Butkus: Flesh and Blood

Dick Butkus, Author, Pat Smith, With Doubleday Books $22.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-48648-4
Butkus made his mark as a high-school football star in Chicago at the Univ. of Illinois and, from 1965 to 1973, as a middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears. Although the pro team never won a championship during those years, Butkus played with such intensity that he was recognized throughout the league as probably the best defensive player in the game, an opinion reinforced by his election to the Football Hall of Fame. With freelancer Smith, he tells of his childhood in a Chicago blue-collar family of 10 kids, the citywide recognition he received as a high-school junior, his selection as an all-American in college and his success in the pros, when he played much of the time on a badly injured and painful knee shot full of analgesics by the team physician. He credits much of his excellence on the field to the support of his family and to such coaches as Bill Elliot and George Allen. He is also candid about Papa Bear George Halas, whom he recognized as piratical but liked anyway, and his lack of dedication to his postfootball career as a part-time actor in commercials and movie bit roles. Fans will enjoy. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
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