Dick Butkus

As we posited in our Kermit “The Killer” Cintron post, men with unusual names can easily develop a reputation for extraordinary toughness, perhaps because only the tough ones make it out of the schoolyard unscathed. As further evidence for this claim, we present today’s subject, who was possibly the meanest, toughest, tackle-you-till-Tuesday-and-eat-you-for-breakfast linebacker of all time.  His name is a famous one: Dick Butkus.

Benjamin Franklin was a smart man and honest man – in fact, like all founding fathers, he never lied [citation needed] – but there was a significant omission in one of his most famous quotes. Now, 223 years later, we can update his now-famous words:

“…but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except:

  • 1. Death
  • 2. Taxes, and
  • 3. When people start listing funny names, they will eventually mention ‘Dick Butkus’ ” – Benjamin Franklin, 1789 [citation needed].

    The Marlboro Man also reads articles about Dick Butkus.

Why? Because Richard Marvin “Dick” Butkus had a hilarious name, and a dead serious reputation. A good linebacker can tackle most ballhandlers, a great one can tackle almost everyone, but Dick Butkus could level anyone, make them see stars, and strip the ball out of their hands. We’ll never know his true greatness because the “forced fumbles” statistic wasn’t recorded during Butkus’ time, but when he retired, after only nine seasons, his 27 fumble recoveries was an NFL record.

Why did he retire so early? Well, despite Butkus needing surgery on both of his knees, the Chicago Bears propped him up on painkillers and didn’t let him seek a medical opinion from anyone other than the team doctor – because Butkus was such a big attraction they couldn’t let him sit out any games. This is because Dick Butkus is awesome.

So awesome, in fact, that the only way I can describe his awesomeness within any sort of word limit is in bullet form. It’s kind of like Chuck Norris facts, except these are 100% true:

  • He has 48 film and TV credits, which doesn’t include his 28 credits appearing “as himself.”
  • Though his playing career lasted less than one decade, he was named to two NFL all-decade teams (for the 1960’s and 70’s)
  • After his career ended, he forgave the Bears management and served as a color commentator for their radio broadcasts for the 1985 season. That year, the Bears Super Bowl Shuffled to their only Super Bowl title ever.
  • He founded the Dick Butkus Foundation, which oversees at least four separate charities
    • I Play Clean, a foundation to fight steroid use in high school athletes
    • The Dick Butkus Center for Cardiovascular Wellness, a nonprofit organization to help those at risk of heart disease (a.k.a. “Health – Dick Butkus giveth what he once taketh away”)
    • Charity Fight Night, an annual event featuring celebrity boxing, sports memorabilia and artwork auctions, and magic, with all proceeds going to charity.
    • The Legends 51 Cabernet Sauvignon Charity Wine, which benefits the Butkus foundation’s I Play Clean program
  • I repeat, he sells wine for charity
  • A guy named Hub Arkush oversees the 51-member selection committee for the Dick Butkus Award, given to the country’s best linebackers who also demonstrate commitment to their communities.
  • Rocky Balboa’s dog is named “Butkus,” despite Balboa’s character being from the home of the rival Philadelphia Eagles
  • He singlehandedly helps small businesses go global by making them apologize to him
  • In the 1990’s, he promoted the Qwik-Cook Grill – a grill which used newspaper as its main fuel

Any questions?

About Dave

Based out of San Diego, California. Co-founder of the Blog of Funny Names. funnynamesblog.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Greatest hits. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Dick Butkus

  1. Joe Pineda says:

    Dick Butkus was by all accounts an incredible human being. I’m glad he was finally mentioned.

    • Dave says:

      He certainly is. Further proof that funny names = greatness.

      Are you still sure you don’t want to name your firstborn Bone Wars Pineda?

  2. Arto says:

    I like the reference to “ballhandlers”. Seems appropriate.

    • Dave says:

      You’ve gotta love the unintentional pun. That thought didn’t even cross my mind.

    • Dave says:

      I think I also set the record for longest hyphenated adjective in the history of the Funny Names Blog.

      I kind of feel like Dick Butkus should be one of our mascots. Others I’ve considered: Outerbridge Horsey VII, Taffy Nivert, Livingstone Bramble, Ed Balls, Van Lingle Mungo, Learned Hand, Dudley “Mush” Morton, Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley “Dido” Armstrong, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Cal Clutterbuck, Dr. Cornelis Bontekoe, and of course the great Stamford Raffles.

      Sounds like we may need to open up another poll, don’t you think?

  3. drewpan says:

    Hahahah you can’t make fun of Dick Butkus!

    • Dave says:

      I agree. That’s why this post ended up being so reverent… No one who’s made fun of Dick Butkus ever survived.

  4. Bumba says:

    You could make a whole blog just with funny sports names!!!!! Oh… I guess you are. How ’bout Hawthorne Wingo, who played briefly for the Knicks? Yogi Berra? Earl the Pearl?

    • Dave says:

      Oh man, those are all really good. Eppa Rixey is one of my all-time favorite baseball names, as are Ossee Schreckengost and Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma (“Cal” “Bus” or “Buster”) McLish – who we’ve blogged about already. “Piano Legs” Hickman and Burleigh Arland “Ol’ Stubblebeard” Grimes probably have the two best nicknames in baseball.

      Basketball’s had some good ones too: Elgin Baylor, Lloyd “World” B. Free (who rocked the balding afro look like it was going out of style… of course that would necessitate the Art Garfunkel look ever being in style), Chauncey Billups, Bimbo Coles, Muggsy Bogues, Zydrunas Ilgauskas… there are so many good ones!

    • Dave says:

      Good stuff! Keep your eyes open for a shout out in our post this morning (June 19th) – it’s our 100th post and we’re celebrating with a reader appreciation post.

  5. Wow – what a name!!!

  6. Pingback: Dick Dickey « The Blog of Funny Names

  7. Tim says:

    Where have you guys gone! I miss your blog…

    • Dave says:

      We’re still here! If you click our Blog’s name at the top of the post, you’ll see that we’re still updating every weekday, and occasionally on weekends too! Thanks for coming back!

  8. Pingback: Johannes Gutenberg « The Blog of Funny Names

  9. Pingback: Xzavie Jackson | The Blog of Funny Names

  10. Pingback: Grand Finale: One and Only Poll, Dave’s Greatest Sports Names | The Blog of Funny Names

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