Defense is not sexy. People call defensive battles ugly. Defense doesn't win any popularity contents.
Somebody forgot to tell Brian Urlacher.
So why is Urlacher the man in Chicago? Four big reasons.
Urlacher was drafted by the Bears in 2001 and made an immediate impact once he shifted to the middle linebacker position the third game of his career. Thank goodness Barry Minter got hurt, right?
He went on to set new Chicago rookie records for tackles (124) and sacks (8) which led the entire team. Urlacher was named Defensive Rookie of the Year and voted into the Pro Bowl.
Not a bad way to start your career.
The defense has carried the Bears for as long as Urlacher has been on the team, and he has anchored that team and given them a heart and a soul.
The Bears have had 14 different quarterbacks start games for them since Urlacher joined, so they haven't exactly been the picture of stability during his tenure. But they have made the playoffs in four of those seasons and even went to the Super Bowl.
You can't put a price on that kind of anchor.
While Urlacher missed almost all of 2009 with an injury and a good chunk of 2004, he has played through injuries for many, many more games than that. For him to be playing at a high level this late in his career after all he's gone though really says something.
And that matters to Bears fans. You better believe it. Their history is full of guys who were tough as nails. So they would expect nothing less out of Urlacher, but you know they sure as hell appreciate it.
Urlacher has been the perfect face for the Chicago Bears over the years. Like I've said before, he's tough and he's loyal, big characteristics that go over well in the Windy City.
But more than that, Urlacher is a stand-up guy by all accounts. He's supported the team, never whined about things when the going got bad and never got into any sort of scandal that could hurt the team.
Urlacher is the kind of guy that represents his city with pride, and that's why he's the true king of Chicago. All apologies to Abe Froman.