We decided to do a countdown to the Chicago Bears season opener on September 8th versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Thanks to one of our Twitter followers,se decided to combine the countdown with a roster preview of sorts.
We’re Dick Butkus days until the Chicago Bears strap em up for real. What, did you think I’d do Jim Morrissey when we’re just 51 days from kickoff? In my mind, there is no other #51 in Bears history besides Butkus.
Butkus is the epitome of an old-school, black and blue division Chicago Bears linebacker. Don’t just take my word for it. Here is his segment as #10 in the NFL’s all time Top 100:
Butkus was named to 8 Pro Bowls and was named First Team All Pro six times and Second Team All Pro twice in his nine seasons with the Bears. He was a player of the decade for both the 1960′s and 1970′s while twice being named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1969 and 1970.
Butkus finished his career with the Bears registering 1020 tackles, 22 interceptions and 27 fumble recoveries but it wasn’t all seashells and balloons for Butkus and the Bears. His knees gave way and cut short an amazing career. He actually blamed the Bears for keeping him on the field when he should have had surgery:
Butkus filed a lawsuit against the Bears in 1975, claiming the Bears knowingly kept him on the field when he should have had surgery on his knees. The Bears denied Butkus and their other players the right to seek second opinions with doctors other than the Bears team doctor. The team would also distribute painkillers so that Butkus, a major gate attraction, would be active.
Butkus’ #51 was retired (along with teammate Gale Sayers) on a rain soaked Halloween night in a frustrating loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.
We’re 51 days from kickoff. Are you ready???