Bears fans mourn the passing of legend Dick Butkus

A lot of die-hard Bears fans showed up to watch Thursday night's game together at Gracie O'Malley's in Wicker Park. There was a lot of heartbreak when they found out – some, just after having arrived – that Bears legend Dick Butkus had passed away.

"He was a linebacker that changed the game. Changed the position really. He really brought the legacy and really started what became known as the Chicago Bears' defense. The Monsters of the Midway," said Steph Cerveny, a longtime Bears fan.

No one in the league was more feared than Butkus, who made eight pro bowls and was twice named Defensive Player of the Year.

"Fifty-one: My first high school football number because of Dick Butkus," said bartender Mike Stamp. "Little choked up here. Dick Butkus. True legend, through and through. Chicago Bear forever."

"He was a legend," said Josh Cerveny. "His career accolades speak for themselves. The All-pro, the Pro-bowls, the Defensive Players of the Year. He was such a good player, such a good linebacker. Not only that, but he continued to be such a big part of the Bears organization."


Chicago Bears legend Dick Butkus dies at 80

Dick Butkus, a middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears whose speed and ferocity set the standards for the position in the modern era, has died. He was 80.

"It's terrible. You hate to see a Chicago legend pass," said Kirby Platt. "He had an incredible career. He was an incredible person. He did a ton for the city of Chicago and I'll always be thankful for that."

TMZ Sports reports the 80-year-old Butkus was found unresponsive at his home in Malibu, California, where was pronounced dead shortly before 1 p.m.

"I appreciate Dick Butkus and sorry to see him go," said Platt.

"Rest in peace, Dick," said Stamp.