AL HAMNIK: Urlacher's golf game should get plenty of work

2013-04-23T17:30:00Z 2013-05-06T21:46:04Z AL HAMNIK: Urlacher's golf game should get plenty of workAl Hamnik Times Columnist
April 23, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

Besides growing up together in cozy Lovington, New Mexico and being best friends, the bond between Brian Urlacher and Brandon Ridenour is as basic as milk.

To this day, they remain just a couple of ordinary guys with common interests we all share.

"We talk about golf and kids and let others handle the football stuff," said Ridenour, the athletic director and boys basketball coach at Gavit.

Urlacher, a future Hall of Famer and unemployed at the moment, appreciates that genuine, down to earth quality his life-long buddy possesses.

Even while Urlacher was at the top of his game, Ridenour never took advantage of their relationship, never regarded No. 54 as a fancy hood ornament to show off in public.

And when the Bears recently let their 13-year star middle linebacker walk, that friendship remained strong as ever.

How strong was it? They were the best man at each other's wedding.

"He's doing well. He feels good, physically," Ridenour said. "He's kinda letting agents take care of that (football) part of it.

"I talk to him a lot, mostly about what he shot on the golf course that day. He'll tell me how many double bogeys he had and how well he would've shot if he hadn't had that many."

With the NFL draft beginning Thursday, Urlacher continues looking for a new team. There has been mild interest but nothing more. When the three-day draft concludes, maybe then his phone will ring.

But as of right now, there is nothing to report.

"I'll probably know when everybody else does," Ridenour said.

And he prefers it that way.

"Brian's a good guy. He played 13 more years than we thought he would've," Ridenour said.

In an interview with Dan Patrick shortly after being released by the Bears, Urlacher referred to himself as "an old fart" and said he felt he could still play another year or two, if he stayed healthy.

Age and health were the reasons new Bears coach Marc Trestman found it so easy to let Urlacher go. And calling himself "an old fart" didn't help his case.

Whether another team decides to risk signing him is anyone's guess, though Urlacher doesn't appear to be losing sleep over the matter.

"We both like to fish. We both like to golf. Our kids are close in age," Ridenour noted. "We spent spring break in Phoenix and Vegas, playing golf."

Who's got the better game?

"He plays a hundred more rounds a year than I do," Ridenour said.

It appears that trend will continue.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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