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Gale Sayers - NFL Hero

Updated on March 29, 2012

On May 30, 1943, in Wichita, Kansas, "The Kansas Comet", Gale Sayers came into this world. Sayers is a former professional football player in the NFL. He played for the Chicago Bears throughout the entirety of his career.

Gale Sayers grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where he became a graduate of Omaha Central High School. Sayers was also an All-American player two times for the University of Kansas. During his time with the Jayhawks, Gale Sayers gained 2,675 rushing yards, and a close to 4,000 all-purpose yards. Sayers set the record in 1963 for the NCAA Division I with his 99-yard run versus Nebraska.

During his senior year of college, Gale Sayers led the University of Kansas Jayhawks to a 15-14 win against Oklahoma with his kickoff return of 96-yards. Many fans consider Gale Sayers to be the best open field runner in the history of college football.

Both the Kansas City Chiefs in the American Football League as well as the Chicago Bears in the National Football League drafted Gale Sayers. Sayers made the decision to join the Chicago Bears in the NFL. During his rookie season, he made one kickoff return touchdown, one punt touchdown, six receiving touchdowns and fourteen rushing touchdowns setting an NFL record of 22 touchdown total.

During his first season as a player in the NFL, Gale Sayers gained nearly 1,400 yards from scrimmage as well as just over 2,270 all-purpose yards. Scoring six touchdowns in the December 12 game against the 49ers, Sayers tied with Dub Jones and Ernie Nevers for the record for most touchdowns in a single game. That year, Gale Sayers was the obvious choice for the NFL Rookie of the Year honor. In spite of his remarkable efforts, the Bears came in third in the NFL Western Conference behind the Packers and the Colts.

During his career, Gale Sayers set quite a few records including most touchdowns as a rookie in his first season, most touchdowns in a single game, highest kickoff return career average, and most return touchdowns in a single game as well as most kickoff return touchdowns.

In 1971, Billy Dee Williams portrayed Gale Sayers in the TV movie Brian’s Song, which was the story of his friendship with fellow team member Brian Piccolo during his struggle with embryonal cell carcinoma, a type of fatal cancer found in the chest cavity. The most noticeable aspect of his friendship with Piccolo, who was a white man, was the effect their relationship had on race relations.

The movie was filmed in a time when charges of discrimination and racial riot were commonplace all across the country. Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo were truly devoted to and respectful of one another as well as comfortably affectionate. When Sayers was injured, Piccolo helped him with all the tortures of rehabilitation. Just the same, when Piccolo was ill, Sayers was right there at his side the entire time.

The movie, which was an adaptation of Sayers’ telling of his own story in his autobiography in 1971 titled I Am Third. The film was remade in 2001. This time, the role of Gale Sayers was played by Mekhi Phifer.

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    • profile image

      Catalina 4 years ago

      Derek Lofland / Big Frank Let's start with the easy one, drop Alex Smith. I see no reason to keep him awyany, doesn't make sense with the other two quarterbacks you have. Second, you certainly want to keep Rivers. He is 30-years old and durable, so he should have another 6 years of stellar play. Last year was an off year for him, but he still finished ninth among fantasy quarterbacks in an off year. Durable and great point totals is what you want from your fantasy QB.That leaves the choice down to Bowe or Vick as the other keeper. You could go either way here. Bowe will eventually report to KC and unless he is out of shape or hurts himslef, he should be around 1,000 yards and 6-8 touchdowns. Furthermore, he is going to be a free agent and I would not expect him back in KC. As a free agent, he would hopefully upgrade his QB situation and he turns 28 years old in September. A new situation could give him excellent value for the next 3-5 seasons. Your other strategy could be to keep both VIck and Rivers and trade VIck to a team that needs a quarterback upgrade for a wide receiver or running back. My experience is that most people want to get the moon for free in fantasy trades, but you could go that route. If you can't move Vick, you have two good quarterbacks in case one goes down. I'd probably lean toward keeping Bowe, because I tend to play things safe in my fantasy league and I don't think you need a good backup with Rivers. The Vick move has a litttle more risk, but the upsdie is good if you can find someone that is willing to part with a good player for VIck. Good luck.

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      Phillyfreeze69 7 years ago

      I have voted this hub up! and bookmarked...I have been a fan of Gale Sayers since I was a skinny 15 year old kid playing organizied football(my team was call the "Gentle Giants"). I remember quite vividly the 5 touchdowns he scored playing on muddy field in 1965. One of the most elusive runners I have ever seen.