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Dick Butkus goes viral with Bears Twitter takeover

Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus
Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus

The Bears social media team handed the keys of the team's official Twitter account to the legendary Dick Butkus on Sept. 27, 2022. The Hall of Fame linebacker went viral as he unleashed a series of tweets, admittedly struggling to figure the app out during his night at Halas Hall.

Butkus began his short stint as the Bears social media manager with a simple "Hello" followed by an accidental video from his jacket pocket which caused confusion from fans who believed the account was hacked.

One of Butkus' first orders of action as the account manager was posting a Twitter poll to get fan votes on what they wanted to see him do. "Find Flus" ended up winning and Butkus took just 11 minutes to get a photo with coach Matt Eberflus.

Eberflus, who has shared how he idolized Butkus growing up, was excited to show him around Halas Hall, share dinner together and, of course, talk some football.

The Hall of Famer even shared stories from his playing days, revealing his favorite game of his career was against the 49ers on Dec. 12, 1965 at Wrigley Field. Butkus recalled former teammate and Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers' legendary six-touchdown game.

Butkus, who played for the Bears from 1965 to 1973, isn't a stranger to being a viral sensation on Twitter. He became active on the app in December 2021, and by January, he was engaging with fans, begging Twitter to be verified and voicing his support for the Bears and his alma mater, the University of Illinois.

Once Bears social media engagement specialist Monterey Pepper saw Butkus trending, an idea sparked to get him involved with the team's Twitter account. When Pepper heard a few weeks ago that Butkus was returning to Chicago for last Sunday's game against the Texans, she knew the timing was perfect.

"We knew we wanted to do something with him ever since he joined Twitter because he has such a great personality and sense of humor," Pepper said. "So when we heard he was coming into town for the game, we knew it was the perfect opportunity, especially being on a Tuesday night when there wasn't much happening on social media. We weren't sure how it would go, giving him full control of the Twitter, but he was all in and embraced his inner social media manager. The fans loved it."

Butkus caught the attention of fans, former players, current players and media outlets. When Butkus took over the account, it had 1.9 million followers. By the time he signed off, the Bears' follower count had surpassed 2 million.

Following Butkus' initial mishap, he found his No. 51 glowing on the wall of the player entrance at Halas Hall, later posing for a photo in front of it. Fond memories of his playing career resurfaced as Butkus saw the names and numbers of other Bears greats.

Butkus upped his selfie game throughout the night, first accidentally posting an off-guard picture of himself before tweeting "Oops didn't mean to tweet that. Not sure how to delete." However, Bears fans hyped up his selfie skills and Butkus eventually got the hang of it, later posting a smiling selfie.

As Butkus' time with the keys to the account was winding down, he continued to make his way around Halas Hall, telling old stories to anyone who would listen.

At 8:20 p.m. (CT), Butkus surrendered the account after being asked to do a "TickTock." While he was against it at first, Butkus came around and later starred in a TikTok on the Bears' account.