Flashback-NFL Hall of Famer Gale Sayers: ‘I Am Third,’ Behind God and My Friends

By Craig Bannister | January 15, 2018 | 3:39pm EST
Gale Sayers once scored six touchdowns in a single NFL game. (Screenshot)

On Sunday, after throwing a 61-yard touchdown pass as time expired to win a playoff game propelling his team into the NFC championship game, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum declared it was only the third-best moment of his life – the first being dedicating his life to Jesus:

“It’s probably going to go down as the third best moment of my life behind giving my life to Jesus Christ and marrying my wife.”

But, it was Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back, Gale Sayers, who made the sentiment famous 48 years earlier, in his 1970 book, “I Am Third.”

As explains, Sayers says in his book that the title is based on his life’s motto, that his God and his friends take priority over himself:

“I Am Third is the memoir of Gale Sayers, one of the best running backs in the history of the NCAA and pro football. It is also the story of his friendship with Brian Piccolo. Known also as a community leader and great friend to all, Sayers's credo is, ‘The Lord is first, my friends are second, and I am third.’"

Sayers’ book went on to become the inspiration for the movie, “Brian’s Song,” which chronicled his close relationship with teammate Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer.

Many other poignant, though less famous, quotes attributed to Sayers also speak to his values:

  • “Athletes as role models and heroes is a hoax, a sick hoax. The men and women who are fighting in Iraq, they are the true heroes.”
  • “I don't care to be remembered as the man who scored six touchdowns in a game. I want to be remembered as a winner in life.”
  • “Our young people look up to us. Let us not let them down. Our young people need us. Saving them will make heroes of us all.”


CNSNews Reader,

The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNSNews covers the stories that the liberal media are afraid to touch. It drives the national debate through real, honest journalism—not by misrepresenting or ignoring the facts.

CNSNews has emerged as the conservative media’s lynchpin for original reporting, investigative reporting, and breaking news. We are part of the only organization purely dedicated to this critical mission and we need your help to fuel this fight.

Donate today to help CNSNews continue to report on topics that the liberal media refuse to touch. $25 a month goes a long way in the fight for a free and fair media.

And now, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you can make up to a $300 gift to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of your choice and use it as a tax deduction on your 2020 taxes, even if you take the standard deduction on your returns.

— The CNSNews Team



Sign up for our CNSNews Daily Newsletter to receive the latest news.