Brian Urlacher is never coming back to play. We all know that. But he has already come back with his mouth.
The retired future Hall-of-Famer said he’ll be rooting for his former team next season, but hopes they don’t win the Super Bowl.
“I’m going for them,” he said in an interview with NFL.com. “But I don’t want them to go to the Super Bowl without me.”
Urlacher spent his entire 13-year career with the Bears before a contract dispute led to his release and ultimately his retirement.
Surely, it would be fitting for one of the greatest linebackers to ever suit up in Halas Hall to win a Super Bowl. Urlacher played in just one, a 29-17 loss in Super Bowl XLI to the Indianapolis Colts.
For a player whose legacy is hindered by never winning the big game, it’s natural to be bitter about that, especially when your former teammates go on to do it without you. Jay Cutler admitted the same thing.
“You miss the game, you obviously wish everyone well. If your team goes the distance, you’re wishing you’re there with them. I can’t blame him for saying that.”
We’ve all felt the same way at some point in our lives. I know I have, like when I first got to college. The toughest part of my transition to college from high school was, by far, watching the senior class after me enjoy what I did not so long before, while I struggled to adapt to a new environment.
Like Urlacher, I was close friends with some guys who were a year behind me. But it killed me inside to not be a part of it. I learned that it was all normal, all part of the transition process, and by the time I was a sophomore, I had completely moved on.
It will take time for Urlacher to transition to a new life. Although he could have continued playing, he was on the downside of his career, stating that he would not be able to “bring a level of performance or passion” up to his standards.
At the end of the day, Urlacher will be remembered for his outstanding career with one of the NFL’s most storied franchises. It was surely a remarkable era for the Monsters of Midway, but now they have an opportunity to build their own legacy in the post-Urlacher era.