RIP Gale Sayers.
Does anyone remember watching him? I’m not young but still too young to remember him. Probably the greatest KU football player I’d say.
Here’s his wikipedia of his college days.
Sayers was recruited by several major Midwestern colleges before deciding to play college football at the University of Kansas. While being interviewed during a broadcast of a Chicago Cubs game on September 8, 2010, Sayers said he had originally intended to go to the University of Iowa. Sayers said that he decided against going to Iowa after the Iowa head coach, Jerry Burns, did not have time to meet Sayers during his one campus visit. During his Jayhawks career, he rushed for 2,675 yards and gained a Big Eight Conference-record 4,020 all-purpose yards. He was three times recognized as a first-team All–Big Eight selection and was a consensus pick for the College Football All-America Team in both 1963 and 1964.
As a sophomore in 1962, his first year on the varsity team, Sayers led the Big Eight Conference and was third in the nation with 1,125 rushing yards. His 7.1 yards-per-carry average was the highest of any player in the NCAA that season. Against Oklahoma State, he carried 21 times for a conference single-game-record 283 yards to lead Kansas to a 36–17 comeback victory. In 1963, Sayers set an NCAA Division I FBS record with a 99-yard run against Nebraska. He finished the year with 917 rushing yards, again leading all rushers in the Big Eight. He earned first-team All-America recognition from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), The Sporting News, and United Press International (UPI), among others. In 1964, his senior year, he led the Jayhawks to a 15–14 upset victory over Oklahoma with a 93-yard return of the game’s opening kickoff for a touchdown. He finished the year with 633 rushing yards, third most among Big Eight rushers, and also caught 17 passes for 178 yards, returned 15 punts for 138 yards, and returned seven kickoffs for 193 yards. He earned first-team All-America honors from each of the same selectors as in the previous year, in addition to the Associated Press (AP), among others.
Only 5 NFL seasons sadly.
“Just give me 18 inches of daylight, that’s all I need.”
nuleafjhawk last edited by
@wissox He was a fantastic football player. Someone (I don’t remember who) said he made moves that couldn’t be made. I saw him play pro football, but don’t remember any college games.
What sticks with me is that practically everyone who knew him said he was a better man than a football player. That’s a mouthful.
Texas Hawk 10 last edited by
My first exposure to Sayers was through “Brian’s Song” when I was in middle school before I was a true Jayhawk or even really cared about college football.
Had a couple of chances to meet him, once in high school at a trading card convention and he was one of the athletes they brought in to do an autograph signing. Unfortunately the picture I got signed was ruined when Hurricane Ike hit Houston in 2008. Then I met him again few years after I graduated from KU because my cousin was getting married in KC and I went over to Lawrence for a day and Sayers was at KU for some event with the alumni or WEF, not sure, and I bumped into him in the Union and talked for a few minutes. His dementia had started getting worse by that point, but he was still the nicest person ever.
Crimsonorblue22 last edited by
I think he’s letting them study his brain too.
@Crimsonorblue22 Yeah, I didn’t hear that, but he had sued the NFL 7 or 8 years ago about the concussions he had.
@Texas-Hawk-10 That’s a great story.
@nuleafjhawk I figured, as one of our, ahem, more ‘experienced’ members might remember Gayle Sayers!
I’ve heard frequently of his great personality and charming ways. That must have come from spending 5 years here in Chicago!
Sad news. I was too young to have anything but hazy memories of his years with the Bears (not to mention KU). What stood out for me was his six TDs in a game. His stature only seemed to grow after his retirement, especially in the wake of “Brian’s Song.” Never net the man, but kept hearing about what a great guy he was.
Farewell to the Kansas Comet, KU Football’s GOAT.
FarmerJayhawk last edited by
Damn. He was easily my favorite player of all time. His family spent some years in Speed, Kansas. Not far from where I grew up. Then obviously at KU then the Bears (and I’m a long-suffering Bears fan). They always say to never meet your heroes but he was an exception. RIP.
Wow, what a name for a town for the Kansas Comet! I’m wishing I’d seen him for my long suffering bears fandom as well.
Gale’s senior year was my freshman year, so I got to see him one season. He was fun to watch. I wouldn’t want to have been on defense trying to catch him. You knew every time he got the ball, he had a chance to carry it a long way.
FarmerJayhawk last edited by
Got a chance to watch Hawk Talk this week. The segment with Prof. Tom Hedrick is a must watch. Tells the story about how Gale Sayers was illiterate when he got to KU and Tom taught him how to read and write at night while taking classes at KU.