Gale Sawyers: A Legend Gone to Soon
One of the world’s greatest running backs, Gale Sayers has sadly passed away due to a battle with dementia at 77 years old.
"All those who love the game of football mourn the loss of one of the greatest to ever play this game with the passing of Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers," Baker said in a statement according to NFL.com.
"He was the very essence of a team player -- quiet, unassuming and always ready to compliment a teammate for a key block.
Gale was an extraordinary man who overcame a great deal of adversity during his NFL career and life. Gale played in only 68 NFL games because of an injury that caused his career to be cut short .
"The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Gale. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ardie, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will fly at half-staff until he is laid to rest." said NFL.com. Sayers was considered a “lightning bolt” in the Bears backfield, with the ability to take it the distance with every touch.”
During his ridiculous run with the Bears from 1965-1971, the running back epitomized the phrase "keeps defenders awake at night." Sayers struck fear in the hearts of tacklers every time he touched the ball.” It was without a doubt that he deserved a place in the hall of fame.
"The NFL family lost a true friend today with the passing of Gale Sayers. Gale was one of the finest men in NFL history and one of the game's most exciting players," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Gale was an electrifying and elusive runner who thrilled fans every time he touched the ball. He earned his place as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. We will also forever remember Gale for his inspiration and kindness. Gale's quiet unassuming demeanor belied his determination, competitiveness and compassion."
Sayers was also named to the 1960s All-Decade Team, the 50th anniversary All-Time team, the 75th anniversary All-Time Team and the NFL 100th anniversary All-Time Team. As you can see, he was missed on the field, but he will be even more missed now as his passing has touched many hearts that were around him.