Do People Listen When Gale Sayers Speaks? Obviously So

Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Gale Sayers has been in the news recently for making critical comments about the current state of the Chicago Bears. It just goes to show that in today’s world, it doesn’t matter where you say it or in what context, if you’re a celebrity and you say something controversial, it’s eventually going to make its way into the national news.

Sayers was the keynote speaker on May 4 at a Boys Town fundraising event in Omaha, Nebraska, a deal arranged for him by PFP Sports & Celebrity Talent. Sayers was asked an innocent enough question about the Bears and his response created headlines around the country. Sayers played for the Bears from 1965 – 71 and led the NFL in rushing twice, in 1966 and 1969. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1977.

Said Sayers: “(Jay) Cutler hasn’t done the job. (Brian) Urlacher, I don’t know how good he’s going to be coming back (from surgery). He’s 33 years old. They need a couple wide receivers, a couple defensive backs. They haven’t done a good job. If Lovie (Smith) doesn’t do it this year, I think he’s gone. He had a good team the Super Bowl year. Nothing came together for him the last couple years.”

Urlacher took exception with Sayers’ comments. “Let me ask you a question: ‘How many championships did Gale Sayers win? How many playoff games did he win when he played? None. None. None..… Does (Sayers) know how to win football games? Does he? No. How are you going to criticize someone else when you haven’t done it yourself? He’s one of our own, so that’s why it’s so frustrating.”

Responded Sayers: “If somebody asks me, ‘How do you think the Bears are going to do this year?’ If I say, ‘Oh, they are going to win 14 ballgames,’ they know the Bears can’t win 14 ballgames. Why should I lie to the people?” I couldn’t agree more. Did Sayers say anything that’s not true? My guess is that most every Bears fan would agree with his assessment.

While Urlacher is entitled to his opinions much like Sayers, it’s surprising that he has such thin skin. My advice would be not to pay attention to the criticism. Just go out and do your job. By responding, all he did was add fuel to the fire, which in turn prolongs the controversy and can ultimately serve as distraction on the field. Plus he’s never going to win public support for criticizing one of the all-time great Bears.

Among the other Bears greats who came out in support of Sayers were Hall of Famers Mike Ditka, Dan Hampton and Dick Butkus.

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