Former Chicago Bears safety Dave “Double D” Duerson was found dead in his Miami home last night. At this point, no cause of death has been disclosed.
The Bears made Duerson their 3rd round pick out of Notre Dame. He moved into a starter’s role in 1985 when Todd Bell decided to hold out over a contract dispute. He went on to go to four Pro Bowls from 1986 to 1989. Besides his championship with the Bears, he was a member of the 1990 New York Giants Super Bowl team after leaving the Bears.
Double D was awarded the NFL’s Man of the Year Award in 1987, an honor that has been since re-named in honor of Duerson’s former teammate Walter Payton in 1999. The Bears issued the following statement:
“We are stunned and saddened to hear the tragic news regarding Dave Duerson,” the Bears said in a statement. “He was a great contributor to our team and the Chicago community. Today is a difficult day for all of us who loved Dave. We’ll miss him. Our prayers are with his family.”
Duerson’s former coach Mike Ditka appeared on ESPN 1000’s Waddle and Silvy show and had some interesting bits on Duerson:
“When we brought him in out of Notre Dame we knew what we were getting,” former Bears’ coach Mike Ditka said. When Todd held out he stepped right in and took over the starter’s job. With Gary [Fencik] back there we had two of the best safeties in the league.”
“Unfortunately, he has had some financial problems,” Ditka said. “I didn’t know he was having those kinds of problems. I’m sure that was probably the biggest thing. That can put a lot of pressure on you when things are going bad financially and you’re having family problems.”
Interesting look behind the scenes from Da Coach. Dave’s family asked that we remember him fondly:
“Our family asks that you please remember Dave as a good, kind, and caring man,” Duerson’s ex-wife, Alicia Duerson, said, according to NBCChicago.com. “He loved and cherished his family and friends and was extremely proud of his beloved Notre Dame and … Chicago Bears. Please keep Dave and our family in your prayers.”
I’ll choose to remember Double D as a big hitter who was a key contributor to the late 80’s Bears. Here’s an interview that Mouthpiece Sports did with Dave back in 2008:
Gone way too soon. Thoughts and prayers to the Duerson family.