The Chicago Bears are 4-3 and reeling, while the Green Bay Packers are 5-2 and rolling. Today, these long-time rivals will face each other once again. The rivalry has many angles, but one of the most debated is Butkus versus Nitschke.
Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke were both Hall of Fame linebackers. Nitschke played several more seasons than Butkus, whose career was cut short by knee injuries. That is about the only "win" one could claim over the other.
The truth is both are all-time greats. I am a Bears fan, yet I can't say that Butkus was better than Nitschke. It is just that close. You cannot go wrong with either choice.
I met Butkus a few years ago and it was quite a thrill. Last summer, Matt went to Nitschke's Northern Resort. He got to hold one of Nitschke's many trophies.
Matt looks very happy holding the trophy (almost as happy as when he won the Johngy Points trophy in a football pool, but I digress). I'd like to see Matt that happy again. The best way for that to happen would be for the Bears to get the win today (and then for Matt to win another Johngy Points trophy later in the season, but I digress again).
Matt Parker and Ray Nitschke's trophy in Minocqua, WI-Summer 2012.