When the NFL’s 100 Greatest Players of All Time list was assembled back in 2010, legendary Chicago Bears middle linebacker Dick Butkus was voted 10th by the panel. He was presented by longtime Indianapolis Colts offensive line coach Howard Mudd. A story he told about Butkus pretty much sums up the legend’s personality at the time.
“[Newly hired Bears coach] Jim Dooley had a team meeting, and Butkus said, ‘Hey Jim, let me talk,’” Mudd said. “Jim Dooley let him talk. It’s Dick. So, Dick says, ‘You know, we woudn’t have any fucking problems here if you fucking guys would get your head out of your ass and play like you’re supposed to.”
Perfect name… at the time.
These days, as one of the elder statesmen of the NFL, he’s found a third career as a funny uncle. As gut wrenching as the Double Doink loss was for Bears fans, Butkus getting overexcited while riling up the crowd and losing his hat was damn near adorable. Even while standing next to Brian Urlacher, who became a Hall of Famer in the middle but is nowhere near center these days.
So after one an eyesore of a victory on Sunday, who better to brighten the spirits of Bears fans than Uncle Dick. He was in Halas Hall on Tuesday evening, and was granted access to the team’s Twitter account. Butkus just kind of mulled around the building for a couple of hours taking random pictures and video. The best of which was him filming his clothes and the floor for 15 seconds. Reminds you of those family Zoom calls from 2020 doesn’t it.
The very next video is him trying to film himself by a fancy decoration of his name and number. I don’t know if that was his first try at it, but it sure took him a while to get the phone camera to clearly show his face. Come on Uncle Dick, turn the camera around and make sure your face is eye level with the lens. Butkus stuck the landing perfectly when, in his final tweet, he spelled TikTok “TickTock.”
Of course it’s another example of the Bears clinging to their past as their future appears shaky, but teams that have living legends should bring them around. Give the Bears credit. this was certainly a creative way to do so. Also, Butkus is a perfect choice because while he struggled with the camera, he does have some experience with social media. Bears fans certainly get a kick out of him poking fun at Aaron Rodgers
Since the end of his career, the Chicago Vocational High School legend first made his change from a snarling, head knocking, grizzly, to a charming actor. Sure in most of his roles he’s playing some kind of tough guy, but he’s still able to have fun with it and not come off as just a brute from the “real man” era of football with three-a-day practices, limited padding, and even less money. Whether he was the ex football player who ran a diner in My Two Sons, or the head basketball coach in Hang Time he brought a real sense of humor to the roles. A likable hard ass is always good for television.
Butkus reigned over the NFL for nearly 10 years through terror and intimidation, six decades ago. Now, he’s providing some needed laughs for many of his nieces and nephews who still love his team.