For those old enough to remember the glory days of the “Monsters Of The Midway” Chicago Bears teams of the 60’s , then you remember the great Gale Sayers fondly. Nicknamed the “Kansas Comet” for his speed, Sayers parlayed that speed into a career at Kansas university as a running back. His skills were exceptional enough to attract the eye of the Chicago Bears, who drafted him in the first round, the fourth pick overall in 1965.
From then on Sayers would run circles around the NFL.
Using his favorite phrase ” just give me 18 inches of daylight, that’s all I need.” Though he only played seven years. Sayers would set the standard at the time for what is now know as the “all-purpose” player. Not only did Sayers play running back, he also returned kickoffs and punts for the Bears and Set a then-record eight returns for touchdowns.
What’s even more special about Sayers is that for five seasons he was first-team all-pro and ended his career with 9,435 all-purpose yards. He also has the honor of sharing single-game touchdowns scored record with six in one game against the San Francisco 49ers. Sadly, a torn ACL would sideline him by the time he reached his sixth year and he was never the same after that…
Sayers was inducted as a player into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1977, but his mark is still felt in the football world as the all-purpose player became and still is a extremely important position at all levels of football. Unfortunately, Sayers would pass away at the tender age of 77 this past Wednesday. The “Kansas Comet” is flying high watching over the football world.