Skip to comments.Former KU and Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers is battling dementia
Posted on 03/20/2017 3:47:04 PM PDT by GreyFriar
WAKARUSA, IND. More than 50 years after Gale Sayers, the Kansas Comet, inspired awe as a Jayhawk, he was honored in January in Topeka by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas as one of its Kansans of the Year.
At a table near the front, Sayers was seated next to his wife, Ardythe, as a mesmerizing KU-produced tribute played.
But Ardie Sayers has come to believe its onset was years before that possibly even as far back as when he returned to Kansas in a fund-raising capacity for a time in 2009.
While she considers Sayers, 73, physically healthy as a horse and notes he is working out with a trainer several days a week, she added, That brain controls everything, doesnt it?
(Excerpt) Read more at kansascity.com ...
Dwight Clark announced he has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) today too. Who’s gonna be the 3rd?
He and Barry sanders are the best running backs I ever watched.
Sayers was the most exciting running back in the history of the NFL.
Now I’ve got the “Brian’s Song” theme playing in my ears.
IIRC Tony Dorsett is battling the same thing.
More and more I’m thinking football just isn’t worth it. I think a lot of parents are coming to that same conclusion with their kids.
Even Bo Jackson said, he’d never allow his kids to play football.
I acknowledge that football probably played a part in the brain problems that many players are suffering. I am curious about the millions of others who get Alzheimer’s, sometimes much younger and never having played football. I would also be interested in seeing the stats on elder football players who don’t have cognitive problems. Just want some perspective on this issue.
Something also that occurs to me is that athletes tend to have much different dietary habits than non-athletes, I’ve often wondered if that plays a role as well.
Sad news. Sayers was the most exciting running back I ever saw. And he made those amazing cuts on grass - not turf. As great as Barry Sanders was, he did much more damage on turf than on grass...
Yes. What are the stats when compared to the population at large, the racial peer group, that generation, diet, heredity...lots of variables.
Greatest running back I ever saw. And more importantly, his autobiography, “I am Third,” one of the most moving testimonials of faith I have ever read. One of my heroes.
Agree. I need two new knees in the near future. I was (for decades) an avid downhill skier and runner, so it’s not surprising. BUT I would have still skied and run, knowing that in my 60’s I might need new knees. I might feel differently if it was my brain that was affected by my activities, but more stats on the general population would be interesting at the very least.
I agree with that.
The Bears were so lucky to have Sayers then followed by Walter Payton as well. There is more talent in that trio than all the active RB's today.
Prayers for you Mr Sayers, and for your family as well.
If you can't get enough, this film is 10 minutes long:
Yeah. Had a new hip 8 yes ago. Pretty much everybody on Mom’s side of the family get new ones in their 50s.
Sorry to hear about this. All too often this is happening merely because we are living longer, He had the added burden of getting whacked in the head a bazillion times.
From time to time I re-visit videos of Sayers’ runs.
My son thought Barry Sanders was the Bees Knees(and he was) until he saw videos of Sayers.
Sayers played 68 games in the NFL.
Unanimous first ballot selection to the HOF when first eligible. (His HOF career was really based on the 65-69 years)
He rushed for a thousand yards or more only twice.
Both times he led the league in rushing.
The 2nd time was in 69 after his knee surgery in 68. His longest run was only 28 yards.
Calvin Hill has the rushing title locked up, gets hurt, sits out two games, then plays the last 2 with a broken toe - couldn’t catch Gale and Sayers wins the rushing title.
Best I’ve ever seen, a huge life after football plus just a class act.
I'd would have to be Jim Brown and Gale Sayers for me.
May God ease the pains and trials of Gayle Sayres as he comes closer to his maker. A legendary player and man, soon to leave us yet remain among us. The tragedy of dementia.
I thought Gale Sayers was the best I’ve ever seen. Sanders was good too. As were Brown, Campbell, and hate to say it, Simpson.
I never watched Jim Thorpe..but read about him...
I did watch all the others.....
“never allow his kids to play football”
My childhood playmate was All State, his Junior Year of H.S.
Was recruited by a number of big name Universities. Injured his knee first game, the next season, couldn’t even make a walk on spot at the local Community College, two years later.
We are in our 50’s now. I moved away decades ago, but they tell me his nickname is “Step and a half”.
Prayers for Mr. Sayers.
Thank you, now so do I. :-P
I saw Earl Campbell when WVU played Texas last fall in Austin. He was siting in an SUV and then got out slowly and took slow purposeful steps. The beating he took over those years was there.
I cried like a baby when “Brian’s Song” debuted.
And to this day, whenever it comes on, I still do.
That theme song...
I always said that “The Man Law” allows men to cry for two movies: Old Yeller and Brian’s Song.
Only 68 games in the NFL?? About the equivalent 5 full seasons, excluding injury time? They played a 14 game regular season schedule back then.
I didn’t realize his career was so short.
Don't forget HAL :-)
“Old Yeller” is a good analysis tool.
Any man that doesn’t cry at the end is probably a potential psychopath.
I think it was Kermit Alexander’s helmet that really took the toll on his knees. He came back from one brutal helmet-to-knee collision, but the second one (two years after the first) finished him. Today - with modern surgery techniques - it might have been a different story...
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