Sad but realistic end for Urlacher

CHICAGO -- Well, I guess the face of the Chicago Bears is now that guy with the glowering mug and mussed-up hair.

No longer is it the guy with the glowering mug and the bald dome.

It went official Wednesday evening, the moment some thought would never come, at least until next year. The face of the franchise, a designation that implies a mixture of experience and respect, Brian Urlacher is gone, a victim of his own pride over what he called "somewhat" of face-slap of a contract offer.

This wasn't a surprise but it's jarring to think about a Bears team without their middle linebacker. Feel free to take some time to drink in his career. Urlacher was the heir to a rich tradition of middle linebacker, the next generation of Butkus and Singletary. He was ornery and violent and liked to have a good time, and maybe he was a bit of a meathead. He was not a poet in cleats.

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