This wasn't the way Brian's swan song was supposed to go. Most Bears fans had a script that had a "Ray Lewis" ending for Brian Urlacher, not the "Olin Kreutz" version they watched a couple years ago.
Even the best Chicago sports story saw a perfect Disney ending get weird when Michael Jordan became a Wizard.
No matter what jersey Urlacher slides over his shoulder pads next season, it will look as strange and awkward as Jordan did in teal. Jordan's run in Washington felt more like a golfer who finished a brilliant 18 holes and was looking to sneak a couple more holes in before the sun set. While Urlacher is still limping down the 17th fairway, in hopes of capturing that elusive major.
[MORE: Urlacher: I'd still be a Bear if Lovie weren't fired]
Urlacher built up enough equity in Chicago, where most fans assumed he would play his entire career with the Bears and he would decide when to retire, not be forced into it.
That's not the reality of big time sports. Teams don't spend time wondering what you are going to do with a closet filled of Urlacher jerseys. They have to make honest evaluations, with dollar signs attached and then decide how that fits into the championship plan.
While you have a picture of Urlacher holding the Lombardi trophy in a steady rain of confetti in your dreams, Phil Emery did not.
[RELATED: Urlacher's time in Chicago over, but legacy remains]
We know this for sure, Emery has a plan. Every thing he has done over the past year plus has been calculated, methodical and done with precision. Urlacher's dismissal included. We will find out soon how the Bears' general manager plans to replenish the LB position on his depth cart. His first addition is DJ Wiliams, a player with some off-the-field baggage. But, as we have seen with Brandon Marshall, Emery is not afraid to roll the dice on a player who has a major upside.
For the first time, in a long time, there is good reason to trust what is going on at Halas Hall. You may not like all the moves or the way some things are handled, but realize its being done with the thought of winning a championship(s).
Urlacher's exit is a signature moment for Emery. Nobody is bigger than the team or its ultimate goal. Contracts won't be given out for past achievements. I wonder what we'll be saying about free agent Jay Cutler one year from now?