As the evening wore on, until the end, the rostrum of speakers dragged the work around midnight. 19 Most of that night on May 25, 1970, was a procession of sharp one-liners and clever responses, gathered in a ballroom at 7th00 Avenue and the old American Hotel at 53rd Street, with black00 people, bedridden in black ties, sipping champagne.
At the annual Pro Football Writers Awards dinner, he announced the winners of various awards as well as the beloved Frank Giffford was smooth and effortless. Dick Cavet was fertile and captivating, Pete Rosell favorite. Joe Cap and Hank Strum, whose Vikings and Chiefs Super Bowl were knocked out 4 months ago in the fourth month, switched to the Ginger.
By the time the final awards were given, the crowd was exhausted, and some were eager to flee in a hurry to get out. They were long lasting because of the respect, because the guest of honor was someone they all liked very much: Gall Cyrus running after the Chicago Bears. On November 10, 1968, while playing for the Bears 49 players, the Syracuses were critically blown off his right knee at Wrigley Field.
Most believe the Sayers will never play again. Yet in 1969, against all reasonable odds, the Kansas comet not only returned to the Bears, he played all 14 games and somehow led the league in a series of one-on-one races that went 1-13. He was the unanimous writer for George S. Halas to win the Most Brave Player Trophy.
Typically, the award was presented at a Halas dinner in Chicago in late August, but Cyrus requested that his presentation be removed. Why did some ask; Many assumed he wanted to be able to concentrate on training camps.
They will soon learn why.
The Sayers were called to the dais and there was a round of applause. Many of the men in the house had interviewed Sawyer before; They knew he was a man of few words. The Sayers thanked his teammates, Halas, and his doctors, most of whom began to reach their top coats.
The Sawyers said in silence, just muffled, “Doing something that many people say can’t be done is something special.” “Courage is made in the way that it can be – at least in my case.”
More polite applause Typical Cyrus: Quick, humble, blended, unmeme … “But I want to tell you about my friend, Brian Piccolo.”
It was unexpected. Piklu? He came back in an unforgettable run who was partnered as the most forgotten blocking back in the Cyrus backfield. He was filled when he was hit by the Sawyers in ’68, but he wasn’t the most well-known name in the house.
Says the drivers.
“In the middle of last season, Brian suffered the worst injury, any of us could face the deadliest enemy – cancer.”
Now he had an uninterrupted vision of the room.
“Compare that to the kind of idea I have with his courage. I’ll be back, no doubt about the knee injury. But think about Brian and his patience in anticipation of playing football again in and out of the hospital since last November, but I’m not sure at any moment what the score might be. He has a monster. He has the mental attitude that is one day, 24 hours of my life, ” Ahasa “proud to have a friend is the one who utters the word.
He paused. Six hundred people sat quietly in the tuxedo, raw-eyed, numb. Then, somehow, Gal Cyrus called out this force to end his speech: “You flattered me with this award, but I told you here and now that I’m for Brian Piccolo.” Brian Picco is the brave man who will receive the George S. Halas Award. Tonight it’s mine, it’s ahead. Tomorrow Brian Piccolo.
“I love Brian Piccolo and you all want to love him too and tonight, when you hit your knee, please tell God to love him.”
Fifty years ago on Monday, 60,000 men waited a beat, then jumped to their feet, filling the room and the hotel (now Sheraton Times Square) with what they could feel in their ears most years later. Brian Piccolo died 22 days later at the age of 226, a few blocks away, in what is now called the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
On November 30, 1971, “Brian’s Song”, starring JB Kane and Billy de Williams, premiered on ABC. It was one of the most watched TV movies in history, one of the best sports movies ever made and still impossible to watch. The person who asks you to love him as his friend.