September 13, 2013
Bitterness is as much a part of the Bears' storied tradition as the T-formation and a bone-crushing defense.
Pick an era and it's not hard to find former Bears who've enjoyed slinging mud at the organization with which they gained national fame. Brian Urlacher seems to have gleefully accepted the baton from Hall of Famers Mike Ditka, Gale Sayers, Dan Hampton, et al.
I'm mildly amused by Urlacher's sour grapes over his retirement, which he pins solely on the Bears, failing to acknowledge 31 other teams also had no interest in employing him this season. If Urlacher chooses to whine to launch his career as a media darling, have at it.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Urlacher lamented how Jay Cutler was the only teammate who never reached out to him after he and the Bears parted ways. If you listen to the interview the future Canton enshrinee did with Graham Bensinger, it's patently obvious Urlacher desperately wanted to disperse that little nugget.
Even if it made him sound like a prom queen who was jilted on the biggest night of her young life.
Cutler, as image-challenged as Urlacher, acknowledged Thursday he never called or text messaged Urlacher, noting "I guess I'll reach out to him."
If he does, he should tell Urlacher his timing for stoking the flames of what obviously was a tenuous "relationship" is horrendous. Cutler's Bears — not Urlacher's — are on a roll. On the heels of witnessing a rare double-digit, second-half comeback in the opener against the Bengals, this is a town that's optimistic over the prospect of Cutler finally being righted by a capable coaching staff.
Cutler's Bears just won a game most expected them to lose. Cutler was one of the biggest reasons the Bears prevailed.
He even smiled and interacted with coaches, silencing (at least for now) many of his most vocal detractors.
Most Bears fans — and I listen to them and read their commentaries every day — have wrapped their heads around the reality that Cutler never is going to create a case of the warm and fuzzies. They'll live with his coarse exterior and questionable bedside manner, provided he throws touchdown passes and courageously scrambles for first downs.
If Cutler continues to do that, Urlacher can't win in a hissing match with the Bears quarterback.
But it could be damn entertaining. No. 54 hasn't been fan-friendly in recent years either. If he seeks only to raise his stock nationally as a tell-all broadcaster, I'll be among those most content to sit back bemusedly and watch Urlacher drain all the equity he gained for being a great player.
•It's been a difficult week for Bears fans to keep their feet on the ground. It'll be even more difficult next week after the Bears thump the Vikings on Sunday.
Adrian Peterson always is a threat and, at this point, we don't know how well equipped the Bears are to stop one of the NFL's few remaining run-oriented offenses. With Christian Ponder at the wheel, however, I just can't see Minnesota prospering on third down the way the Bengals did last weekend.
The Bears will be 2-0 going to Pittsburgh for a date with a Steelers team that is anything but the daunting assignment it appeared to be when we looked at the schedule last month.
•Best move: After a bye or "mini-bye" week, which is what the Ravens have after opening the season last Thursday night, the Ravens are indestructible since John Harbaugh took over as head coach. I love them minus-7 at home against the Browns.
•Under the hood: Ed Hochuli will be in the white hat for Sunday's tilt at Soldier Field. With bad weather in the forecast, I'm hoping UnderArmour gets a fresh box of snug-fitting Gore-Tex to town so the fitness-minded insurance defense attorney still can provide us with two tickets to the gun show.
•Plan of the week: Seattle police will be working undercover — in 49ers team garb — looking to eject and arrest fans for aggressive behavior Sunday night when the Seahawks host San Francisco. It's a sad commentary about where we are as a society, but I support this tactic at every professional venue in the country.
Special contributor Dan McNeil hosts "The McNeil and Spiegel Show" weekdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on WSCR-AM 670.
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