(Photo Courtesy: USA Today Sports)
Earlier this week, Lamar Hull, an ex-basketball player at Davidson reached out to me and requested the opportunity to do a guest post here at Aaron Torres Sports. Given that he was looking to cover a subject I wouldn't have considered (Brian Urlacher's retirement from the NFL) and given that I have a soft-spot for all ex-athletes, I took Lamar up on it.
Here is his take on the retirement and legacy of one the greatest linebackers to ever play the game.
Brian Urlacher, perennial Pro Bowl linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League, announced his retirement from the sport he played in for 13 years. On his Twitter account, the 34 year-old linebacker told his fans, “After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire.”
Urlacher had become a free agent in the offseason. After finding little interest from potential suitors, he opted to retire as a member of the Chicago Bears. Urlacher played his entire career with the team. Urlacher told sports talk radio in Chicago he intends to file his official retirement papers with the league soon.
The linebacker played his college ball at the University of New Mexico, where he majored in criminology. He earned a reputation for speed and range playing the “Lobo” position in a 3-3-5 defense. The Lobo is a hybrid position, with elements of linebacker and safety. He was named an All-American safety in 1999. His speed and athleticism allowed Urlacher to also play wide receiver on offense. The college squad utilized Urlacher as a kick return specialist, too.
Over his career, Urlacher played in 182 games, including 180 starts, over the course of what most analysts believe is a Hall of Fame career. He finished his career with 1,779 tackles, 41 ½ sacks and 22 interceptions. The linebacker finishes his career as the Bears all-time leader in tackles. I will always remember watching some of his great performances on NFL Sunday Ticket, I doubt in the near future will anyone live up to Urlacher’s success at the linebacker position.
Now to the meat of the true question: Why I believe he should have retired and more importantly, why we should be happy about the retirement?
For starters, the linebacker position is a tough position to play; there are a lot of hard hits and the linebacker has to make a lot of bone crushing tackles throughout their career to help solidify a team’s concrete defense. Urlacher did just that by being the leading tackler for the Chicago Bears.
As a fan I am also happy that he is retiring because a player’s health is the most important thing. How long could he continue to play at that high of a level and contribute to a defense by making cringing tackles? Look at Junior Seau’s career as a linebacker and how his life ended. That is not your normal circumstance, but it does happen. Think about all of the NFL players who try and sue the NFL for all of the injuries and mental unstableness that they have to live with once they retire.
I think this was a perfect time for Urlacher, he is in his mid-30s and he doesn’t have to continue to punish his body. We know he loves the game, but he we still be loved after football. Living a healthy rest of your life is so much more important!
Author: Lamar Hull is a former college basketball player and currently is a writer. He loves to write about sports, entertainment and more. You can follow Lamar @lamarhull20