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Chicago Bears to honor Gale Sayers during Sunday's game
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Chicago Bears to honor Gale Sayers during Sunday's game

Chicago Bears to honor Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers, the Chicago Bears' hall of fame running back, smiles after scoring six touchdowns against San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 12, 1965. 

The stories are distinct, but their origin is the same: a neighborhood so vibrant, so unified that individual accomplishments and devastations touched every house from Tech High to Kountze Park. A neighborhood where, depending on the night, they might see Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Ray Charles, James Brown, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens or Jackie Robinson – just walking down 24th Street. A neighborhood despite its humble size and remote location in middle America, became a progressive beacon in the national protest movement, recognized by would-be presidents and would-be revolutionaries.

The Chicago Bears will honor former running back Gale Sayers during Sunday's regular-season finale against the Green Bay Packers.

The tribute will feature a stenciled circle on the field with his last name and No. 40 jersey number.

Sayers, the Omaha native and Central grad, died Sept. 23 at the age of 77.

The hall of famer, who suffered from dementia, invigorated the NFL in the 1960s with his highlight runs. As a rookie in 1965, Sayers scored a league-record 22 touchdowns.

At 34, Sayers became the youngest inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sayers' No. 40 jersey was retired by the Bears in 1994.


Gale Sayers through the years, 1943-2020

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