We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
The countdown to kickoff for the Chicago Bears season opener is now approaching even more quickly than Willie Galimore toward an opponent’s secondary. Many Bears fans may not be familiar with Galimore, but they definitely should be. He deserves to be mentioned along with the likes of Walter Payton and Gale Sayers as one of the greatest running backs in Bears history.
“The Wisp” started his professional career in 1957 after the Bears drafted him in the fifth round out of Florida A&M. The 6-1, 187-pound back quickly established himself as one of the fastest and most elusive runners in the league, rushing for 538 yards while also returning kicks for the team. By the age of 28, Galimore had accumulated 2,985 rushing yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry.
Then on July 27, 1964 everything changed. Galimore was driving in a car with teammate Bo Farrington when he was involved in an accident and killed. Galimore’s life and career were sadly cut short but his legacy as a person and a player live on. Galimore is now a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and has also had his No. 28 jersey retired by the Bears. He was also heavily involved in the civil rights movement during his life and remains a figure of inspiration in his hometown of St. Augustine, Florida. Galimore’s son, Ron, also became the first black U.S. Olympic gymnast.
Today we honor No. 28 Willie Galimore and celebrate his life and career, as well as 28 short days until the Bears season opener!
Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on September 7th. We’re 28 days from kickoff. Are you ready???