It’s 8-time Pro Bowler and NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus!
Dick Butkus, full name Richard Marvin Butkus, is a former football player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the sport. He was born on December 9, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Butkus attended Chicago Vocational High School, where he began to showcase his exceptional football skills. He continued his football journey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he played college football for the Fighting Illini from 1962 to 1964.
During his college career, Butkus earned a reputation as a fierce and dominant linebacker. He was known for his aggressive playing style, incredible tackling ability, and leadership on the field. In 1964, he received the prestigious Silver Football award as the Big Ten Conference’s Most Valuable Player.
After an impressive college career, Butkus was selected as the 3rd overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He immediately made an impact in the NFL, becoming the anchor of the Bears’ defense for the entirety of his nine-year professional career (1965 to 1973).
As a middle linebacker, Butkus was known for his intense and intimidating presence on the field. He was a tenacious tackler and possessed an unparalleled ability to read and anticipate plays. His aggressive and hard-hitting style earned him a reputation as one of the most feared defenders of his era.
Butkus was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times during his career and was a six-time First-Team All-Pro selection. Despite being plagued by various injuries throughout his playing days, he still managed to amass an impressive number of tackles, interceptions, and forced fumbles.
Injuries eventually caught up with him, and Dick Butkus was forced to retire after the 1973 season. Despite his relatively short career, he left a lasting impact on the game of football and is often cited as the epitome of what a linebacker should be.
After retiring from professional football, Butkus transitioned into a successful career in the entertainment industry. He became an actor, appearing in various movies, television shows, and commercials. He also pursued a broadcasting career, working as a football commentator and analyst.
In 1979, Butkus was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, solidifying his place as one of the greatest players ever to grace the gridiron. His number 51 jersey was retired by the Chicago Bears as a tribute to his exceptional contributions to the team.
Off the field, Butkus has been involved in various charitable activities, including supporting organizations related to cancer research and child health.
Overall, Butkus remains an iconic figure in football history, known not only for his outstanding skills on the field but also for his impact on the game’s legacy and his contributions to the broader community.