One name you should always remember in the history of professional football is Dick Butkus. Butkus played defense and offense at The University of Illinois. He was drafted by legendary owner and head coach of the Chicago Bears George “Papa Bear” Halas.

Butkus, even by today's standards, was known as ferocious, very aggressive, and a crushing hitter. He mastered the middle linebacker position. He was the third pick in the first round in 1965 by the Bears. He only played for the Chicago Bears from 1965-1973. He was a 8x Pro Bowler, 6x First-team All-Pro, 2x NFL Defensive Player, the Chicago Bears retied his No.51 also. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

When Dick Butkus retired in 1973, he had awful damage to his knees. Butkus would go to the Mayo Clinic, and they told him his knees were about the worst they ever saw. He ended up suing the Bears for compensatory and punitive damages. The Bears and Butkus settled out of court.

Dick Butkus to this day will always be considered the Gold Standard of middle linebackers. I just thought he was pure greatness going back to the fourth grade. I have been lucky enough to interview Dick Butkus 3-4 times. It was a spiritual experience too! If you love football at any age, don’t ever forget the name Dick Butkus. He is and always will be an iconic sports hero.

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