Chicago Bears

Sad: Chicago Bears youngest WR have passed away at the age of 23…See more 

Sad: Chicago Bears youngest WR have passed away at the age of 23…See more


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Dick Butkus, the bears legend, passes away


Dick Butkus, a legendary Bears Hall of Fame middle linebacker and Chicago native who many still consider the most ferocious defensive player in NFL history, has passed away. He was 80.


The Butkus Family released the following statement: “The Butkus Family confirms that football and entertainment legend Dick Butkus died peacefully in his sleep overnight at home in Malibu, Calif. The Butkus family is gathering with Dick’s wife Helen. They appreciate your prayers and support.”


“Dick was the ultimate Bear, and one of the greatest players in NFL history,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement. “He was Chicago’s son. He exuded what our great city is about and, not coincidently, what George Halas looked for in a player: toughness, smarts, instincts, passion and leadership. He refused to accept anything less than the best from himself, or from his teammates. When we dedicated the George Halas statue at our team headquarters, we asked Dick to speak at the ceremony, because we knew he spoke for Papa Bear.


“Dick actually possessed a tender touch, though maybe his rough exterior deterred some people from approaching him. His charitable legacy included efforts to promote heart health and ban performance-enhancing substances from sports. We are happy that he was able to attend our home opener this year to be honored one final time by his devoted followers. His contributions to the game he loved will always endure.


“We extend our condolences to Helen, Dick’s high school sweetheart and wife of 60 years, and their family.” Butkus was the classic village boy turned good storyteller. He was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, excelling at Chicago Vocational High School and the University of Illinois until the Bears took him with the third pick in the 1965 NFL Draft, one pick ahead of future Hall of Famer and enduring comrade Gale Sayers.


Butkus, who spent all eight of his NFL seasons with the Bears from 1965 to 1973, is still regarded as one of the team’s most beloved athletes. With brilliance, anger, and hatred, he was a formidable and unrelenting force. “I would rather go one-on-one with a grizzly bear if given the chance,” former Green Bay Packers running back MacArthur Lane once declared. “I pray that I can get up after every time Butkus hits me.”




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