I once left a DVD copy of the movie "Brian's Song" in a Bears' rookie locker. The quiet kid from Riviera Beach Florida said his father was a huge Gale Sayers fan. That was back in 2006 -- little did I know Devin Hester would rewrite Sayers, the Bears and NFL return record books.
In eight seasons Hester set Bears franchise records for kick return yards, punt return yards and return touchdowns. In Week 7 of the 2013 season, his 81-yard punt return touchdown at Washington tied Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for most career return touchdowns in NFL history.
Sunday against the Packers at Soldier Field, Hester tried desperately to break the record. Five kickoff returns for 127 yards included a 39-yard return along with a 49-yard punt return. If that was his last game in a Bears uniform he wanted fans to remember he gave it his all.
"I did whatever I could," Hester said, "everything I had in me I left it out on the field."
Eight years after the Bears drafted him in the second round, Hester went from being a defensive back to wide receiver before playing only on special teams for Marc Trestman. His contract which paid him $1.8 million dollars this year expires, and his future is unclear.
"It really hurts walking off the field knowing this could be my last time wearing a Chicago Bear uniform," Hester said Sunday, shaking his head. "This is where I was born and raised, it's not like I played three years and went six years somewhere else. My whole eight years has been here."
Hester is hoping his future is decided quickly, so he's not wondering and worrying all offseason where he'll be playing in 2014.
He knows he won't be making the same money as a specialist but also knows one other thing: "I want to retire a Bear."