Throwback Thursday: Sylvester Stallone once had a bull mastiff named Butkus. Obviously they were best friends.

Sly Stallone has always been a low-key hero of mine for one reason. He wrote the movie Rocky, and refused to sell it to anyone that wouldn’t let him play Rocky. Most Actors wait forever to get the perfect role, Stallone just up and wrote one for himself. He just penned an all-time classic no big deal.


Then I found out about his dog Butkus, and I somehow like the guy even more. I wore number 51 in junior football and freshman year because of Dick Butkus. Sly was obviously a fan as well. He got Butkus in 1971 when he was learning screenwriting and living in squalor. Butkus the the perfect name for a bull mastiff, Dick Butkus was a bull mastiff of a man.

Butkus the dog was an inspiration, who was by Stallone’s side as he wrote Rocky. Sly’s financial situation was so bad he couldn’t afford Butkus and was forced to sell him for $40. Soon after, Sly was able to sell Rocky, but the owner wanted $15,000 for the dog. “Worth every penny” – Sly Stallone.

In fact the entire reason that Adrian worked in a pet store was so that Butkus could be in Rocky. In Rocky II Butkus makes an appearance as a gift from Adrian to Rocky. The two train together for Rocky’s rematch with Apollo Creed.

It may be Cage Week at Atrainsports, but The Bears play the Packers tonight and a dog named Butkus is just what the Dr. ordered.

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