The talk of the town is Brian Urlacher’s season ending wrist injury and the talk is extensive. David Haugh thinks the Bears will survive and I agree with him. Neil Hayes believes the injury represents a changing of the team leadership guard. Brad Biggs and multiple fans are wondering why 54 can’t play with a cast on his wrist. My phone lit up yesterday with text messages of condolence. Football friends from around the country were calling me to get a response on the matter. My response varied.
I understand what Brian Urlacher means to the Chicago Bears and I was excited for the career resurgence the club was expecting this season. Urlacher is one of the most popular players in Chicago sports history. Why? It’s not complicated. He’s a white guy playing middle linebacker for the Bears. Is he a Hall of Famer? I don’t think so. I think his athleticism and propensity to make big plays has always usurped his overall production – especially since Keith Traylor and Ted Washington left town. Brian Urlacher is a great athlete. Lance Briggs is a great linebacker.
The mourning must end. We can argue about Urlacher’s value until kingdom come but it won’t change the fact that the champs are coming to town Sunday afternoon. A loss to Pittsburgh will send the Bears to a rejuvenated Seattle the following week, hoping to avoid an 0-3 start. One can only hope that the entire organization echoes the sentiments of Adewale Ogunleye and re-focuses their attention on the field. A win Sunday and Brian Urlacher’s injury becomes a non-story. A win Sunday and Jay Cutler’s four picks were a short roadblock on the yellow brick road.
I hope Urlacher will be the type of injured player that Mike Brown always was. On the sideline. Cheerleading. Coaching. Being present. I like the guy. But he’s no longer on the fifty-three man roster. Nick Roach is. Jamar Williams is. Hunter Hillenmeyer is. Brian Urlacher can’t help the Bears beat the Steelers. Those three guys can.
Note: If you’d like to send Wale an email, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s been answering fan questions on his blog.