Thank you, Brian Urlacher.
If the Bears can’t be in the Super Bowl, if the Bears can’t get themselves to this week, then at least an ex-Bear can offer us some entertaining cattiness.
And believe me, this season’s Bears could never be in this Super Bowl, could never be relevant this week.
The thinking is that you just need to get into the playoffs to have a chance because look at what the wild cards have done lately, but guess what? Sit down and shut up, is what.
After watching the Bears throw up on themselves down the stretch and then watching actual playoff teams earn the right to play this Sunday, you know the Bears never had a chance.
Further, you know the Bears were lucky to spare themselves an embarrassment worse than Philadelphia or Green Bay.
So, the Bears aren’t in New York this week, but Urlacher is, and I guess we’re not tired of whatever shots he wants to take at his former team.
He seems to be more newsworthy as an ex-Bear than Julius Pepper is as a Bear-for-now. But then, neither of them played last season.
Urlacher was part of the media during Super Bowl media day Tuesday, but he became a story anyway.
Since refusing to take the Bears’ offer last year, Urlacher has been working for one or several of the Fox Sports outlets that you can never find. Still, that makes him newsworthy, or at least gives him a platform to fire on his former team, even though his former team made him the best offer to play last season -- maybe the only offer.
He really ought to hate the rest of the league as much as he hates the Bears, but I guess we don’t care whether he hates anybody except the only team he played for.
And he does hate the Bears, or at least the quarterback and general manager. We know this because he didn’t use the quarterback’s or general manager’s name when talking about Phil Emery’s decision to give Jay Cutler that seven-year, $126 million contract.
“The thinking is, if you have a franchise quarterback, you hold onto them’’ Urlacher said. “It’s hard to find them in the NFL, and I think the GM there thought he had one, so he paid him like one.’’
The only thing Urlacher missed was “Fredo, you’re nothing to me now.’’
If you’re keeping score at home, not only did Urlacher refuse to utter either person’s name, but he refused to say that Cutler is a franchise quarterback, just that the GM thought he had one.
That’s code for no, Urlacher does not believe The Quarterback Who Must Not Be Named is elite at that position.
That’s also code for no, the General Manager Who Must Not Be Named doesn’t know what he’s doing at that position.
Pretty slick talk, actually. Surprising finesse from a once-feared hitter. Urlacher offered his answer without sneer or sarcasm, but the words and sentiment pounded the target like it was some fool trying to run up the middle.
What’s worse for Bears fans is, Urlacher is right. So far, anyway.
Urlacher didn’t detail reasons for his obvious feelings, but if he started with Cutler’s postseason win total that ties him with Tim Tebow and still leaves him behind Rex Grossman, game’s over.
Cutler always has been more hype and hope than hallelujah. He might’ve just turned in his best season as a Bear, but then, he just had to inch up over medicore to do it, and he still suffered his regularly scheduled injury.
Cutler remains the most talented Bears quarterback ever. Which has been worth almost nothing when it matters. Which only encourages giving voice to grudges. Which, frankly, is entertaining for us, but probably not so much for Cutler and the Bears.
We’ve heard such sounds before, former Bears talking about the current regime and roster. When the results aren’t pretty, the shots get fired more often and at greater volume, an amusing combination of gravitas and and anger, if not also the need to vomit.
There’s a simple way for Cutler and the Bears to mute it: Get to this week and win on that Sunday.