I was at work on break, when I read the horrible news. I let out such an audible gasp that my co-workers asked if I was all right. Some people may say I'm a bit emotional (or emotionally unstable, you take your pick) but I had tears in my eyes while I took in each word. After 12 years of excellent service, LeRoy Butler was hanging it up. Maybe I was just having an already bad day, but the news really struck me hard. Being a Packer for his entire career, he has been a constant for me. In all the years that I have been a Packer fan, he has been there. I never fathomed that this wonderful man would retire. He was always with a smile, whether he was sacking a quarterback or just doing the holster/gun routine with ol' Brett Favre. (Two years from now I will be in a corner of my basement rolled up into the fetal position, sucking on my thumb, and muttering incoherently when Favre retires.)
Butler started his career in 1990. Since I was somewhat young during this time, I just vaguely
remember a Butler and a Buckley in the backfield. (Buckley left soon after and nobody was too sad about that
decision.) Butler did have his problems, he was missing easy
interceptions and the like, plus I believe
he was getting headaches. (I'm
not looking any of this up for accuracy, just reaching into the depths of
my brain trying to remember anything that I can. Maybe I'm thinking of
Earl Dotson, it's not important.) Anywho,
that was fixed once someone realized the guy just needed contact lenses. That's when the magic began.
After Butler ran back a touchdown in 1993 against the Raiders, he
did something a little different than a dance in the endzone, he leapt
into the crowd. The Lambeau Leap has brought the fans closer to the players (literally) and serves as a christening for new players. Butler
created it and Robert Brooks perfected it, but other players have done
memorable, funny leaps as well.
LeRoy is such a staple I
just can't imagine the sideline or field without him there. Believe it or not, but the Green and Gold haven't always
been great. He was there
before they started building up a Super Bowl caliber team. After Favre and White came to the frozen tundra things got much better. Granted, the Cowboys
embarrassed us more times than I want to remember, but they finally got a
Super Bowl, and Butler got a sack against Bledsoe. Those were my favorite moments. Watching Butler go in for a sack. We, the TV viewers saw the blitz coming, but he was unstoppable,
nobody caught onto the fact that the safety was blitzing. Credit also goes to the late, great, Fritz Shurmur for all of LeRoy's sacks.
LeRoy Butler was charismatic
on and off the field; he was always willing to give interviews, regardless
of how the game went. He wanted to be a Packer for his whole career, and he proved it by taking two pay cuts in recent years. He
was an unselfish team player who just wanted the best for the group and
was willing to do whatever it took to reach that plateau. He was the only player left on the team who had been with all four
of Green Bay's last coaches. Butler
could rile the troops up to a victory with his pep talks, he was
definitely a leader in the true sense of the word.
Just writing this article
makes me think back on all of the players and moments that happened during
the past. Not back to
Lombardi and Bart Starr, I'm a new generation, the generation that's
going to look back at the 1990's and think of the shovel passes by Favre,
the sacks by Butler, the leaps by Brooks, the runs by Bennett and Levens,
etc. I could go on, and maybe I will in my mind, so if you'll
excuse me, I've got some reminiscing to do.By the way Butler, I'll miss you, thanks for the good times.
- Sarah Brovan is overly dramatic
The Butler Did It