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Happy Birthday, Dick Butkus

Dick Butkus does not get older. Instead, time hurries to keep up with him out of fear. However, on the anniversary of #51’s entry into an under-prepared world, it’s worth remembering a few facts about the legend.

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Dick Butkus is one of the true legends of Chicago, and the man's career and life help to define the sport of football in the Windy City.

Before becoming a Bear, Butkus helped the University of Illinois to a Big Ten title in 1963, and the award for the best collegiate linebacker carries his name. He finished third in Heisman voting in 1964, and was drafted in 1965 by the Bears alongside Gale Sayers.

As an 8-time pro-bowler and 6-time first-team all-pro selection, Butkus was part of the long line of middle linebackers who helped to define Chicago. Too much player for a single decade, he was named to both the NFL’s All-1960s and All-1970s teams. Rated as the #10 NFL player of all time, Butkus was once named by Sports Illustrated "the most feared man in the game."

None of this really embodies Dick Butkus, however. If you want to understand the man, watch him play. Find some video, get some popcorn, and set aside human empathy for a moment in order to focus on a man who put the fear of navy and orange into the opponents of the Beloved.