Chicago Sun-Times

Ex-Bear Tony Parrish heads to UFL for another shot at NFL

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The Bears seem pretty content right now with their pairing of Kevin Payne and rookie Al Afalava at safety but there is an ex-Bear out there interested in helping. Tony Parrish signed a contract with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League and is trying to resurrect his career at 33 and after sitting out the last two seasons.

``I want people to notice me,'' Parrish said. ``I'm playing to get back in the NFL. I'm playing for the love of the game.''

It's certainly not for money. Parrish will make $35,000 in the fledgling UFL, which opens training camps next week. He left the Bears after the 2001 season and went on to become an Pro Bowl all-pro performer in San Francisco. He broke his ankle and fibula playing vs. the Bears in 2005 and wasn't the same the next season when he split time between the Niners and Dallas Cowboys.

``I've been really ready for more than a year now,'' he said. ``I wasn't the same after the broken leg but I'm back now. I still haven't quenched my thirst for football.''

The Bears had 11 starters headed to some form of free agency--unrestricted or restricted--when general manager Jerry Angelo was hired in June 2001. He literally had a few months to construct a plan for the future and one of the decisions made was to let Parrish leave as a UFA. The Bears had Mike Brown in his second season and believed him to be a building block for the future at the position, but while they were paired together, they were outstanding.

Agent Joel Segal landed Parrish a $12 million, five-year contract to sign with San Francisco in 2002. It was near top money at the time, and Parrish flourished there, making a Pro Bowl as he proved to have better coverage skills than anyone anticipated. Parrish cashed in but it's not money he's after, he wants to return to the game.

``I made the decision to go to the UFL a couple of weeks ago,'' he said. ``I contacted the league and went out there and spoke to Jim Fassel [coach of the Las Vegas team]. I've had workouts for some NFL teams [since 2006] but they just haven't pulled the trigger for various reasons, including my salary minimums. I still want to play some ball in the NFL and I am willing to do whatever it takes to do that. Here I am, I'm waiting for my opportunity.''

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16 Comments

Another dumb jock who is too stupid to do anything but play sports.........go get a real job!!!!

By Tripper on August 31, 2009 10:24 PM
"Another dumb jock who is too stupid to do anything but play sports.........go get a real job!!!!"

He's rich he is not doing it for money he is doing it because he loves it. Nothing wrong with that. He did teach yoga as well. Why are you made because he is playing football in the UFL? He is only 34 after all. Good for Tony, he was a solid player for the Bears and Angelo got rid of him for no real reason. He could really hit and 30 career int's is not bad.

Tony Parrish was an excellent safety and Angelo was an idiot for letting him go. The combination of Parrish and Mike Brown was great and Parrish was the team's hardest hitting player when he played for San Francisco. But it's probably too late now, he's 33, hasn't played in a couple of years, is coming off an injury, and strong safety is not one of the Bears' big problems right now (too bad he's not a free safety). I wish him luck and hope he catches on with someone.

Tripper,

Why are you on this blog? This is about football, those of us here LIKE sports, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with someone who wants to play until he can't anymore. Instead of needlessly insulting everyone, why don't you get on a blog that you're actually interested in.

Take the trip tripper!!

We'll see when he ends up like Wilbur Marshall and can't walk up the stairs.......You all think it's OK for him to stick around too long but you rag on Brett Favre!!!!!...at least Favre still has some talent!!!!

Mike Brown made all the silly overtime and late-game pick 6's, but I had thought that Tony Parrish made a better safety than Mike Brown when he was wearing a Bears uniform. I'm pretty sure that if Angelo got a mulligan on this decision with the future knowledge of Brown's health concerns, he would have went with Parrish instead. Parrish would break up pass plays in other ways besides making interceptions, something we didn't see Brown do all that often.

By Tripper on September 1, 2009 11:35 AM
"We'll see when he ends up like Wilbur Marshall and can't walk up the stairs.......You all think it's OK for him to stick around too long but you rag on Brett Favre!!!!!...at least Favre still has some talent!!!!"

You never played the game did you? Football and pain go hand in hand. Most players have problems walking, but your first post was not about concern for Parrish, you bashed him, calling him a dumb jock, who is to stupid to do anything other than play sports.

The fact that you are surprised Favre gets bashed on a Bears board tells me how stupid you really are. But nobody but you is talking about Favre, the only QB getting time on this board is Cutler. The only thing I will say about Favre is that was a dirty @$$ block he threw last night, could have ended that kids season and I hope the league drops the hammer on Mr. Shucks " I was just having some fun and I like BBQ and cuttin the grass, shucks Mr. Reporter sir, huck, huck, huck. He's a phony.

He currently has a series of Yoga videos out. Why don't you go watch one and tell us if he is having problems walking. While your at it why don't you and the rest of the Packer fans that ghost this board go spend a little more time on your own board, talking about your own team.

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0608/gallery.NFLparrish/images/09-015779311.jpg

I won't attack Tripper, but see nothing wrong with a guy trying to come back because he loves the game and misses it. He differs from Favre in that he was out because of an injury, not because he couldn't make up his mind or wanted to avoid the drudgery of training camp. I think Favre will not last past five games and will decide to re-re-retire after he wakes up so sore he can hardly move. I really cannot see the Viking locker room being a happy place, in spite of what ESPN announcers say about Favre cracking jokes and being accepted.The guys there worked and competed to get there,while Favre just waltzed in and picked up a few more million. Who would not hold some resentment over that scenario?

The decision to let him go was all about Money....

It's good to see him coming back. He was playing at a high level when he broke his leg. He should be able to come back and use the UFL as a training camp. He will be on someones roster soon enough once he shows he can still play.

He would make a nice weakside LB if he felt he has lost a step during his hiatis.

Good luck Tony.

Go Bears !!

Creighton, you are a bitter old man! First you attack NBS now me!Get a life. By the way, I did play high school football and division 1 college basketball! I am now a licenced Physical Therapist!!! I forgot more than you know.

"I forgot more than you know"

Could two of those forgotten things be humility and common sense?

Tripper, The reason we complain about Favre is his changes of mind -- I'm retired, I'm not retired, I'm retired, I'm not retired -- like some schizophrenic. These guys are all egomaniacs, but Favre's schizophrenic behavior raises it to a new level. It's not all about him, and his changes are bad for the game, because they make the entire league look foolish. If he had just continued playing, he'd still be on Green Bay and no one would be complaining about him, other than that he's a Cheesehead.

I met Parrish once, hes a real nice guy, even took time to talk to us, and take a couple pictures. I thought he was a great player, and an awesome hitter. I really hope he comes back. Play I will remember most is when we were playing San Fran, and it was the end of the game, and TO is coming over the middle, Parrish comes up to hit him (again) and TO alligator arms the ball, it bounces up, Mike Brown picks it for 6, Bears win. Why dont we bring Parrish back, we should be able to find him some time. 30 career picks.

Wow HS football, sure you did. Prove it. Prove you ever played any sports.

By Tripper on September 1, 2009 8:41 PM
Creighton, you are a bitter old man! First you attack NBS now me!Get a life. By the way, I did play high school football and division 1 college basketball! I am now a licenced Physical Therapist!!! I forgot more than you know."

Actually NBS insulted me and a couple other people for no reason and I hammered him for it. Don't start a fight and there will not be a fight.

There is no chance you are a Physical Therapist. Ah Physical Therapist would never say this about an pro athlete "Another dumb jock who is too stupid to do anything but play sports.........go get a real job!!!!"

Dude you attacked Parrish, I didn't attack you I asked you a question and you had a fit. Go read your own posts, and then read mine. If you think you know more about football then me, thats fine, but you are not showing it. Parrish never had knee problems, he broke his leg and had trouble regaining his speed after it healed.

I don't buy a word you say, you insult Parrish, and get mad at me for pointing out some facts and asking you a question. Then you try to justify your insults by saying people are ragging on Favre, which is just changing the subject because you know you are wrong. Favre has nothing to do with it, you brought him up not me. Not my fault the internet world hates him because of his cheap, dirty crack back block, that he tried to shrug off by saying it's ok cause he was cutting the grass a month ago. Like I said, go back to Packer land, why do you even care about the Bears? Go care about your own team. This is a Bears board we talk about the Bears here, I don't even have a problem with people insulting players they don't like, but at least justify your comments.

Anyway your a phony and i am done wasting my time with you. We have argued before and each time I have embarrassed you, but this time you did it to yourself. Next thing I know you will be telling me how you played in the NBA and are in the UFC and a ton of other garbage. Even if you are a PT, thats only one step up from personal trainer.

Cry-ton...get a life, girly boy!!

I'd just like to say T.P was a great safety in the league and i'm waiting for a team to pick him up, please remember he led the nfl in interceptions for 4 years and had a bunch of solo tackles and assisted tackles, he was very mobile and quick to the ball also a great coverage safety, very smart in his decision making. I'm one of his biggest fans and also his uncle, yes that's right his uncle and was at mostly all his games regardless of what team he was with so to all you haters kiss my grits.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 31, 2009 9:55 PM.

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