So long to an icon. I loved watching him when I was a kid.
Dick Butkus, Legendary NFL Linebacker, Dies at 80
The Chicago Bears Hall of Famer defined the middle linebacker position and instilled fear with his ferocious hits
Dick Butkus, the legendary Chicago Bears linebacker who instilled fear into offensive players with his powerful blows, has died, the team said Thursday. He was 80 years old. His family said he died peacefully in his sleep overnight.
In his nine NFL seasons ending in 1973, Butkus became the archetype of the middle linebacker position. He led the Bears’ defense, delivered ferocious hits and became an icon in the same town where he was born.
“Dick Butkus was a fierce and passionate competitor who helped define the linebacker position as one of the NFL’s all-time greats,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “Dick’s intuition, toughness and athleticism made him the model linebacker whose name will forever be linked to the position and the Chicago Bears.”