Where are they now?

Ted Albrecht woke up one muggy August morning, gingerly hauled his sore body out of bed and was hit with the realization that he was "washed up" at age 28. It happens all the time in pro sports, and Albrecht, then an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, was no exception.

"When I was playing for the Bears, it always struck me as funny that someone would 'retire' before they were 30 years old," said Albrecht. "I always figured that when I retire, I'd just get on with the rest of my life."

Indeed, "retirement" has been very good to Albrecht. He's the founder and owner of The Albrecht Group in Arlington Heights, Ill. He provides color commentary for the WGN-AM radio coverage of Northwestern University football. He's involved with various charities, including the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund and the United Way. Albrecht and his wife, LuJean, have two daughters, Brianna, and Ashley. And he has an ongoing love affair with golf.

Albrecht's bum back forced an early end to his NFL career, but there were many great memories in six seasons. The Bears made the playoffs in 1977, when Albrecht made the All-Rookie Team, and in 1979, when he was a Pro Bowl alternate. Payton followed Albrecht and his cohorts to set the NFL single-game rushing record of 275 yards against the Minnesota Vikings in 1977. And in 1982, Albrecht got to watch rookie head coach Mike Ditka begin to mold a future Super Bowl champion.

"What I wanted more than anything was to play 10 years. I never thought I'd get hurt," he said. "But I made sure I was prepared, just in case."

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