In the NFC Championship game two years ago, Reggie Bush took a swing pass 88 yards to the house. The last ten or so were accompanied by Bush pointing back at the Bears defense before doing a flip into the end-zone and dancing the night away. Of course, the Saints had only cut the Bears lead to two, and didn't score another point en route to a 39-14 loss.
"He's a rookie and he's going to be a hell of a player in this league. But for him to point back and taunt, that was no class. I swear I was a second away from punching him. I'm glad I didn't. I ran right to him and said, 'Be professional in this league.'"
"I could go on and on about why he shouldn't have done that," said center Olin Kreutz. "When I saw it I was just kind of like, 'What an idiot.' He's a young idiot, just a guy who doesn't understand that you have to earn the right to do that.
Of course, Brian Urlacher was the person at whom Bush appeared to be pointing. He didn't seem to care at all.
Today, as the Bears and Saints are set to battle in a pivotal NFC matchup with playoff implications all over the place, Urlacher praised Bush.
"I don't even think about it until somebody brings it up. He was excited about his play and turned around and pointed, I guess. And I was the guy right there. He's lucky I didn't catch him. If I was running at full speed, I would have."
Urlacher used the words "respectable" and "well-spoken" to describe Bush, referring to their off-season encounters at various celebrity events. He has equally as much respect for Bush, the player.
"He's one of the most explosive players in the NFL," Urlacher said. "Any time he's in the game, it changes the way you have to approach their offense because he's so dynamic."
As a fan of the Bears, I have to agree with Urlacher. I was quite baffled by the actions of Bush at the time, as I always am when players celebrate an individual play even though their team is losing. I was not, however, angry with Bush, nor did I think it reflected on the kind of player or person he is. I'm a fan of Bush as a player and a person -- from what I've seen. I thought the outcry from Chicago about this play was a bit over-the-top. It was a rookie, and he was excited to score an 88 yard touchdown pass in the NFC Title game. Who could blame him for acting out a bit?
As for the game tonight, the loser is pretty much dead to rights as far as the playoff chase. I believe the Bears have the advantage, as the Saints have lost their last two trips to Soldier Field in the cold weather. It's gonna be cold again. That's not the only reason, but the teams are pretty even and it will be one factor that propels the Bears to victory.
*In fairness to Kreutz, pretty much every Bears fan wanted to break Fred Miller's jaw ...
Brian Urlacher a Fan of Reggie Bush, Even After the Touchdown Taunt originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Thu, 11 Dec 2008 15:40:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.