Sports Birthdays for December 9 — Dick Butkus and More
Here are some of the people in the sports world celebrating birthdays on December 9:
Profession: Retired NFL Player
Best Known For: An eight-time Pro Bowl defensive end, Deacon Jones played for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins from 1961 to 1974. Part of the Rams’ ‘Fearsome Foursome’ defensive front line along with Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier, and Merlin Olsen, Jones was the first man to use the term ‘sack’ in relation to tackling a quarterback behind the line of scrimmage. He registered nearly 200 sacks at a time when the statistic was unofficial. Jones was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and he was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and 1960s All-Decade Team. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.
Profession: Retired NFL Player
Best Known For: An eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker, Dick Butkus played for the Chicago Bears from 1965 to 1973. An intimidating and intense force at linebacker, Butkus was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and 1960s and 1970s All-Decade Teams. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. In his honor, the Dick Butkus Award, noting the most outstanding linebacker at the high school, college and professional levels, is given out every year. He has had an active career as an actor and broadcaster since his retirement from football.
Profession: Pro Golfer
Best Known For: Winner of 19 PGA Tour events, Tom Kite has been a pro golfer since 1972. He won the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach for his only major victory, but he competed on seven U.S. Ryder Cup teams, serving as the captain in 1997. Kite was named the PGA of America Player of the Year in 1989. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.
Profession: Retired Olympic / Pro Wrestler
Best Known For: Winner of a gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Kurt Angle is considered one of the greatest U.S. amateur wrestlers of all-time. He won two NCAA championships at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Angle began wrestling with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1999, eventually winning every possible championship belt. Angle joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) in 2006 and has been a five-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Angle has been featured in several film and TV roles during his wrestling career.
Profession: Olympic Gymnast
Best Known For: McKayla Maroney is a U.S. Olympic gymnast. She was a member of U.S. women’s gymnastics team that won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Maroney also won a silver medal in the vault in London. During the medal ceremony for the vault, a photo taken of her disappointing glance turned into an internet meme: ‘McKayla Maroney is not impressed.’ She recreated the face when she and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team met President Barack Obama at the White House later in 2012.