Dick Butkus dies: Former Chicago Bears player dies at 80

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Dick Butkus cheers before a playoff game between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles in January 2019.


Dick Butkus, hard hitter Pro Football Hall of Fame The linebacker, who starred for his hometown team the Chicago Bears, died at the age of 80 before his outgoing personality rose to prominence in television and film roles. declared Thursday.

Butkus “died peacefully in his sleep overnight at home in Malibu,” California, his family said in a statement posted on social media by Bears.

“The Budgus family gathers with Dick’s wife, Helen. They appreciate your prayers and support,” the family’s statement said.

Butkus was “the ultimate bear and one of the greatest players in NFL history,” Chicago Bears president George H. McCaskey was there. said.

“He’s a son of Chicago,” McCaskey said. “His contributions to the game he loved will live on forever, and we are grateful he was able to attend our home opener this year, one last time celebrated by his many fans.”

News of Butkus’ death broke less than an hour before the Bears were scheduled to open Thursday night’s game against the Washington Chiefs. Teams and fans He kept silent for a while before the game at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.

A ferocious tackler out of the University of Illinois, Butkus He was a force at middle linebacker for the Bears for nine of his NFL seasons in the 1960s and 1970s, and made eight Pro Bowls.

Putkus showed his intensity on the field and how he thought the game should be played An article on the Bears website.

“I thought everybody should have played like that, but I guess they didn’t because they didn’t say there was a special way I played,” he said when asked about his outrageousness, according to the article.

He retired at age 31 after playing part of the 1973 season and suffered a serious knee injury a few years later. was elected Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility. Butkus was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

In 1985, the Butkus Award was established and presented to the top linebacker at the professional, collegiate and high school levels.

Bears Retired Butkus’ no. 51 Jersey Named Budgus in 1994 The NFL’s All-Decade Teams — elected by the Hall of Fame committee — played for two decades and was voted into the NFL 75th And 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams.

Butkus finished his career with 1,020 tackles and 22 interceptions. ESPN reported.

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Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Butkus ventured into acting and announcing after retiring from Bears, appearing in dozens of television shows and movies — many alongside the former NFL defensive end. Bubba Smith, According to Bears website.

Former athlete There were roles Budgus Miller co-starred with Smith in a series of Lite commercials in shows including “MacGyver,” “Hang Time,” “Half Nelson,” “Blue Thunder” and “My Two Dads,” and he appeared on the silver screen in “Any Given Sunday,” “The Longest Yard” and “ Appeared in films like “Necessary Toughness”.

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Butkus also served as the Bears’ radio announcer for several years Team member on “The NFL Today” pregame show on CBS.

Richard Marvin “Dick” Butkus, a native of Chicago, was born on December 9, 1942, in the Fernwood neighborhood of the city’s South Side. A biography on his website.

There was Butkus The youngest of nine children and came from a blue-collar family of Lithuanian descent.

He began envisioning his future as a professional soccer player in fifth grade, the biography reads.

“I worked hard to become what society says you are,” Butkus said, according to his website. “It said you have to be tough. I was tough. Tough.”

The athlete honed his football skills at Chicago Vocational High School and the University of Illinois before being selected with the third pick in the 1965 NFL Draft. To the Bears website.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell remembered Butkus as a “fierce and passionate competitor”. Thursday.

“Dick’s instincts, toughness and athleticism made him the model linebacker whose name will forever be associated with the position and the Chicago Bears,” Goodell said.

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