June 24, 2013

Had a Legend in my Legend Yesterday: Went fishing with Dick Butkus

This weekend I volunteered to be part of an annual charity event in my area put on by former Eastern Washington University football player Michael Roos. He's currently an offensive tackle for the Titans and still makes time each year to give back to the Eastern Washington/North Idaho area. The Michael Roos foundation brings current and former NFL players in to fish and golf with corporate sponsors as part of the Fish & Chip Celebrity Weekend. They have a golf tournament one day and a bass tournament the second day. It's a great time and all of the money raised from sponsors and raffle items goes to the Boys and Girls Club in this area.

I was asked by the Idaho Panhandle Bass Club if I could help and jumped at the opportunity to help out a good cause. The next day my boat was in to get wrapped and I was ready to fish. The morning of the tournament I met with the corporate sponsor and guests and our NFL players, the legendary Dick Butkus.

He's an awesome guy and listening to his stories of the "old days" was awesome. We had him, myself and four other guys in the boat and it was basically all of us listening to NFL stories with some casts in between. He talked about how when he played, even as a superstar of the sport, he still had a regular job. Most of the players would work normal jobs and then practice after work and take time off during the season to play the games. Can you imagine that? Now, the NFL is a year round ordeal with most of the year taken up by games, training camp and getting ready for the next season. He also talked about the current NFL and how much their practice times are limited and heavily regulated, as well as the medical aspect of it today. He had no doubts he could have played longer in today's NFL.

The fishing itself was pretty bad, we caught tons of small fish but only had one decent smallmouth. I was wondering what was going on and why we weren't catching them when I looked back and saw something that would scare any superstitious bass angler (like myself).

I glanced back and saw Mr. Butkus enjoying a nice, ripe banana. If you follow this superstition you know it's serious. What did I do about it? Nothing. I pictured Butkus tackling with a vengeance and bit my tongue. The "Most Feared Man in the NFL" still scared me. Anyone else, they would have to make a choice, throw the banana out of the boat or be done fishing for the day.

YOU tell him "No Bananas"
He was a great guy and really enjoyed fishing. He talked about all of his different fishing adventures throughout the years and it was fun just listening. Even though the fish weren't big he was a good sport about it as you can see for this picture.

#51 with a monster smallmouth
A boatload
Team Butkus weighs in

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