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Urlacher continues to rip Bears, but they should keep legends happy

By now you probably know that Brian Urlacher isn’t madly in love with the Bears.

‘‘I’m glad I’m not there’’ were his latest words on the topic.

The word ‘‘there,’’ of course, represents the physical team that is the Bears — the certifiable disaster we see before us, the misshapen blob that had its entrails yanked out by the Cowboys 41-28.

But it’s also the syllogisms of Emery Think, Trestman-ism and, quite likely, Phillips-ology.

You could be excused for saying bluntly, Who the hell cares what a jobless former linebacker thinks?

After all, Urlacher hasn’t played for the Bears since retiring under duress after the 2012 season. And he hasn’t held a job — that we know of — since quitting his TV gig with Fox Sports 1 in September. But he pops up in interviews every now and then to trash the Bears.

It’s not a career. It’s a schtick.

But you know what? It might be a needed schtick.

How else do you get this organization’s attention and embarrass it and make it change?

Take something as simple as kicker Robbie Gould injuring himself and needing a game-day replacement. So the Bears geniuses pick up 38-year-old kicker Jay Feely, who has not played in the NFL this season.

Feely had a weak opening kickoff, grounded other kicks and missed an extra point. Try a field goal?

Are you kidding!

There was nobody else anywhere who could have been picked up and done a better job? Hard to believe.

Yes, Feely got an onside kick to work, but that was because the Dallas receiver dropped a ball that hit him in his hands.

When your team gets humiliated on another national TV broadcast and plays as though its blood has been drained — forget that too-little, too-late surge in the fourth quarter — how can you criticize a guy like Urlacher for being disgruntled?

‘‘Is it important to me?’’ Urlacher said on ESPN’s ‘‘Mike & Mike’’ radio show Thursday morning when asked about fixing the rift between him and the Bears that has only seemed to grow wider with time. ‘‘No, it’s not.’’

Do we believe that? No, we do not. Again, you might say, Why should we care? But you always want your franchise’s best players to be your biggest cheerleaders, not bomb-throwers.

And Urlacher is as emblematic of this franchise as any former player can be. Remember, he played 13 years for the Bears, and not one second for another team. He was the ninth pick in the 2000 draft and was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He went to eight Pro Bowls and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.

He was beloved by his teammates, and he gave everything he had afield. A tall, long-armed converted safety, he turned into a middle linebacker with a body type and skill set different from his great Bears predecessors: Bill George, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame.

He’ll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when his time comes in 2017. Believe it.


The Bears’ defense is terrible, so when Urlacher says he wouldn’t want to play for it, can you blame him? And the offense was supposed to be unstoppable? How do 35 yards rushing on 15 attempts sound?

Urlacher seems to remember all slights. And everything he doesn’t like. And he doesn’t like Jay Cutler. Which he has pointed out before. Cutler’s interception in the end zone to kill the game was notable and sad.

‘‘All I said was his paycheck says he’s elite,’’ Urlacher said. ‘‘His numbers do not say he is elite. . . . [It’s] the truth.’’

Well, yes. But it’s sad we have to hear it from a former star like Urlacher. Yet there are other former players in the media who have taken scalpels to the Bears, too. Tom Waddle and Patrick Mannelly and Mike Adamle and Mike Ditka have been among them. Tom Thayer lets you know how he feels.

And then there’s Steve ‘‘Mongo’’ McMichael, who says stuff on ESPN Radio that shouldn’t be heard by children. And Dan Hampton gets so outraged on Channel 5 that he sputters with umbrage that means, ‘‘I’ll throw down right here!’’

But the princes of pain are, without question, Doug Buffone and Ed O’Bradovich, former old-school action stars who vent on WSCR-AM (670) after games.

‘‘Dammit, Dougie!’’ O’B screams, ‘‘They gotta do somethin’!’’

We all feel it. A 5-8 record documents it. Urlacher knows it.


Twitter: @ricktelander