A jarring sight awaited if you happened to land on the home page of the Chicago Bears’ website Friday. At the far right was a video of former defensive end Richard Dent discussing his recent election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
On the left was the news that former safety Dave Duerson had been found dead at age 50. The cause of Duerson’s death has not been reported.
The Bears drafted Dent and Duerson in 1983. They were teammates for seven years, including in 1985 when the Bears won Super Bowl XX. One is heading toward the greatest personal achievement an NFL player can reach. The other suffered a shocking, untimely and deeply-felt death.
Duerson was one of the brains behind the Bears’ 46 defense and, through his work with Notre Dame and the NFL Players Association, remained a part of the Chicago sports fabric after retiring. His death brought a harsh conclusion to what has been an extended 25-year celebration of the 1985 team. Our thoughts go out to his ex-wife, Alicia, and his four children.