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SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame Nomination #1 - LeRoy Butler

The results are in for the Green Bay Packers nominated to the SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame ballot. Brew Crew BallAnonymous EagleBrew Hoop, and Bucky's 5th Quarter will be writing nomination posts for the 10 individuals to represent their respective teams and schools. I will be writing nomination posts for all 10 Packers that we nominated. I'm going through the list alphabetically, and I didn't keep an exact list of how many votes each player or coach received. But you might not be surprised to read that some of the nominees were on nearly every ballot.

But first I'd like to mention one player who didn't make the final 10: WR James Lofton. When I first became a Packer fan, Lofton was clearly the team's star. He's arguably the best player of the 1980s, he's at least in the top 5, and I was a little bummed he didn't make the cut. On the other hand, I'm not too broken up about excluding a player who was on the accused end of a couple of sexual assault allegations. Also, the top 10 is an impressive list, and I'd be hard press to decide who to cross off the list in favor of him.

If for nothing else, LeRoy Butler earned consideration for inventing the Lambeau Leap. But his play on the field was just as impressive.

While the Pro Football Hall of Fame has not inducted him, he was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s. His other accomplishments, 4-time Pro Bowler and 4-time First-Team All-Pro, are just as impressive. 

What I'll always remember about him was how he was clearly the 2nd best player on the great defenses of the mid-1990s. He could hit, cover receivers, and sack the quarterback. And one of the few good players GM Ron Wolf inherited from the awful teams of the early 1990s. And I can still remember the final big hit he made in 2001 that destroyed his shoulder and ended his playing career.

What I didn't know, before I did some research to write this post, was how he spent the first several years of his life in a wheelchair:

Surviving an impoverished childhood in a poor area of Jacksonville Florida and suffering through serious leg and foot problems that confined him to a wheelchair as a youth, butler experienced a miraculous healing in the seventh grade. He went on to be a three year starter at Florida State before becoming the packers second round pick in 1990.

Truly an amazing story, and we were lucky to have him on our team.