There’s no doubt that the Chicago Bears’ history books are loaded with star players boasting Hall of Fame credentials and worthiness of recognition in the archives of team history. And we figured that a ranking of the 100 best players to ever suit up for the franchise would give us some clarity on how to view these players relative to each other.
And yet, controversy reigns supreme as the team unveiled its top-25 list earlier today: Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher checked in at No. 14 on the #Top100Bears list … he deserved better.
Urlacher finished his career having collected 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles, 16 recovered fumbles, four defensive touchdowns (and one touchdown reception), and a team-record 1,779 tackles in a decorated career that featured eight Pro Bowl appearances and four first-team All-Pro nominations. The only Bears Hall of Famer who played more games with the team was Walter Payton, who rightfully landed at No. 1 on this list. That should put some things in perspective here. And yet, he ended up at 14, which probably won’t sit well with a certain segment of Bears fans (of which I am including myself).
Ranking the Bears’ 100 best players wasn’t going to be easy, but the list was in good hands with Hall of Fame writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson. And yet, we knew there were going to be some eyebrow-raising moments when the list was ultimately unveiled.
Four active Bears cracking the top-100 was a surprise, to be sure — but a welcome one. The 2019 Bears are in a good place with the likes of Eddie Jackson, Akiem Hicks, Kyle Long, and Khalil Mack suiting up on Sundays. Jay Cutler’s inclusion on the list was controversial to some, but his placement on the list was either too high or not high enough depending on your circle of Bears fans. But one thing I feel like everyone can agree on is that Urlacher not breaking into the top-10 is pure madness.
Take a gander at the top-25 for yourself. Are there any changes you would make?
The best of da best. #Top100Bears
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 23, 2019