It’s not written in stone but it has been understood to play defense for the Chicago Bears, you have to be a hitter. Think back to the great Bears Safeties from yesteryear: Doug Plank, the late Todd Bell, the late Dave Duerson, and you have to place Gary Fencik as one of them. Receivers just didn’t cross the middle in Chicago.
Fencik played with disregard for his body. Over the years programs had him listed between 178-185 lbs. Recently, profootballreference.com had him listed at 194, no way. Anyone who watched him play saw how thin he was and with all the collisions he caused, are surprised at how few games he missed during his career.
In a 12 year career he made the Pro Bowl twice and was voted All Pro once. He may not make the Pro Football Hall of Fame but he has been immortalized as one of the members of the ’85 Bears and the legendary 46 Defense. He was a warrior that manned the last line of defense if you made it past the Bears great front seven. He was a great hitter who lives on in the memory of those historians and fans who tell his story. One whose inclusion in my Soul of the Game series of great defenders took it to their opponents the way it was meant to be played.
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