Dick Butkus is known as one of the meanest football players in NFL history. He’s also one of the most dominant linebackers the game has ever seen. A standout middle linebacker at University of Illinois and then for the Chicago Bears across the 1960s and early ‘70s, the stories about Butkus would sound like urban legend if they weren’t verified by so many of his peers and caught on video.
At 6’3 and 245 pounds, Butkus would still be a big linebacker today — and he was massive for his era. No one hit harder. Hall of Famer Deacon Jones famously said of Butkus “every time he hit you, he tried to put you in the cemetery, not the hospital.” Butkus had a reputation for doing whatever it took to intimidate his opponents. He would allegedly bite players during pileups, or gouge them in the eyes. He reportedly once went out of his way to run over Vikings QB Fran Tarkenton after intercepting him. I’ve always deeply loved a clip of Butkus picking off the Houston Oilers, and then shaking the ball in their receiver’s face before running downfield.
In addition to being ruthless on the field, Butkus has long had a reputation for being hilarious off of it. ”I wouldn’t ever go out to hurt anybody deliberately,” Butkus once said. “Unless it was, you know, important—like a league game or something.” It’s probably no surprise that he went on to have an acting career after he retired.
Butkus is now 79 years old and continues to be involved in his charity foundation. Over the last few weeks, Butkus has had one main objective: to get verified on Twitter. Butkus joined the platform in September 2020, and all the man wanted was a blue check. He went about it with his typical wit.
hey @AaronRodgers12 help me get verified or more than your toe will be hurting— Dick Butkus (@thedickbutkus) January 14, 2022
Butkus finally got his wish on Friday when a blue check mark showed up next to his name. Finally Dick Butkus was verified.
His first move with a blue check mark? Call out anyone who ever doubted his ability to get verified.
just like that got the blue hashmark— Dick Butkus (@thedickbutkus) January 21, 2022
now lets start calling out all of the doubters
Butkus spent the rest of the day responding to fans. While he gave plenty of thoughtful and kind messages to people congratulating him on his check mark, he also roasted folks when he felt like it.
he almost looks like a homeless leprecon with that beard— Dick Butkus (@thedickbutkus) January 21, 2022
sorry you are still trapped in a kids body— Dick Butkus (@thedickbutkus) January 21, 2022
Of course, he had to take aim at Rodgers again. Yes, that Bears-Packers rivalry runs deep. Rodgers famously told the Bears he owns them during the regular season, and he’s essentially been doubling down on being a miserable idiot for months now.
Butkus isn’t letting him off the hook.
now that i have the blue mark i can kick people off of the platfrom right— Dick Butkus (@thedickbutkus) January 21, 2022
you hear me @AaronRodgers12
also sorry to disappoint some of you packers fans now that im trendy its not becuase im dead— Dick Butkus (@thedickbutkus) January 21, 2022
Please let Butkus keep tweeting like this forever:
its been over an hour since ive been verified and i dont understand why none of the sponsorship money has hit the account yet— Dick Butkus (@thedickbutkus) January 21, 2022
thank you to everyone inviting me onto podcasts and into their basements and all that— Dick Butkus (@thedickbutkus) January 19, 2022
”If I had a choice, I’d sooner go one-on-one with a grizzly bear,” former Green Bay Packers running back MacArthur Lane once said of Butkus. “I prayed that I could get up every time Butkus hit me.”
For younger readers who aren’t familiar with Butkus, check out these highlights:
Seriously: they don’t make them like Butkus anymore. What a treasure.