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Dick Butkus Statue

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Old Nov 20, 2017, 10:14 AM   #1
Dan
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University of Illinois alumni Red Grange and Dick Butkus are considered as two of the greatest players in college and pro football history. Grange is already memorialized with a grand statue on the west side of Memorial Stadium, now, Butkus, the man many consider the greatest linebacker in football history, will be forever recognized with his own statue overlooking the entrance to a newly constructed football performance center.

"Dick Butkus is the greatest defensive player in the history of football, and he embodies the identity of the Illinois football program," Director of Athletics Josh Whitman said. "His toughness was legendary. His competitiveness was unparalleled. And, his Illini pride is without peer. As we construct the new home for Illinois football, we have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Dick's legacy. We hope that the Butkus statue will serve as a daily reminder to all those who enter the building of what it means to be a Fighting Illini."

Renowned artist and UI alum George Lundeen will produce a bronze statue of Butkus that will be placed near the entrance of the new football performance center expected to be completed in time for the 2019 football season.

http://fightingillini.com/news/2017/...l-project.aspx
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Old Nov 20, 2017, 10:30 AM   #2
redwingillini11
Location: Champaign
I'm not really sure I understand why some are uncomfortable with statues of legends who are still alive. Certainly in Chicago there is precedent (Michael Jordan, Billy Williams, Ernie Bank's was installed while he was still alive). I hope Mr. Butkus is ok with it, he seems a tad uneasy about the idea. But I am very glad that we are looking to further honor one of the football legends who is a proud Illini.
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Old Nov 20, 2017, 12:45 PM   #3
BananaShampoo
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I think this makes a whole lot of sense. I was thinking it would be at the East stands entrance but I know there's not a ton of room there, so putting it in front of the new performance center is probably the best option.

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Old Nov 20, 2017, 12:50 PM   #4
Dan
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Whitman: Butkus statue will greet everybody that comes through football performance doors. Will be done in 2019.

Whitman: Lundeen sat down with Butkus during HOF ceremony about the statue.

Whitman: The reason for statue is simple. We want to perfect Illinois identity and represent who we are.

Whitman: This is another great opportunity for us to solidfy that Illinois identity. Nobody embodies it better than Butkus: toughness, competitiveness, loyalty.

Whitman: We talked to Dick about this a year ago when we started HOF.

Whitman: Dick was very deferential and humble. More concerned about celebrating his teammates than himself.

Whitman: I've had a lot of highlights on this job. None have been as enjoyable as building a relationship with Dick Butkus.

Whitman: No design yet. Working with Dick and George Lundeen to get something everyone likes and enjoys.

Whitman: Want Butkus' "reckless abandon" on the field to show in statue.

Whitman: This is a great opportunity for us to celebrate a big part of our tradition. Grateful to Dick for allowing this. He'll be a part of this process.

Whitman: Never say never to other statues. "I don't have an active statue list or a top-4 list in my desk."

Whitman: Didn't have to break Butkus' arm for statue but we had to bend it a little bit.

https://twitter.com/JWerner247
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Old Nov 20, 2017, 12:54 PM   #5
EthanM
I feel like this is well over-due, and glad that the department is doing more to celebrate our history.
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Old Nov 20, 2017, 06:12 PM   #6
Illiniaaron
Location: Geneseo, IL
Awesome!!!! Hopefully a depiction of him tackling some running back while at the same time ripping his helmet off.
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Old Nov 20, 2017, 06:25 PM   #7
RenoGray80
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Great news!

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Old Nov 20, 2017, 08:07 PM   #8
Illini_1979
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Originally Posted by Illiniaaron View Post
Awesome!!!! Hopefully a depiction of him tackling some running back while at the same time ripping his head off.
FIFY
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Old Nov 21, 2017, 09:10 AM   #9
illiniwil
i know it would be huge and expensive, but if Mr Butkis wants to celebrate his teamates, then that's what he should get. lets do a 10-12 person statue with Dick as the center. They did win a rose bowl, right? pick the captains or seniors on that team and celebrate the rose bowl win. lets honor the team and individual, after all this is the ultimate team sport and thats what we want to breed.
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Old Nov 21, 2017, 11:45 AM   #10
FeelYourPaign
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I'm glad we're recognizing an icon of the sport. Butkus is synonymous with football.
And for us, he is synonymous with Illinois Football.
So, good for us showing that to the world.

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Old Dec 7, 2017, 06:48 PM   #11
Illini_1979
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Who doesn't love Butkus?



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Old Dec 9, 2017, 05:41 PM   #12
BRucks
Happy birthday

75 today.
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Old Dec 10, 2017, 04:16 PM   #13
Oldtoysrock
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Dick Butkus Statue

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Originally Posted by Illini_1979 View Post
Who doesn't love Butkus?




Why does all the “Butkus gear” have his number as 50? Is that to get around licensing rights?

Correction: Nevermind. So used to seeing his number as 51 with the Bears, I did not realize that 50 was his number at Illinois.


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Last edited by Oldtoysrock; Dec 10, 2017 at 04:23 PM.
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