A leaping legend, LeRoy Butler enshrined in Pro Football Hall of Fame


CANTON, Ohio — Packers legend LeRoy Butler leapt his way into history Saturday, joining football’s very best.

The Packers Hall of Fame member was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Butler, who is credited with inventing the Lambeau Leap, won Super Bowl XXXI with the Packers.

A hard-hitting safety, Butler was selected by the Packers in the second round of the 1990 draft. He went on to spend 12 seasons in Green Bay, leading the team in interceptions five times. He tallied an interception in every season of his career except his last, including six picks in 1993.

1993 was the year Butler truly cemented himself into Packers, and pro football history.

During the December 26 game against the Raiders after scoring a touchdown, Butler ran towards the cheering fans at Lambeau Field and leaped into the stands to celebrate with them. A tradition was born, and now Packers fans sitting behind the endzone at Lambeau can expect to find a player in their arms after their team scores a touchdown.

While the 1993 season was his best in terms of the number of interceptions, Butler’s 1996-97 campaign may go down as his most memorable. The Florida native tallied 6.5 sacks, a career-best, and five interceptions, including one that he returned 90 yards for a touchdown. It was his only career pick-six, and he celebrated with a leap into the arms of the Lambeau faithful.

The year was capped off by a win over New England in Super Bowl XXXI. Butler tallied seven tackles and a sack during the victory.

Butler is now one of 28 Packers enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr and Ray Nitschke. Butler’s 1996 teammates Reggie White and Brett Favre are also Hall of Famers.