Brian Urlacher: This Green Bay Packers fan will miss you


DBrian Urlacher tackles Green Bay Packers running back James Starks at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Bears 35-21. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Urlacher is a demon, a monster and a Packer-killer, but that’s why this Green Bay Packers fan will miss seeing him hunting along the line of scrimmage and tracking down running backs.

OK, now put down your pitchforks and douse those torches … any fan of the game of football has got to appreciate what Urlacher has done to promote the league and make the Chicago Bears one of the best franchises – but of course not quite up to the level of the Packers.

We’ve all called Urlacher’s name out when the Bears have played the Packers – most of the time with an expletive either in front or behind his name. That’s a part of football – a great part of football. And I will miss it.

Ryan Grant is tackled by Brian Urlacher in the second half of a 2011 game at Soldier Field. The Packers defeated the Bears 27-17. Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

How can one not appreciate watching a guy like Urlacher the past 13 years? Like Charles Woodson, he was an icon, a classy guy who loved to play. And like Woodson, he’s also been on the outside looking in – a hall-of-famer without a team and certainly in the twilight of his career. Will he end up anywhere? Is it time to hang them up? If it is, I will miss him.

Like Woodson, the two of them want to play and both of them still feel they have what it takes to compete and be a contributing member of an NFL team. Whether any of the 32 teams in the league think the same way is highly doubtful, but there’s been talk he might end up in Minnesota. If he doesn’t, I will miss him.

I will miss Urlacher’s intensity and determination. It seemed like every time he played the Packers he would come up with a huge play. Well, it wasn’t every game, but he had a few of his bigger moments when playing Green Bay.

In fact, I came across this post recently – “Brian Urlacher’s Greatest hits — 2000-13” that I would like to share with you. Of the top 10 greatest moments of Urlacher’s career as determined by the Chicago Sun Times, 50 percent of them were against the Packers. Here ya go … take a look and remember … but also remember that the Packers’ record against the Bears from 2000-13 was 18-9. So, though Urlacher did his job in disrupting the Packers during his career, his record against Green Bay wasn’t so great.

I will miss him and will miss watching the Packers have their way with a player of his caliber.

Brian Urlacher’s Greatest Hits — 2000-13

Dec. 23, 2007: Returned an interception of Brett Favre 85 yards for a touchdown to put the finishing touch on a 35-3 rout of the Packers at Soldier Field.

Jan. 23, 2011: With the Bears trailing the Packers 14-0 in the third quarter of the NFC Championship Game, Urlacher intercepted Aaron Rodgers at the Bears 6 and might have gone all the way for a momentum-changing touchdown had Rodgers not tripped him up at the Bears 45 for a 39-yard return.

Sept. 27, 2010: In a 17-17 tie with the Packers with 2:27 to go, Urlacher forced wide receiver James Jones to fumble after a 12-yard gain to midfield. Bears cornerback Tim Jennings recovered and Robbie Gould kicked a 19-yard field goal with four seconds left to give the Bears a 20-17 victory at Soldier Field.

Sept. 19, 2004: With the Packers driving to take the lead on a first-and-goal play from the 2-yard line in the second quarter, Urlacher stripped the ball from running back Ahman Green in the backfield and Mike Brown returned the fumble 95 yards for a game-changing touchdown as the Bears ended a seven-game losing streak against the Packers with a 21-10 victory at Lambeau Field. Urlacher had 14 tackles (10 solo) in that game.

Dec. 4, 2005: En route to winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, Urlacher had 16 tackles (13 solo), including one tackle-for-loss and two pass-breakups in a 19-7 victory over the Packers at Soldier Field for the Bears’ eighth consecutive victory after a 1-3 start.

Here’s Urlacher’s interception of Brett Favre in 2007 …