STONE PARK - Just a skip away from Chicago's west side, the 1965 version of Dick Butkus arose this morning to mark the start of the Chicago Bears season.
"We could hear the ground shake...and we're in Roselle!" said excited fan Tony Spizziri.
At approximately 5:30 a.m. Central Standard Time, Dick Butkus arose from his months-long slumber, crawled through the recesses of the Chicago muck and mire, and proceeded to look for his shadow. With cloudy skies, the famed middle linebacker could not find his shadow. However, upon finding a streetlight, Butkus found his shadow...and proceeded to beat it into a thousand pieces.
"I looked outside to see some guy in a full-sized Chicago Bears jersey," said a shocked Mary O'Brien of Stone Park. "He was just mashin' stuff with his hands, knocking down streetlamps...yelling...something about, 'the time has come!' Something about wanting to find Bart Starr...I don't know, it was mainly incoherent."
Every year, Butkus arises from a various location in the Chicagoland area. The annual moment occurs on the morning of the first Bears pre-season game.
"Thou shalt start the season with anger!" exclaimed the Hall of Fame linebacker. "Let the trumpets proclaim this is the day. Let the angels sing the song of songs! Meatballs awake! Bring forth your incoherent appreciation for backup quarterbacks! Harness your hate for coordinators and head coaches! Yearn for comparisons to the 1985 team that are ridiculous! Put too much faith in pre-season scores! Bring me your over-reactors, your preachers, your stupid! I shall cheer thee to the day of days when the regular season begins! Then, thou shalt complain about lack of blitzes and 15 yard corner cushions! Come ye! Come ye!"
At this moment, the clouds parted, lightning shot down from the sky. The faces of Nagurski, Grange, and Bulldog Turner looked down. Billy Dee Williams' voice echoed, 'I love Brian Piccolo.' Papa Bear smiles in the distance...and just as quickly, the sky closes, Butkus disappears...and the beginning is here.
The Bears will play the Denver Broncos tonight at Soldier Field...at time of press, no word if the 1965 version of Dick Butkus will attend.