Dick Butkus Butkus: Flesh and Blood

ISBN 13: 9780385486484

Butkus: Flesh and Blood

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9780385486484: Butkus: Flesh and Blood
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From 1965 to 1973 Dick Butkus was the most revered player in professional football. Although he never played for a championship team, and one can't say he set all kinds of records, no other defender in the entire history of the NFL has so electrified the game. The stories about Butkus are legendary. They make him sound so intense, so ferocious, and for the most part they are frighteningly true. Yet underneath the layers of mythology resides a man who is as thoughtful and emotional as he is intense.

In Butkus, Dick Butkus tells his entire life story, from growing up and getting into trouble in Chicago, to his uncomfortable yet glorious years at the University of Illinois. He reveals what it felt like to be the ninth child of two hardworking Lithuanian parents--one of whom was born in a Illinois coal mine, the other never fully learned to speak English--and the camaraderie and contentment he experienced while playing football. He recounts the historic nine seasons with the Chicago Bears where he played with and against such immortals as Gale Sayers, Jim Brown, Brian Piccolo, Mike Ditka, and Joe Greene.

Dick Butkus looks deeply into his own psyche to find the source of his passionate style of play--a style that has often been described as violence and intimidation on the football field. With honesty and emotion, he recounts his battles with George "Papa Bear" Halas, the NFL, and the media.

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Review:

Like his no-nonsense tenure as one of the dominating linebackers in NFL history, Dick Butkus's no-nonsense autobiography covers plenty of ground, offers no excuses, scares the hell out of you (you will never look at your knees--or your doctors--in quite the same way again), and, in the end, entertains with his candor and verve. Butkus has axes to grind, and he grinds them wonderfully, but he also is capable of examining his own behavior. What emerges is a portrait of an athlete willing to explore--roots, warts, and all--the aggression and rage he rode to glory on the field, and the challenges he faced trying to harness those same emotions off the field.

About the Author:

Pat Smith is a television writer for ESPN and "ABC's Wide World of Sports," and has also written for the New York Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Esquire, Playboy, and Sports illustrated.

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