Gale Sayers was born on May 30, 1943, in Kansas to a family whose only bread winner was an auto mechanic. In 1951, Sayers and his family moved to Omaha where he grew up to an athletic child and showed natural ability in a number of sports, especially American football.
Playing middle linebacker for Omaha’s Central High School’s varsity team, Sayers became a part of the All-Mid-western and All-American high school teams in his senior year. Sayers also stood out in track and field and set a state record of long jump. However, football continued to be his first preference and he returned to Kansas.
Joining the University of Kansas, Gale Sayers performed poorly in his academics but continued to shine on the field. Rushing for 1,125 yards in his sophomore year with an average of 7.2 yards per carry, followed by 941 and 678 yards in his junior and senior years respectively, Sayers earned himself the All-American honours in two consecutive seasons. For his magnificent performance and contribution to the game, Sayers was given the nick name of the ‘Kansas Comet’.
Focusing entirely on his career as a football player, Sayer failed his Bachelor’s degree and juggled between offers from NFL and the American Football League. Choosing the Chicago Bears over the Kansas City Chiefs, Sayers became a part of Pro Football and played running back for the team.
Kicking off his debut with a total of 867 yards and 22 touchdowns during his rookie season, Sayers earned himself NFL’s scoring title for the year along with the honor of Rookie of the Year. Scoring 6 touchdowns, 316 yards and 36 points, Sayers single-handedly won the game for the Chicago Bears against San Francisco in 1965, earning himself a trip to the Pro Bowl.
To prove his consistency after the rookie season, Sayers returned to the league in 1966 with a total score of 1,231 yards and an average of 5.4 yards. Hence, he was selected to play in the Pro Bowl once again. The following year, he managed to earn All-Pro honours for a second time with a score of 880 yards.