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Throwback Thursday: Dave Butz Finds A Creative Way To Cool Off His Gargantuan-Sized Body


For today's Throwback Thursday moment presented by

SUBWAY*® restaurants, spoke with Dave Butz about a unique way in which he stayed cool during the heat of training camp.

During his era, Dave Butz was one of the most imposing players in the NFL and perhaps the biggest on the Redskins. The gargantuan defensive tackle played at 6-foot-7, 315 pounds.


But Butz learned that being so big and thick front to back can present challenges. He felt that his body structure, for one, made it difficult to shed some of the heat he encountered in warm temperatures. That left him with the need to improvise—no matter how cold the idea.

During the summer at Redskins training camp at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn., he'd spend time in a sub-zero refrigerator near a cafeteria on campus.

"I found out that if you stayed in there for 12 to 15 minutes," he said, "just about the time that you're eyebrows start to freeze together is the time you have to come out. It took out all that heat after practice and really had a calming affect and allowed me to get some sleep when I went back to the room."

Butz is one of the best defensive tackles to ever play for the Redskins, ranking seventh in team history in sacks (35.5). He spent 16 seasons in NFL, the last 14 in Washington, and played at 315 pounds in the days before before 300 pounders were commonplace in the NFL.

His feet were a size 13 with a 7-E width, and he had a 19½-inch neck and wore a specially ordered 8¼-inch helmet. He was so colossal that Redskins safety Kenny Houston, who played with Butz for six seasons, thought he could seriously injure an opponent, albeit unintentionally.

For those reasons, it's easier to understand why the mountain of a man needed a little help cooling off. He spent time in the freezer during his last five summers in Carlisle. Toward the end, he said, other players used it such as famed Redskins offensive tackle Joe Jacoby, another behemoth at 6-6, 320 pounds.

"I wouldn't say smaller guys wouldn't be able to do it," Butz said. "But bigger guys need it just to draw the heat out of your body from practice and get you more relaxed so you can catch some sleep before afternoon practice."

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