Good Lord is it hard for me to believe that there are readers looking at this that don’t remember the 2000 Chicago Bears season because they were five years old, or not yet born. Seems like yesterday to me. Scary when you start saying things old people say.
I certainly remember the 2000 Bears season, since it was already my 22nd watching the team. After hating what the Bears did in the first round of the draft two of the previous three seasons, I was actually ecstatic to see them draft Brian Urlacher. This was after then-personnel boss Mark Hatley attempted to trade up to draft Plaxico Burress instead.
Incidentally, let’s remember the players that were drafted in front of Urlacher, who ended up playing 13 seasons for the Chicago Bears and became a borderline Hall of Fame player:
DE Courtney Brown (Browns): six seasons, two teams
LB LaVar Arrington (Redskins): six seasons, two teams
OT Chris Samuels (Redskins): nine seasons, one team
WR Peter Warrick (Bengals): five seasons, two teams
DT Corey Simon (Eagles): seven seasons, three teams
RB Thomas Jones (Cardinals): twelve seasons, five teams
WR Plaxico Burress (Steelers): still active, four teams
I don’t remember much about what Urlacher did in his very first preseason game at the New York Giants, but I do absolutely remember that game for the uniforms. The Giants came out in their new retro uniforms (some might not remember these ugly things they wore in the 70′s through the 90′s). More importantly, the Bears impressed me by going back to black shoes in this game for the first time since 1992, and I loved that.
But I certainly do remember Urlacher’s second preseason game and him proving the player he was going to end up to be with this play in the first quarter:
That play happened on August 12, 2000. Between that date and tonight, August 9, 2013, Bears fans have been treated to knowing we had a future Hall of Famer playing in the middle of our defense. There are high hopes for Urlacher’s replacement, rookie Jon Bostic. (I know, D.J. Williams was meant to carry the torch for a year, but he’s injured). Will Bostic impress us this preseason, or become just another guy?
(Yes, I know, Urlacher started the season at strong side linebacker before replacing Barry Minter in the middle).