Gale Sayers was known as the “Kansas Comet”. He was one of the most remarkable NFL players to ever put on a helmet despite the fact that his career was only 68 games. Even with such a small sample size, he still resides in the Hall of Fame and that says it all about who he was as a player and the very least about who he was as a person. Today, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Sayers went home to glory at age 77. He had been diagnosed with dementia in 2012.
Sayers played for the Chicago Bears for five seasons from 1965-1969. In 64 games he hit paydirt for 56 touchdowns. He once family quipped, “Give me 18 inches of daylight, that’s all I need.” To this day, word to Deontay Wilder, Sayers STILL holds the record for rookie touchdowns with 22.
Another part of Sayers’ career lies in the 1971 film Brian’s Song that depicted the deep friendship between the hall-of-famer and the white player named Brian Piccolo who was diagnosed with terminal cancer after being drafted in 1965. Sayers and Piccolo were the first interracial roommates in NFL history. Despite their differences in temperament, race, and culture, the men became best of friends and if you don’t cry while watching this movie then you likely don’t have a soul.
Rest in peace, Gale Sayers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
The Professional Hall Of Fame has created a beautiful tribute to Sayers honoring his life and legacy. Watch and learn about his powerful story below.