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David Butz was an American professional football player who played as a defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for a total of 16 seasons, from 1973 to 1988, for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Redskins. He was born on June 23, 1950, and passed away on November 4, 2022. He was a member of the Purdue Boilermakers football team throughout his time in college.
A Glimpse Of His Early Life
Butz was born in Lafayette, Alabama on June 23, 1950, however, he quickly relocated to Illinois with his family after leaving Alabama. In high school, he was a two-time high school All-American on the football team at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois. This school is located in Park Ridge, Illinois.
In addition to playing basketball, he won the discus title at the Illinois high school level and set a record for the state. He was the nephew of Earl Butz, who taught at Purdue University and eventually went on to serve as the Secretary of Agriculture for the United States of America.
The College Football
Butz participated in collegiate football at Purdue University, where he was a member of the team that was a finalist for the Lombardi Award in the year 1972.
He was named All-Big Ten First Team and MVP of the Senior Bowl. Butz joined Purdue’s All-Time Football Team and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
The Professional Football
Butz was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft (fifth overall), and he would go on to play for the Cardinals for a total of two seasons. In exchange for Butz, Redskins head coach George Allen sent the Cardinals three draught picks, including two in the first round and one in the second round.
Because of an error that was made in the rookie contract that Butz signed in 1973, he was eligible for free agency in the year 1975. Allen soon signed him, but the National Football League determined that the Redskins owed the Cardinals two first-round picks in 1977 and 1978 as well as a second-round pick in exchange for Allen’s services (1979).
After that, Butz spent the next 14 years of his career playing with the Washington Redskins, where he participated in three Super Bowl games. In the annals of the team’s history, he stands third all-time in sacks (59.5). In 1983, the year he set a career high with eleven sacks, he was selected to play in the Pro Bowl for the first and only time in his career. During his whole 16-year career, he was only absent from four games. When Butz was active in the NFL, he stood 6 feet 8 inches tall and typically weighed somewhere near 300 pounds. This made him one of the heaviest players in the league.
Butz is famous for his cry to the audience during the victory parade that followed the Redskins’ triumph in Super Bowl XXII. He said, “We came, we saw, we kicked their Butz.”
Butz made headlines when he famously checked himself out of the hospital in October 1987 so that he could play for the Redskins against the New York Jets. Butz won the game ball after sacking Ken O’Brien to stop a Jets drive late in the game, despite his weight dropping from 313 to 287 pounds and feeling dizzy in the second half due to illness. Following the conclusion of the game, he admitted himself back into the medical facility, where he remained until the following Wednesday.
On May 18, 1989, when Butz was 38 years old, he made the announcement that he was retiring from active playing. Between the years 1973 and 1988, he participated in 216 National Football League games, including 191 as a starter. Throughout his career, he recorded a total of 64 sacks. At the time of his retirement, he held the record for being the oldest starting player in the NFL.
Butz was recognized as one of the 70 greatest Redskins of all time and was chosen for the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1980s.
The Later Life And Death
Butz relocated to Belleville, Illinois early on in his career in the National Football League (NFL), and he and his wife, Candyce, remained there for the remainder of his life. Together, they raised three children in the area. In addition, he owned a residence in Fairfax, Virginia.
Butz participated in the decision-making process of the National Rifle Association as a board member in the early 2000s.
Butz passed away on November 4, 2022, when he was 72 years old.
Joe Theismann, His Former Teammate, Has Some Words To Say About His Passing
“Sad loss of a close companion today. It’s Dave Butz. When I was in high school, Dave, Mark Mosley, and I shared a ride to every game. A mighty giant with a heart of gold. Friends forever in eternity, “Joe Theismann, an ex-teammate of mine, made this comment on some sort of social networking platform – former teammate Joe Theismann.
Joseph Robert Theismann is an American restaurateur, sports commentator, corporate speaker, and former pro football player. He became famous as a quarterback in the National Football League and the Canadian Football League.
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