LeRoy Butler doesn’t disappoint, gives fans one more Lambeau Leap
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The stadium where Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler made his Lambeau Leap famous will now forever bear his name.
Charles Woodson said, “When you think of the Green Bay Packers, you think of the Lambeau Leap and then immediately think of LeRoy Butler.”
Now, Butler will always be remembered with his name on the Lambeau Field facade.
During a halftime ceremony at a primetime, Thursday night game, Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy led the crowd in a countdown before unveiling Butler’s name among other Packers legends on the ring of honor around the stadium bowl. Butler also received his Pro Football Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence.
From a kid who had learning disabilities to an All-Pro.
From a child who could barely walk to a man who could leap.
The Lambeau Leap made Butler famous, and fans hoped he would give them one more leap at his ceremony. He did not disappoint.
But he made tonight not about him -- much like his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech in August.
“Without these amazing teammates, this is not possible. Really quick, could you please give my teammates a standing ovation,” Butler said.
“I love the fans. And, one day, I want to see the fans/owners up on the facade. You deserve it,” he added.
The man who sweated and bled green and gold for 12 years in the Frozen Tundra had one last statement before leaving the field one last time.
“Go Pack Go!”
Butler told people at his Hall of Fame induction, “16 years is a long time to wait, but it was worth the wait.”
The ceremony fit the bill, too.
It will be cold for Thursday night’s Packers-Titans game, but fans will see something special that should warm their hearts. The Green Bay Packers are honoring a man who embodied the Packer way: LeRoy Butler.
Butler, who played for Green Bay from 1990 to 2001, became the 28th Packer inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past August. In a halftime ceremony, he’ll receive his Ring of Excellence and have his name added to Lambeau Field’s ring of honor.
Butler invented something at Lambeau Field that has become a staple for both Packers and players around the NFL: the Lambeau Leap.
Fans hope Butler does one last leap Thursday night.
“He was the epitome of team. He was the epitome of enthusiasm. He was selfless. It’s so great that a guy like that, invented the Leap, and we can always remember the Leap, and always remember LeRoy Butler,” Packers fan A.J. Watson said.
Butler as a child overcame poverty, learning disabilities and a bone condition that made it tough for him to walk and became an All-Pro safety for the Packers.
He retired as the first safety in NFL history to record 35 interceptions and 20 sacks in a career. He was also the first to jump into the stands at Lambeau Field, after a pick-6 against the Raiders on December 6, 1993.
Fans always knew he would eventually get his proper recognition.
”I think he’s waited way too long, first of all, to even get elected to the Hall of Fame. I knew once he would get elected into the Hall of Fame his name would be on the Ring of Honor. So, I think it’s about time he did,” Packers fan Mark Schroeder said.
Even Titans fans said they’re proud to be part of Thursday’s celebrations.
“I think it’s kind of cool to be a piece, a part of a piece of history. I love the stadiums where you walk in and feel the history and there’s history behind it. And, if he started that… Like, I didn’t realize that that’s who started that kind of tradition. That’s kind of cool, in my opinion,” a Titans fan named Tabitha said.
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