Dick Butkus says Brian Urlacher's "pride got hurt"

It was in jest this morning that I suggested Dick Butkus and Olin Kreutz now weigh in on the little brouhaha going on between Gale Sayers and Brian Urlacher.

It was a joke.

Well, Butkus, the Hall of Fame linebacker, has weighed in. Not surprisingly, he’s come to the defense of his former teammate, Sayers. Contacted by Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune, Butkus said it’s unlikely Urlacher knows what Sayers accomplished during his playing days after Urlacher pointed out Sayers didn’t win a thing.

“It's a real reach to say: 'What did Gale do?' (Shoot), Urlacher wasn't even born yet, what does he know?

"I say things to other people, too, about the Bears. It's total frustration. You think (Sayers) is saying it because he hates the Bears? You get so tired of sitting there watching them."

Urlacher pointed out that Sayers was part of a 1-13 team in 1969, and the fact is during Sayers’ seven seasons the Bears had just two winning seasons and didn’t qualify for the playoffs once. In the dreadful ’69 season that coach Jim Dooley somehow survived, Sayers rushed 1,032 yards and eight touchdowns a year after knee surgery. There were no simple scopes done on knees back then.

"I think he is a little out of line by the way he is handling the whole thing and blaming the whole (1969) season on Gale," Butkus said. "That's uncalled for."

Sayers said he isn’t sure if Urlacher, who missed nearly all last season after wrist surgery, will return to form and Butkus echoed that very sentiment. Butkus was selected to eight Pro Bowls in his career. Urlacher has been picked to six.

“The truth of the matter is that I think Gale is absolutely right when you talk about a linebacker who has played nine years and he is coming back off an injury," Butkus said. "I would say that there should be some concern whether he can reach his ability again.

"I've gone through it. To go nine years and come out with knee injuries ... you know your ability is going to be hampered a little bit. (Urlacher) is dead wrong right there. Maybe that's why he was trying to deflect that part of it by saying: 'Well, what does he know? He never won.'

"It's a little defensive move on his part. His pride got hurt.”

Now, if they want to take this feud to the next level, maybe it’s time for Mike Ditka to weigh in on the situation. Sayers was critical of Lovie Smith as well.

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