him. At best, it left him with
a lifelong limp, two knees he
wasn't born with, seven
for the last 19,400-some days.
tormented him for the last 53 -- Jack
Butler pauses and gets a twinkle in his eye
like a kid on Christmas morning.
game, the action, the friends I made ...
loved everything about it. I would have
played forever if I could have."
to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but the
call from Canton finally came on Feb. 4,
2012, the day before Super Bowl XLVI in
The NFL invites finalists to the Super
case they are elected, so Butler and his
wife, Bernadette, daughter Maureen, and
son John hunkered
down in an Indy hotel
room. The league said
they'd call by 5:30, but
when 5:30 and 5:45
and then 6 p.m. passed,
pessimism filled the
leave, but when they said
on TV they were about to
announce the new class,
Maureen Butler Maier, class of '78 and
the oldest of the Butlers' eight children.
at the game, Jack was still in a state of
er vote?'" said John Butler, who present-
ed his dad for induction and helped him
unveil the bronze bust. "We were getting
ready to go to bed that night and he
looked at me and said, `100 percent
sure?' And I said, `yes, Dad, 100 per-
making the Hall of Fame. His omission
was of far more concern to family and
Jack Butler, `51, wouldn't
change a thing about his
remarkable life in football
photo shoot in front of Devereux Hall before the 1950 St. Bonaventure football season.