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Bears host annual alumni golf outing

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There were hugs, handshakes and big smiles Monday when the Bears hosted their second annual alumni golf outing at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis.

"This is great," said former center Jay Hilgenberg. "The Bears have really outdone themselves this year. This is all about the great relationships that you have. We're all like brothers because you just pick up right where everybody dropped off years ago."

More than 50 former Bears players attended the event, which included a round of golf, lunch, cocktails, dinner and an awards ceremony on a warm, sunny day.

The second annual Chicago Bears Alumni Golf Outing was held Monday at The Club at Strawberry Creek.

"It's always good," said former tackle James "Big Cat" Williams. "I talk to guys around the league and not a lot of organizations do this. So to be able to get back with guys you haven't seen for maybe five, 10 or 15 years, it's a great opportunity."

The 1985 Super Bowl XX championship team was well-represented, with Hilgenberg being joined by Dan Hampton, Steve McMichael, Otis Wilson, Tom Thayer, Emery Moorehead, Mike Richardson, Kurt Becker, Mike Hartenstine, Jim Morrissey and Tom Andrews.

Other alumni in attendance were Anthony Adams, Jerry Azumah, Brian Baschnagel, Alex Brown, Ronnie Bull, Rashied Davis, Wendell Davis, Mark Green, Roland Harper, Dan Jiggetts, Johnny Knox, Glen Kozlowski, Erik Kramer, Olin Kreutz, Jason McKie, Ahmad Merritt, Jim Osborne, Marcus Robinson, John Thierry, Bob Thomas, Jim Thornton and Nathan Vasher.

"I'm a fan of football and I always will be," said Brown, a Bears defensive end from 2002-09. "When I walk in here and I see some of the [older players] it's like, 'Wow.' I remember these guys on Techno Bowl. I saw [their pictures] on the walls at Halas Hall.

"And then they look at you say, 'Hey, Alex, what's up?' It's real cool that they know you and they followed us because we're all Bears fans."

Regardless of the era they played, the Bears alumni share a special bond.

"Football is a sport where everybody has to be on the same page," Hilgenberg said. "You spend so much time working together to win games, so that's a bond that you have to trust [your teammates]. It never goes away. It's a bond that lasts forever."

"You not only spend time at work with these guys, but once work is over you have dinner with these guys, you invite these guys over for barbecues," Williams said. "You spend a lot of time together and you become really close. So not to see them for a few years and then be able to reconnect, it's almost like they never went away but it's real good to see them again."

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