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Arkush: Why is Urlacher the bad guy?

Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 7:03 p.m. CDT
Caption
Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher warms up before a game against the 49ers last season in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Obviously, I'm missing something here because I just don't get it. When exactly did Brian Urlacher become the Darth Vader of Chicago football?

To listen to the hue and cry from Bear Nation over his disappointment at the way he was kicked to the curb by the Bears after a Hall of Fame career, you'd think he was out running around dropkicking babies or defacing the Picasso in Daley Plaza.

And the way some of my friends in the local media have climbed down his throat for honestly answering a question over which of his teammates he's been in touch with, I thought maybe it'd turned out he was in the back of the SUV with Aaron Hernandez and we're just finding out now.

What the heck is going on?

For those of you who don't know, Graham Bensinger is a young reporter out of the St. Louis area who made a name for himself by launching his own sports show via the web when he was in grade school.

Through the years he's grown an audience by getting interviews many seasoned reporters can't nail down.

I'm sure Urlacher was a great get for him, he's gaining notoriety from the controversy they've stirred, and I guess everybody's happy.

But Urlacher didn't go seeking out Bensinger in search of a platform to air his gripes. He did the kid a favor and I guess answered the kid's questions honestly.

Urlacher had a great career in Chicago, he was paid more than handsomely, and I know he knows that. I don't think he's suggesting anybody owes him anything.

But he also gave a ton to the Bears, his teammates, Bears fans and the city of Chicago. I don't understand what's so unreasonable about being bothered by the fact that instead of treating him like an adult who'd minimally earned the truth in exchange for his years of service, the Bears chose to dump him by manipulating him into looking like a petulant child and somehow making him the bad guy in the whole thing?

That's all we're talking about here. A class organization would have sat him down shortly after the 2012 season, if not immediately after, and explained to him either we don't want you back, or we want you but only at this price. According to Urlacher, the Bears never did either. In fact, do any of us know what the Bears actually hoped would happen?

As for not having heard from Jay Cutler, did Urlacher bring it up? Did he suggest it's been keeping him awake at night? Or did he just answer the question?

Let's go back the Bears' locker room after their 21-14 loss to the Packers in the 2010 NFC title game. As Jay Cutler was being railed at by NFL veterans from all corners of the league in the Twitterverse, basically being called a coward, who was his one teamate who immediately, without hesitation and as forcefully as he could, jumped to his defense?

Obviously, it was a rhetorical question.

I don't care about Jay Cutler's personality. I'm sick to death of hearing what kind of guy he is. I just want him to be a good quarterback.

It doesn't matter how much money these guys make or if they occasionally say stupid things, like Brian did when he said he didn't give a crap about Bears fans who booed them.

They are people. At the very lowest point of Jay Cutler's career, it was Urlacher who leaped to his defense and offered to take on all comers. When the tables were turned and Urlacher was having life as he knew it yanked out from under him and he was helpless to do anything about it, wouldn't the right thing for Cutler to do have been to at least pick up the phone?

What does it say about the Bears, what does it say about Cutler and what does it say about us that somehow Urlacher's become the villain in all this?

• Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and HubArkush.com. Write to him a harkush@shawmedia.com.

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