- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Friends, family pay respects to ex-Bear Duerson
Question of the Day
Duerson’s death rocked former teammates and coaches, who recently said he had seemed to be in good spirits after going through financial problems and a divorce the past few years. At a reunion of the 1985 Bears championship team a few months ago, he told them he was planning to get married again in April and seemed optimistic about his future.
So when news came that he was found dead, they were stunned.
The New York Times reported that Duerson had sent text messages to his family asking that his brain be examined for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease tied to depression, dementia and suicide.
His brain was donated to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine and was to undergo studies looking for any disease or abnormality but focused on CTE, which has been found in numerous athletes.
Two years later, with Todd Bell sitting out the season in a contract dispute, he became a starter on one of the greatest defenses ever assembled.
With Hall of Famers Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton and Richard Dent, the Bears left a trail of battered opponents while shuffling all the way to the championship. Duerson did his part in the backfield with five interceptions and made the first of four straight Pro Bowls.
A year later, he picked off a career-high six passes while setting what was an NFL record for sacks by a defensive back with seven. That mark stood until 2005, when Arizona’s Adrian Wilson had eight.
He remained active in the union and served as a trustee on the NFL Players Association’s retirement board. He clashed with Ditka over the way former players’ claims were distributed, but the coach said they eventually made up.
Duerson was also involved in several businesses after his career.
He owned a few McDonald’s franchises and later helped to grow a company that supplied fast-food restaurants. He left to start his own company in 2002.
His life took some hard turns in the years that followed, though. His food-supply company was forced into receivership in 2006, and Duerson filed for divorce from his wife Alicia a year later. He lost his Chicago-area home to foreclosure and his position as Notre Dame trustee after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.
By Donald Lambro
Even retail giant Wal-Mart shows telltale signs of trouble
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- PHILLIPS: Once-in-a-century stupidity
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- PRUDEN: When the hangman botches the job
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world