Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears Legend, Dead At 80

Dick Butkus
ick Butkus watches NFL soccer recreation in opposition to the Houston Texans Sunday, 2022, in Chicago. .Picture:

AP Picture/Nam Y. Huh

Dick Butkus, the legendary Corridor of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears, has died. He was 80.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s workplace confirmed to PEOPLE that Butkus was pronounced lifeless Thursday. TMZ Sports activities first reported his demise. His household additionally confirmed his demise in a press release to WGN.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Workplace spokesman confirmed that the paramedics responded to a name for a medical emergency at Butkus’ residence in Malibu at 12:52 p.m. Butkus was pronounced lifeless on the scene.

Butkus, born Richard Marvin Butkus, was born in Chicago on Dec. 9, 1942. He attended the College of Illinois from 1962 to 1964), the place he performed center linebacker. In 1964, he completed third in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

The Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos drafted Butkus for the 1965-66 season. He determined to play for his hometown and shortly after was chosen for the primary of eight consecutive Professional Bowls. Throughout his first season, he intercepted 5 passes.

Within the following eight seasons, he turned identified for his talent in stripping the ball throughout tackles, finally incomes him numerous nicknames, together with The Maestro of Mayhem, The Enforcer, The Animal, and The Robotic of Destruction.

The linebacker performed for the group till his 1973 retirement, and all through his profession gathered 1,020 tackles, 22 interceptions and 27 fumble recoveries. 5 years later in 1979, in his first 12 months of eligibility, he was elected to the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame.

Dick Butkus
Dick Butkus poses for photographs within the NFL Throwbacks retail merchandise assortment.

Paul Spinelli by way of AP

Butkus was additionally named to the league’s All-Decade groups all through his profession and was additionally named to the NFL’s seventy fifth and a centesimal Anniversary All-Time Groups.

Though Butkis did not play on the Bears’ 1985 Tremendous Bowl successful group, he was within the radio broadcast sales space.

“I liked doing that. The Bears had been so good and once we went to the Tremendous Bowl,” Butkis advised WGN final 12 months. “It was an amazing 12 months to broadcast since you knew they had been going to win, and also you simply make it thrilling. They had been one thing else. That group was actually one thing, man.”

After his retirement, the Downtown Athletic Membership of Orlando started awarding collegiate athletes with the Butkus Award to the excellent linebacker of the 12 months. Finally, The Butkus Basis gained management of the award in 2008, after which expanded the honors to acknowledge collegiate, highschool {and professional} gamers. The participant’s basis additionally labored to discourage steroid use amongst youngsters and frequently contributed to varied charities.

In a USA Immediately interview in 2021, Butkus mentioned he needed to be remembered extra for what he did after retiring.

“I simply assume the issues I’ve achieved since then with the Butkus Award,” Butkus mentioned. “I inform the youngsters, ‘First, you’re acknowledged as one of the best of one of the best linebackers within the nation. And second of all, and doubtless extra necessary, it takes on the accountability that it’s a must to give again and serve others.’”

After hanging up his #51 jersey, the linebacker starred in a number of TV exhibits and movies, together with Any Given Sunday, Grasp Time, and The Final Boy Scout. He additionally appeared in commercials for Miller Lite, Prestone, Schick and Visa. All through his retirement, he served as an analyst for CBS.

In recent times, Butkus gained a brand new following as a result of this Twitter feed, the place he continued commenting on the Bears and the NFL. In his 2022 WGN interview, Butkis mentioned his son acquired him thinking about it.

Butkus is survived by his spouse, Helen, and three kids, Ricky, Matt, and Nikki.

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