The Top Ten was unveiled in the Chicago Bears Top 100 and Brian Urlacher wasn’t in it.
The Chicago Bears website has been unveiling the top 100 Chicago Bears players of all-time this week as the franchise gears up for their 100th season.
The screaming started right out of the gate when Jay Cutler was listed at 85.
On Thursday, the Bears unveiled the team’s top 25 of all time. You can see that list here.
There’s plenty that fans could get upset about in the 11 through 25 rankings, but let’s focus on the top 10. Dan Pompei and Don Pierson were the two Chicago sportswriters that compiled the list, and this was the 10 they decided deserved the elite nods:
10. Danny Fortmann
9. Doug Atkins
8. Bulldog Turner
7. Bill George
6. Mike Ditka
5. Gale Sayers
4. Sid Luckman
3. Bronko Nagurski
2. Dick Butkus
1. Walter Payton
There were plenty of fans on Twitter outraged of the idea that the likes of Sid Luckman, Bill George and Doug Atkins were on the list. Simply put, if you are one of those fans, you don’t know what you’re talking about.
First of all, yes, I recognize that the players today are better than the players of 75 years ago. The sport has evolved, training has evolved, players are bigger, faster and stronger.
But if you are going to put together these lists, you have to look at it the eras. Sid Luckman dominated the 1940s and is without question the Bears greatest quarterback. Just because Luckman isn’t as skilled as what Mitch Trubisky brings to the table shouldn’t be held against Luckman because the sport has evolved over the last 80 years.
These lists are best served when the rankings are done with comparing the player to the era around him.
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All 10 of these Bears players are quite accomplished and they are all hall of famers. Fans that want to complain about so many of these guys being from yesteryear have to be honest with themselves and realize that the Bears dominated the 30s and 40s, that was the best the franchise has ever done over a long stretch of time, so it would only be logical that many of the players would come from that era of Bears’ football.
That being said, it’s really hard to justify leaving Brian Urlacher outside of the top 10.
I have nothing against Danny Fortmann. He was a great Bear. He was first team All-Pro seven times, won 3 titles with the Bears and was a member of the NFL’s all 30s team.
Brian Urlacher didn’t win the titles that Fortmann did, but that’s not his fault, but Urlacher himself was All-Pro 5 times and Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a part of the NFL’s All 2000s team.
Is it really justifiable to put Fortmann as an interior offensive lineman over Urlacher that helped redefine the middle linebacking position in the NFL and showed how it could be played with elite athleticism?
Also think about how many more All-Pros Urlacher could have had on his resume if his career didn’t run in line with Ray Lewis.
Urlacher’s play warrants a spot in the top 10. Him and Devin Hester are the only Bears from this century in the top 25 and it’s only sensible to put the team’s only first ballot Hall of Famer from this century in the top 10.
Nobody would be crying if Danny Fortmann was ranked 11th or 12th.
Pompei and Pierson took on an impossible task and did a solid job with this list. There are always going to be some questionable decisions and obviously Jay Cutler tops that list, but Dan and Don, could we have moved Urlacher up 4 slots?
Urlacher was snubbed, there’s no other way to put it.