Show Menu

Dick Butkus Tribute

Dick Butkus: A Tribute to a Legend

Dick Butkus, the Hall of Fame linebacker who was one of the most feared and respected players in NFL history, died on October 5, 2023 at the age of 80. Butkus, who played for the Chicago Bears from 1965 to 1973, was known for his ferocious hitting, incredible athleticism, and relentless pursuit of the ball carrier. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler, an eight-time All-Pro, and a member of the NFL’s All-Time Team.

Early Career

Butkus was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1942. He played high school football at Chicago Vocational High School, where he was a two-way star at linebacker and running back. He was recruited by several top colleges, but he ultimately chose to stay close to home and play for the Illinois Fighting Illini.

At Illinois, Butkus was a dominant force on defense. He was a two-time All-American and was named the Big Ten Conference’s Most Valuable Player in 1964. He was also a key member of the 1963 Illinois team that won the Rose Bowl.

NFL Career

Butkus was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the third overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft. He made an immediate impact on the Bears’ defense, helping them to a 9-5 record and their first playoff appearance in five years.

In 1966, Butkus had his best season as a professional. He led the NFL with 31 interceptions and was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. He also helped the Bears to a 10-3 record and their first division title in 12 years.

Butkus continued to be a dominant force on the Bears’ defense for the next several seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl every year from 1965 to 1973 and was selected to the All-Pro team eight times. He also helped the Bears to the playoffs four times during that span.

Retirement and Legacy

Butkus retired from the NFL in 1973 after suffering a knee injury. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Butkus is widely regarded as one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history. He was known for his ferocious hitting, incredible athleticism, and relentless pursuit of the ball carrier. He was also a great leader and teammate.

Career Highlights

  • 9-time Pro Bowler
  • 8-time All-Pro
  • NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1966)
  • NFL All-Time Team
  • 2-time All-American (Illinois)
  • Big Ten Conference Most Valuable Player (1964)
  • Rose Bowl Champion (1963)

Butkus was also a successful businessman and philanthropist after his retirement from football. He founded the Butkus Foundation, which provides financial assistance to former NFL players and their families. He was also a spokesperson for several major companies, including Nike and McDonald’s.

Butkus was a true legend of the game of football. He was a fierce competitor, a great leader, and a role model for millions of fans around the world. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 1 vote