Butkus speaks against steroids during Dad’s Weekend talk

Dick Butkus

NFL legend talks during Dad’s Weekend, answers questions from audience members

Steroids, modern football and the dream golf team were all on the table on Friday when Dick Butkus spoke at Oregon State University.

Butkus, an NFL hall of famer, answered questions in a Q-and-A segment with the general public at the LaSells Stewart Center on Friday. The event was a part of the Dad’s Weekend festivities at OSU.

Butkus was also promoting his I Play Clean campaign, which is an organization devoted to raising awareness of steroid abuse in high school sports.

Nearly a decade ago, Butkus had a moment that inspired the campaign.

“I was doing a reality show at a high school and overheard about steroids,” Butkus said.

After that incident, Dick Butkus decided to create I Play Clean with his son, Matt, and formed the organization in 2005.

“I thought I had to give back to the game. I didn’t want steroids to wreck the game,” Butkus said.

Butkus added that steroids are illegal, a form of cheating and are detrimental to young athletes’ health.

Monitoring the Future, a study done by the University of Michigan, reports that more than 400,000 high school athletes responded “yes” concerning steroid usage.

Butkus said education concerning steroids is the most important asset in the fight against steroids.

“If we can change one person’s mind, then it’s a success,” Butkus said.

Aside from steroids and talking about his organization, Butkus also took sometime to personally open up to the public.

One of the earlier questions asked Butkus who would be his dream teammates for golf.

He chose four football legends: Jim Brown, Dave Wilcox, Ray Nitschke and Gale Sayers.

The next questions after that were concerned with the state of the modern game.

Butkus isn’t a fan of the open camaraderie between players from opposing teams.

“I don’t get why (NFL players) we all circle up and pray with each other,” Butkus said. “You’re my opponent.”

Butkus added that players celebrate way too much in the modern game.

“It’s, ‘Hey, look at me,” Butkus said. “Who gives a crap about you?”

Another question asked was who were his favorite quarterbacks to hit. Butkus replied that tackling Green Bay’s Bart Starr and Baltimore’s Johnny Unitas, because they were the best quarterbacks of his era.

The last questions of the session focused on the spirit of the game.

“I love football (because) of the competitiveness of it … you learn about sportsmanship, teamwork, and competitiveness,” Butkus said.

Devoted Bears fan and Oregon State student, Elliot Wiitala, said he was thrilled to see Butkus’ presentation.

“It was an awesome opportunity to see one of the NFL greats speak at such an event,” Wiitala said.

http://www.dailybarometer.com/news/article_9e477f3e-4505-11e3-8804-0019bb30f31a.html

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