Sayers used to be already a legend in 1967 after two professional seasons, when Rick Volk, a security from the College of Michigan, attempted to shield in opposition to him whilst a faculty all-star crew used to be coaching on the Bears’ camp.
“He used to be wonderful,” Volk recalled in 2017. “He used to be working off take on, and I used to be the protection and got here as much as fill the outlet. I used to be two or 3 ft from him. I used to be proper there. He made a few strikes — whoo-hoo! I had him useless to rights. He used to be so fast.”
Every other assembly got here in 1968 after Volk used to be established with the Baltimore Colts. “I used to be taking part in proper protection, and he used to be working a sweep to his proper — my left,” Volk recalled. “Mike Curtis got here up and Gale reversed to his left. We had him stopped. However he reversed once more, and I had an perspective on him, however I couldn’t catch him.”
Sayers later likened his 59-yard landing run to a slapstick film chase and claimed he had run previous Bubba Smith, the massive Baltimore defender, 3 separate occasions. Sayers known as it “the best run of my skilled soccer occupation.”
Requested to explain his methods and strategies, Sayers informed Sports activities Illustrated in 1965: “I do not know what I do. I pay attention other people speak about useless leg, shake, alternate of tempo, however I do issues with out serious about them.”
All of it got here crashing down on Nov. 10, 1968 — Sayers’s fourth season — when Kermit Alexander of San Francisco attempted to take out Sayers’s lead blocker. When the participant moved, Alexander crashed into Sayers’s proper knee.
“It’s long past,” Sayers informed Alexander, who stayed to convenience him.
“It used to be my fault, all my fault,” Alexander mentioned. “God, you by no means need to harm a participant, by no means. Particularly an excellent participant like Gale.” Sayers exonerated Alexander.