The 20 Biggest Baddest Bears of All Time; #1 Who Else But Dick Butkus
You'll notice there is no number associated with Dick Butkus' slide. That's because there is no need to put a number next to his name; his name stands alone.
There really isnít a question about who the biggest, baddest Chicago Bears player is in the history of the franchise. And there really isnít a debate about who the biggest, baddest player in the history of the NFL is either. Itís Dick Butkus.
Butkus is the personification of what football isóa manís game where the linebackers are meant to be feared.
Butkusí reputation in the NFL is legendary among even some of the toughest players in the league.
With Butkus, you donít need to rattle off his stats because the stories connected to him as a player suffice. Butkus was the most intimidating force in the history of the NFL by a large margin, so stats arenít necessary.
Deacon Jones famously said in an NFL Films documentary, ďÖevery time he hit you, he tried to put you in the cemetery, not the hospital.Ē
Any time there's footage of Butkus, itís only fitting that the great John Facenda narrates the action, because only that voice can do justice to how Butkus played.
Tom Jackson of ESPN spoke from Butkusí biography Flesh and Blood in the ESPN Sports Century feature on Butkus that ďhe would pick out somebody on the other sideline and imagine that that person had done something to his family done something to his mom, so that he could really start to hate them when the game started.Ē
There are times when you watch highlight videos of Butkus that you could argue heís trying to rip the head off the ball-carrier. Clearly, you can see Butkus with his arms wrapped around the head, neck and shoulders jerking the defender to the ground with a twisting motion.
Perhaps, fate intervenes and keeps the head from twisting off, but it seems Butkusí intent on the football field was clear.
To sum him up, I can only present one of the best quotes Iíve heard regarding Butkus, via an NFL Films transcript, because I cannot write enough to do justice to the meanest, toughest, most intimidating player in the history of the NFL:
ďHe was Moby Dick in a gold fish bowl. His nine-year career stands apart as the single most sustained work of devastation EVER committed on a football field by anyone anywhere any time. To talk about him is to drain the vocabulary of superlatives.Ē