We decided to do a countdown to the Chicago Bears season opener on September 8th versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Thanks to one of our Twitter followers, we decided to combine the countdown with a roster preview of sorts.
It’s just 40 days until the Bears start the 2013 season and we’re wrapping up a three-pack of retired numbers with Gale Sayers and his #40. Sayers is one of the most legendary Chicago Bears of all time and that’s saying something. Sayers was selected fourth in the first round of the 1965 draft out of Kansas and immediately made a huge impact on the Chicago Bears and the NFL.
As a rookie, he scored a rookie record 22 touchdowns while gaining 1374 yards rushing and 2272 all-purpose yards. Oh, and he did all that in just 14 games. In the Bears’ 61-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers, he scored a record six touchdowns.
Sayers continued his torrid pace through the first nine games of the 1968 season when he shredded his knee. Back then ACL surgery wasn’t as common as it is today, so Sayers was never really able to return to form. He struggled and sustained another knee injury in 1971 before finally calling it quits in the preseason of 1972.
The Kansas Comet finished his NFL career with 39 rushing touchdowns on 4956 yards and 9435 total yards with 56 TD’s overall. Sayers was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977 although the Bears didn’t retire his #40 until the 1994 season.
Check out this highlight video:
We’re just 40 days from kickoff. Are you ready???