You can’t call yourself a real Green Bay Packers fan if you don’t know the first player to do the famous Lambeau Leap. If you said LeRoy Butler (pronounced “L’Roy”), then you know your stuff. Indeed, Butler first performed the famous leap into the end zone stands on December 26, 1993 in a game against the Los Angeles Raiders.
What’s amazing about LeRoy Butler is that during childhood, he was pigeon-toed. The doctors had to break bones in both feet to correct the problem, leaving Butler in either a wheelchair or leg braces for much of his early childhood. When Butler was eight, his sister accidentally knocked him out of his wheelchair and scattered his leg braces. Forced to move without any assistance, Butler found he could walk and run normally and so began his athletic career with a game of kickball in the street outside.
Butler was a three-year starter for Bobby Bowden at Florida State, where he made history as the goal scorer in the “puntrooskie” play against Clemson in 1988. With the game tied, FSU all the way back on their own 21-yard line, on fourth down, Bowden called a fake punt. Butler ran 78 yards on that play which set up the winning field goal.
Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1990, Butler never called any other field home during his storied NFL career. A four-time All-Pro selection as well as four-time Pro Bowler, Butler is most proud of his Super Bowl XXXI ring. He has been named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team and was the first defensive back in NFL history to earn a spot in the 20 Sack/20 Interception Club.
LeRoy Butler is very active with speaking engagements and anti-bullying promotions across the state of Wisconsin. The Lambeau Leap started by Butler has become a Packer tradition, continued by Packer players and copied by visiting teams ever since 1993.
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