last very long though as it will get old; especially as the team starts to turn the corner and starts getting into the playoffs again.
     
  4. dachuckster

    dachuckster Pro-Bowler
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    He never impressed me as being the most mature individual with his rants against fans who criticized him or his teammates over the years. It seems to me that BU had a pretty hard landing at the end of his career.

    I expect his adjustment to how his career ended will take a while, if he ever comes to terms with it. There is a real family retired Bear greats who can get together and still bask in the adoration Bear fans. Unless Brian gets his act together he stands the risk of always being on the outside looking in. As much as his sniping at the team pisses me off, I feel sorry for him.
     
  5. Ojibway Bob

    Ojibway Bob Veteran
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    I hope alot of fans write to Fox and they eventually pull his reins back a bit
     
  6. 4dabers

    4dabers Pro-Bowler
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    RICK MORRISSEY, not particularly a fan of his but...:36_1_55[1]:
     
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  7. sluggobear

    sluggobear Veteran

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    Brian was a great football player for the Bears for a long time. I'm sure Urlacher is still feeling the sting of how he was treated by the Bears. I'm sure if the Bears had it to do over, it would be handled differently. He went from being the face of the Bear franchise to being out of football. Was it time for him to go, I'm not sure. No other team picked him up. I guess that meant his playing days were over. I read a book about going from "somebody to nobody." It talked about the challenges of not being on top anymore, and dealing with being an average Joe. Some people with big ego's never are able to accept their new role as the average Joe. I guess Brian is bitter and still mad at the Bears. He will probably be mad for a long time, and take every opportunity to slam the Bears. He is only hurting himself, and the opinion people have of him.
     
  8. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach
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    It's pretty sad now. He's just hurting himself with this. It reminds me of Gale Sayers rants. People quickly see you as a pathetic disgruntled ex-player who can't deal with life after the playing days are over. The people who pay him now are just using him for his name. After awhile he'll be irrelevant and they'll toss him like a used condom.
     
  9. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach
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    Many ex players like Brian are critical of their team as announcers and for a season or two it may be intriguing for the casual fan. But in the long run being overly critical or bitter isn't good for either ratings or market share.

    Eventually they will look for another color guy. If Brian wishes a long career in broadcasting he should mend fences with fans which at least would be a fall back position for him as he is not yet wowing anyone with great analysis.
     
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  10. sluggobear

    sluggobear Veteran

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    I would like the Bears and Brian to mutually mend the fence. Their is egg on both of them. The mutual fence mending would be great for both of them. It is tough to see the former face of the franchise bad mouthing the Bears. Get together Brian and the Bears apologize to each other, and move on in a positive way.
     

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