Friday, October 06, 2023


Whenever I hear the name 'Dick Butkus', I am reminded of two personal memories. Neither really has much to do with the Chicago Bears legend, who passed away this week.

The first is from when I was a child watching the Rocky movies.

Bear in mind, I live in the UK and this would have been before American football - and its history - entered my life.

Rocky Balboa's dog in the movie was called Butkus in honour of the player. I obviously didn't know anything about Dick Butkus at the time, so assumed Sylvester Stallone had written the dog's name as 'Butt Kiss'.

I cannot recall when realisation dawned on me, but I am sure it created a  'Eureka!' moment when it did.

The second Dick Butkus memory I have comes from a time when I was a younger adult.

My colleagues and I went for a few drinks after work one Sunday afternoon and ended up inside a bar in Cardiff city centre.

This must have been in 2000 or - most likely - 2001 because I can recall one of the conversations I had with one of my friends from work that day was about Dick Butkus and his involvement with Vince McMahon's XFL 

WWE Tribute To Dick Butkus

Later on that day, in the same venue, my friend went to the toilets and was punched by a couple of guys. 

My friend is mild-mannered so we knew for sure he didn't go looking for trouble that day. It found him.

I cannot recall what happened immediately after we realised what had gone down other than all of us eventually leaving the pub with my friends cheek all puffed up due to the strike.

Even to this day, I think back and consider how surreal that moment was. Such a cool, relaxing day after work turned into something spoiled by drunken idiots.

And those are the Dick Butkus memories for you. 

As I stated, they don't really relate much to the man himself, but - whenever I have heard his name mentioned over the years, and especially over the past few hours - I've found myself smiling and getting irked by the duo 'Butkus' reminisces. 

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