These athletes are in their 30s? Coulda fooled us

November 10, 2011

The core of the Bears defense—Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman and others—has been described widely as an aging unit.

But these decorated veterans have performed like young and restless defenders most of this season. Briggs demonstrated his speed and agility Monday when he ran the width of the field to chase down Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

"I always take a lot of pride in that. And I think we should change [old] age to 'vintage.' I tried to do that earlier in the year," Briggs said Thursday. "Vintage … we get better as we get older."

Which got us thinking: Who are the top Chicago athletes in their 30s? Here's our list.

1. Paul Konerko, 35: As usual, he put up MVP-like numbers in 2011 (.300 avg., 31 HRs, 105 RBIs). 'Nuff said.

2. Lance Briggs, 30: Making a great case for a new contract by leading the team in tackles this season with 60.

3. Julius Peppers, 31: Even with a bum left knee, defenses still can't handle him with one blocker.

4. Brian Urlacher, 33: Few linebackers his age, if any, are making the kind of flying interceptions he is this season.

5. A.J. Pierzynski, 34: He's a catcher who still managed to hit .287 in 129 games in 2011. He also struck out just 33 times.

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BREAKOUT

Bears vs. Detroit

3:15 p.m. Sunday

Fox, Soldier Field

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