|Help Put Jack Butler In The Hall...|
|Written by Cotter|
|September 29, 2010 11:44|
As I'm sure you all remember - for at least the past several years leading up to his induction this past August, there was a movement to finally get Godfather of the Zone Blitz, Dick LeBeau into Canton.
Well, it's now time for us Steeler fans to help another Pittsburgh legend (and fellow Cornerback) finally get the recognition he deserves.
Jack Butler was one of the Steelers corners from 1951-1959. In only nine seasons, he made four pro bowls, averaging just under 6 picks a season (grabbing 10 in 1957 alone) at a time when seasons were only 12 games long. So, it's really no surprise that when the Steelers voted their All-Time team for the franchise's 75th Anniversary a few years back, Butler was among the 33 selected (he was also selected to the All-Time team when the Steelers voted at their 50th Anniversary).
He was second on the list in terms of total interceptions when he retired (and is still 24th on the list - with one less INT than Ty Law, who played 15 16-game seasons, and only 10 less than Dick LeBeau - who played 14 mostly 14-game seasons - with 52 total), and was both an NFL Player of the Decade for the 50's as well as one of the Top 300 of all time. He's still #1 in forced turnover percentage per games played, and 42 years ago today, the great Johnny Unitas told Jack's son John (right before dropping 41 points on the Steelers) that Jack was the best defensive back he had ever played against.
In addition to his playing career, he then spent the next 46 years scouting NFL players, 44 of those as the Director of BLESTO (Bears, Lions, Eagles, Steelers Talent Organziation) - one of the organizations that supported what we know today as simply the NFL combine.
I'm not going to pretend like I'm an expert or anything (after all, when Butler started his career in 1951, I was still a solid 31 years from even existing), and I certainly don't claim to be any type of historian, but I think it's safe to say his contributions speak for themselves.
As you surely know, a lot of the older NFL alumni have gotten overlooked by the hall voters as the years have gone on. Players are eligible five years after the date they retire, but if they aren't elected then or shortly thereafter, they can unfortunately start to slip the minds of the selection committee. Which is, of course, why they need people to remind them of hall-worthy candidates.
And so Jack's children have started a movement to get the voting committee to elect Jack as at the very least a Contributor for his 56-year involvement in professional football. They have set up the site Jack-Butler.com (as well as a Facebook page), which has information on Jack's career, along with a guestbook that they are using as an online petition of sorts to show the voters that fans think Jack should be in the Hall along side all of the other legends.
So, if you wouldn't mind supporting the cause, I'd urge you to go at least sign the guestbook in support.
It always feels good to help a former Steeler get recognized for his achievements.
If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.