Sayers vs Urlacher

Bears legend Gale Sayers is never one to shy away when asked his opinion.  And neither is the current face of the franchise, Brian Urlacher.  Put those two elements together with a disappointing 2009 season hangover and you’ve got the makings of a old-fashioned showdown at the OK Corral.  Let’s recap, shall we?

Back on May 4th, Sayers was quite open regarding his feelings about the 2010 Bears:

“Cutler hasn’t done the job,” Sayers said. “(Brian) Urlacher, I don’t know how good he’s going to be coming back. He’s 33 years old. They need a couple wide receivers, a couple defensive backs. They haven’t done a good job.

“If Lovie doesn’t do it this year, I think he’s gone. He had a good team the Super Bowl year. Nothing came together for him the last couple years.”

Seems to sum up what a lot of Bears fans are thinking.  OK, maybe just this one.

Yesterday, with minicamp right around the corner, Brian Urlacher spoke to the media and touched on a number of topics, including his thoughts on Sayers’ comments.   Buckle up your chip strap and check out these comments from #54:

“Let me ask you a question: ‘How many championships did Gale Sayers win?”’ Urlacher told the Tribune. “How many playoff games did he win when he played? None. None. None.

“Does it bother me? There are enough people throwing daggers at us right now, why does one of our ex-players have to jump in? There are enough experts talking (crap) about us, so why does a Bear, an all-time great, have to jump in? I just don’t like that.”

Although Urlacher acknowledges Sayers’ individual accomplishments, he has little respect for those opinions.

“… Does (Sayers) know how to win football games? Does he? No. How are you going to criticize someone else when you haven’t done it yourself? He’s one of our own, so that’s why it’s so frustrating.”

Ball is in your court Comet:

When I am asked a question, I have to answer it,” Sayers said during a break from a business trip in Atlanta. “I don’t want anybody to think I am afraid to talk about the Bears. … Right now, the Bears are hurting. …”And Urlacher, how old is he anyway (32 Tuesday)? He should know that himself, that he is on the downside of his career. ….”

“If somebody asks me, ‘How do you think the Bears are going to do this year?’ If I say, ‘Oh, they are going to win 14 ballgames,’ they know the Bears can’t win 14 ballgames,” Sayers said. “Why should I lie to the people? … Football people understand that. …”

So who ya got?  Is Sayers justified in his criticism or should he just clam up?  Does Urlacher need to get some thicker skin?  Should former legends criticize today’s team?  Let me hear ya in the Comments.

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Tags: Brian Urlacher Gale Sayers

  • DeCon

    i think both are right…Sayers is entitled to his opinion and Urlacher doesn’t have to like his opinion.

    for the record, i do think a former Bears legend would have a little more decorum…if you asked Ditka or Butkus the question, i think it would sound a little more pro-Bear. i sincerely believe Sayers is bitter his career ended so quickly and sometimes his bitterness carries over, because it always seems, in his own mind, there was no one like him EVER in football and while that might be true, i think Gale has a little superiority complex. all that said, i love Sayers!!! and Urlacher :-)

  • City

    You know how you say something and your friend nails you with a big “Burn!”. Sometimes, you just have to acknowledge you got burned and give your boy props for the truth. I think Urlacher burned Sayers pretty good on this one, and Gayle should have given Urlacher some props for not only bringing up a great point, but for defending his guys – which is what he’s supposed to do as captain.

    I will tell you this (as much as I am in the same camp as you Boomer, doubting their potential this year) I do like Urlacher. Bears football without a great middle linebacker is almost foreign to me. And Urlacher has played up to par with every linebacker legend we have (except maybe Singletary, since he won a Super Bowl).

  • City

    Wow! Just realized I spelled Gale with a “y”.

  • pchav

    I give props to both. I think Gale said what everyone is thinking. The last couple of years have been disappointing to say the least especially a year when all the expectations are so high when we bring in a QB like Cutler.

    With that being said Urlacher did his job as a Captain. He defended himself and his team.

    As a long time Bear fan I can only hope that this team proves everyone wrong!

  • GeoMak

    Typical nonsensical response from Urlacher: Does (Sayers) know how to win football games? Does he? No.

    Umm, Brian, individual players don’t win games in the NFL. TEAMS DO. The Bears, with two of the greatest ever (Sayers & Butkus) didn’t win. For most of Walter Payton’s incomparable career (10 out of 13 seasons), they didn’t win. They only won in 1985 when the TEAM, from 1982, 1983 and 1984 jelled into a Championship Team IN 1985.

    Only the clueless would blame guys like Sayers and Butkus (and by extension Payton) for not winning.

    Urlacher: How are you going to criticize someone else when you haven’t done it yourself?

    Umm, Brian, are you saying that players and coaches and teams can ONLY be criticized by those who have won Championships? Hysterical.

    The fact is that Sayers was mostly ‘right-on’ in his assement of the Bears. Deal with it Brian. It’s called REALITY!

  • Windy Cynic

    Sayers speaks the frustration of a man who didn’t win and sees the same situation and it pisses him off. Brian is notoriously thin skinned and on his last legs, lets hope he returns to form so that he won’t be so insecure about an opinion.

    The reality is this boys….. We got our asses kicked in the Super Bowl’s second half and THAT was the time for Jerry to make the flashy additions, NOT STAND PAT. When you enter a window of opportunity and suffer defeat, it is paramount that you close whatever gap NOW. Instead, they got cheap, lost some soul on the d and stayed an average course.

    That’s the same aesthetic that Sayers career was wasted on, good enough until it counted.

    And across town, the Cubs seem immune to similar failure earning Chicago the label Second City. Sometimes you have to be pissed off to try harder and Lovie just won’t make that adjustment. Or can’t.