In a great story from the Chicago Tribune’s Vaughn McClure, Bears linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher showed little compassion for Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme.
On a play that has been called the turning point of the Bears-Panthers game on Sunday by several analysts — not by me, though — Delhomme slid feet first on a third down play in the third quarter and was simultaneously drilled by Briggs. Delhomme and his Panthers teammates were understandably upset because no one likes to see their quarterback take a licking.
But the play was bang-bang and there was no flag thrown. Panthers players — former Bear Muhsin Muhammad among them — felt that Briggs should be fined.
Said Briggs: “I’m not a dirty player and never have been. They pay me to be mean on Sunday. It’s football. You can’t spend the rest of the game or after the game crying about hits. Not taking anything from Jake Delhomme; he’s a great quarterback. But this is football. You’re going to get hit.”
Added Urlacher: “I told [Delhomme] to get off the field [after the quarterback bounced to his feet and pounded his chest]. It would have been different had they gotten the first down. Then I would have been ticked. But it was fourth down so, ‘Go to the sideline. Your field-goal team is coming in.'”
Briggs also said he would appeal if he was hit with a fine.
Good for him. The play was legal, which was why a flag wasn’t thrown. And good for Urlacher, too, not putting up with the childish antics of a crybaby.
I felt before Sunday’s game — and still maintain afterward — that Delhomme is the biggest whiner — and wiener — in the NFL. Delhomme got in the face of officials and argued nearly every penalty called on the team, and I believe there were 10 of them.
And on a side note, I’ll still never forget the D-Generation X crotch chop Delhomme gave Chicago fans in the Bears-Panthers playoff game of 2005. What a tool.
(For those of you not familiar with D-Generation X, it was a WWF wrestling group several years ago who gave “crotch chops“, which were obscene gestures in which the participants would make “chopping” motions with their arms toward their crotches).
Delhomme will get what’s coming to him. It’s a long season, but the Bears still could make the playoffs and face the Panthers again, and you know what they say about payback.