Sad News out of the NFL. Gale Sayers, who played for the Chicago Bears from 1965 to 1971, has passed away. He was 77.
For those too young to know Sayers from his playing career, may be more familiar with the movie Brian’s Song. The movie was based on Sayers’ autobiography ‘I am Third’. Both showcased his friendship with Bears teammate Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer in 1970.
The Hall of Famer, who earned the nickname Kansas Comet after his college career with the Kansas Jayhawks, was an electric running back and kick returner.
He was selected by the Bears fourth overall in the 1965 NFL Draft. His first NFL season remains among the best rookie seasons of all time. Sayers set a league record by scoring 22 touchdowns. He gained 2,272 all-purpose yards. He tied an NFL record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game. He was named the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1965.
Through his first five seasons, Sayers was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He was also named a first-team All-Pro selection five times.
Sayers was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. At only 34 years old, he is still the youngest ever to be enshrined.
When NFL Network revealed the running backs on the list of 100 greatest players last year coinciding with the league’s 100th season. Sayers made the list.
Fellow Hall of fame running back Barry Sanders, who also made the list, said of Sayers, “To me, he seems like one of those guys that we often say is before his time, the kind of athlete he was, the cuts he made. … It’s almost like ballet because it’s so graceful the way it catches your eye.”
Sayers was the epitome of an NFL legend.
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