It is something special to do a job many say can't be done. Maybe that's how courage is spelled out, at least in my case, but, I'd like to tell you about my friend, Brian Piccolo.
In the middle of last season, Brian was struck down by the deadliest, most shocking enemy any of us an ever face - cancer. Compare his courage with the kind I'm supposed to possess. There was never any doubt I'd return, knee injury or no. But, think of Brian and his fortitude in the months since last November, in and out of hospitals, hoping to play football again, but not too sure at any time what the score was or might be.
He has the heart of a giant, He has the mental attitude which makes me proud to have a friend who spells out the word 'courage', 24 hours a day, every day of his life.
Now, you flatter me by giving me this award, but I say to you here and now that I accept it for Brian Piccolo. Brian Piccolo is the man of courage who should receive the George S. Halas Award. It is mine tonight, and Brian Piccolo's tomorrow.
I love Brian Piccolo, and I'd like all of you to love him, too, and tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him.
Approximate transcript of a speech, Pro Football Writers Awards Dinner, Americana Hotel, 25 May 1970
Gale Sayers (Chicago Bears HoF Running Back)