Short Retirement: Urlacher Lands a Deal
No unemployment line for Brian Urlacher.
The iconic linebacker couldn't reach a deal with the Chicago Bears, and even more surprisingly, with any other NFL team.
Mike Ditka's advice to Urlacher was to "move on," and move on he did.
We will still see Urlacher on Sunday under the bright lights, but they'll be kliegs and he'll be behind a desk.
He landed a sweet deal as a television broadcaster. Urlacher will be part of the Fox Football Daily on the soon-to-be-launched Fox Sports 1, alongside Ronde Barber and Jay Glazer, to name a few. Fox football regulars Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long will be there from time to time to add extra punch, something Urlacher now needs to learn to deliver on the air like he did on the field.
That's the good news.
The not so good so news?
He'll go up against the well-established Sportscenter on ESPN.
The great news?
Now he gets to scrutinize the very team that didn’t want him back for a 15th season. Fans will no doubt tune in to see if he will throw a few jabs at Ditka just to make the show interesting.
Being in front of the camera isn't new for Urlacher; he appeared on a local Chicago show on Fox 32. I have no idea if this had any bearing on his decision to join Fox 1, but he did turn down a gig from the NFL Network. Maybe he has loyalty, one thing that the Bears seem to lack in his case.
The question now is how much of the football world will be watching when Urlacher makes his debut on August 19th. The question after that is how many more or fewer fans will be watching when he returns for the next show, and the show after that.
ESPN will answer that one as much as the fans will. If Fox Sports 1 -- Fox Football Daily and the rest of its fare -- is just more of the same and Urlacher only adds more tripe to the panel of ex-jocks' banal banter, then he'll still have his contract, but less impact than he did when the Bears decided to move on, themselves.