The football world just lost one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the sport.
NFL legend and Chicago Bears longtime defensive player Dick Butkus has passed away at the age of 80 years old, TMZ reports. Butkus spent his entire professional football career (1965-1973) with the Chicago team.
Butkus is considered to be one of the best defensive players to ever play the game of football, and garnered a plethora of nicknames throughout his career that attempted to encapsulate his playing style (The Maestro of Mayhem, The Animal, The Enforcer, etc).
His aggressiveness on defense led him to be named to eight Pro Bowls, as well as two Defensive Player of the Year Awards, and six All-NFL team selections.
Very Sad News: 8x All-Pro and #Bears legendary LB Dick Butkus has passed away at the age of 80, per @TMZ_Sports
The only downside to his full-throttle way of playing football was the injuries he suffered, which eventually led Dick Butkus to step away from the game earlier than he would have liked to.
Butkus retired in 1973 with over 1,000 tackles accounted for, 27 fumble recoveries, and 22 interceptions. The man was simply everywhere on the field, and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility (1979) because of it.
The Chicago Bears decided to retire his number 51 jersey back in 1994. A true full circle moment considering that Butkus got to play for his hometown team.
Dick Butkus was a legend who embodied what it means to be a Chicago Bear. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/8UEVuuZLwi