Who Turns 75 on Saturday and is Still Scary? This Guy
Depending on your age, it may be hard to fathom that Dick Butkus turns 75 years old tomorrow (December 9th). Some of you may remember him in his prime as the most feared player in football, some might remember the TV commercials and acting. Some may only know him from hearing "back in the day" stories.
It was 53 years ago this month that the Chicago Bears signed Dick Butkus after an outstanding career at the University of Illinois. Sports Illustrated’s Dan Jenkins wrote a cover story during Butkus’ senior season with the Illini, in which he had this to say about Butkus:
If every college football team had a linebacker like Dick Butkus of Illinois, all fullbacks soon would be three feet tall and sing soprano. Dick Butkus is a special kind of brute whose particular talent is mashing runners into curious shapes.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Seventy-five years old? Butkus? The Bears great and former radio analyst? The two-time consensus All-America pick at Illinois?
It almost seems impossible, but then you do the math.
This is a guy who was celebrated in a 1959 Tribune story while still a high school junior playing at Chicago Vocational. Back then, Butkus was hailed for making almost 70 percent of his team’s tackles at middle linebacker and averaging 5 yards per carry as a fullback while also handling the punting and kicking duties.
For those who've never seen what Dick Butkus used to do to opponents on the football field, here's what you missed. For those who do remember, here's what you're missing seeing on Sundays:
Happy Birthday, #51!