Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said last week that when he retires, he wants to do it as a Bear, and recent rumors swirling around him suggest he might be doing it with actress and Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy at his side.
Urlacher is a well-respected player in the NFL, making eight Pro Bowl appearances and five All-Pro selections since 2000, when the Bears picked him in the draft. At 33, he’s entering the final year of his contract with the team, after which he’ll be a free agent. Although he says he has no immediate plans to retire, he certainly wants to do it with the team that has propelled his career and supported him throughout it.
‘‘There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll finish my career with the Bears,’’ Urlacher said. ‘‘However that works out, it works out. I can’t imagine playing anywhere else.’’
‘‘He’s been the face of the franchise, sometimes reluctantly,’’ Bears chairman George McCaskey has said. ‘‘But he’s accepted that responsibility. You saw last year how his teammates feel about him when his mom passed away. And you saw how he felt about his teammates when, in the midst of his grief, he came back to his family in the locker room. Just a hell of a guy.’’
Although an injury in the last game of last season still isn’t recovered 100%, he says he’ll be ready for whatever his team needs. In the meantime, he’s relaxing with the likes of Jenny McCarthy, the blonde bombshell who was known in the ’90s as the flirty, funny co-host of MTV’s “Singled Out”–and for posing in Playboy–and has made headlines in recent years as an activist for autism research; her son, Evan, was diagnosed with the disorder at a young age. Urlacher and McCarthy were seen sneaking out the back door of a posh steakhouse in L.A. recently, and since then the rumors have flown regarding their possible romance. Neither of them has commented on the rumor yet.