[Consider the themes of friendship and courage below]
In the late 1950’s, Brian Piccolo attended Central Catholic High School and later Wake Forest University where he led the nation in scoring and rushing in his senior season of 1964. Yet, believed by scouts not being big or fast enough, he was not drafted to the NFL but later did sign a free agent contact with the Chicago Bears. At the same time, the All American Gale Sayers was drafted by Chicago. During a period of racial divide, these two, one white and the other an African-American, became roommates and would go on to form an amazing friendship.
Brian Piccolo was diagnosed with cancer in November 1969 and subsequently began chemotherapy treatments. In April 1970, his left lung and breast were removed. A short time later, his friend Gale Sayers was awarded the George Halas Award as the league’s most courageous player for the 1969 season and for his own recovery from an injury. Upon accepting the award, Sayers gave the following emotional speech:
“ I'd like to say a few words about a guy I know, a friend of mine. His name is Brian Piccolo, and he has the heart of a giant and that rare form of courage which allows him to kid himself and his opponent -- cancer. He has a mental attitude which makes me proud to have a friend who spells out "courage," 24 hours a day, every day of his life.
Now you flatter me by giving me this award. But I say to you here and now, Brian Piccolo is the man of courage who should receive the George S. Halas award.
It's mine tonight and Brian Piccolo's tomorrow.
I love Brian Piccolo. And I'd like all of you to love him too.
And tonight, you hit your knees: Please ask God to love him.”
Brian Piccolo died in June 1970 but the memory of his friendship, courage, humor, and teamwork lives on .
Be Still | Read | Contemplate It | Listen | Dialogue | Close With Praise and Thanks
Daily Catholic Meditations For Faith, Listening, and Peace (www.SilentInsight.com)
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam – For the greater glory of God