Urlacher owes no explanation to the media

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For those who have been reading me long enough, you know of my shortage of respect for the members of the Chicago media. Specifically the Chicago sports media. Specifically Chicago Tribune columnist David Haugh, who fulfills his job as required by stating his opinions — often indefensibly ignorant positions, but opinions nonetheless.

Haugh’s latest drivel centers around the Brian Urlacher knee saga and the Wednesday report by fellow Tribune columnist Mike Mulligan that Urlacher went to Germany this offseason seeking an alternative procedure to surgery. The non-invasive procedure is known as Regenokine therapy, and a handful of high-profile athletes like Kobe Bryant have undergone this option.

In his column, Haugh tries to outline for you why you should have questions and/or concerns about what Urlacher was exploring, and he does this by connecting the dots between the different parties involved.

Dr. Peter Wehling is responsible for the creation of the Regenokine treatment. His partner is Chris Renna, based out of Santa Monica, Calif. Renna reportedly supplied undetectable testosterone cream to BALCO founder Victor Conte, who plead guilty in 2005 to conspiracy to distribute steroids.

… are you following Haugh’s crayon-drawn chart?

And the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone. And the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone.

Haugh writes:

“Fair or not, the name Conte, a symbol of sports stain, connected even remotely with any superstar requires explanation. In a sporting world plagued by doping where perception blurs reality, the Bears franchise player linked to blood-spinning therapy that isn’t FDA-approved merits more than a unified dismissive front.”

Oh, really? I’m sorry, Haugh, I didn’t know you were on the jury responsible for voting for player discipline. Perhaps that was you, rather than the legendary John Madden, riding around the country with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell while touring training camps, answering questions and ensuring teams are following new camp procedures.

Words of advice, Haugh: If you’re trying to get the scoop and break a story about Urlacher doing something illegal or wrong, let it go. You’re not a Woodward and Bernstein investigative journalist; you’re a sports columnist. Perhaps your head got banged around on the gridiron one too many times.

The fact is, Urlacher doesn’t have to answer to anybody but Goodell and the league’s front office. If Urlacher is or was doing something illegal by getting treatment that is not permitted under league rules, then Goodell and the league will rule on it. He’s the judge, jury, and executioner. You’re the cynical blowhard clinging to his glory days.

I won’t digress too much, but Haugh’s feelings that the media is entitled to know everything that goes on out of the public eye is just part of a larger problem.

It’s not the media’s right to know what a player does on his own time; it’s a privilege. And the steps that Urlacher takes off the field are none of Haugh’s business. He needs to stick to covering the steps Urlacher takes on the field.

Toward the end of his column, Haugh writes:

“Did the treatment work for Urlacher before he tweaked the knee early in camp? Did Urlacher repeat the process before finally having arthroscopic surgery? Did he research his medical team? What prompted arthroscopic surgery Aug. 14 instead of sooner — or later?

Is this any of our business?

Urlacher and the Bears say no.”

There you go, Haugh. You answered your own question and nullified the entire premise of your column.

UPDATE: In a poll on the Chicago Tribune website asking: “The Bears and Brian Urlacher have said the linebacker’s treatment plan for his knee is none of your business. Do you think he should talk about it?”, an overwhelming 83% of respondents voted “No” as of noon on Thursday afternoon. Good to see fans are thinking clearly no matter what they read from Haugh.

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