Current projects for Sports Artist John Robertson - Paintings for Atlanta Braves Stadium opened March 2017 and Green Bay Packers re-model opening July 2017. Created Sports Art for Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49er's, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Net, Prudential Sports Arena (New Jersey Nets New Jersey Devils), the Amway Sports Arena Orlando Magic, etc
Football painting Gail Sayers running back Chicago Bears
“Gail Sayers” 10” x
14” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old newsprint,) Gail Sayers considered one of
the great players with the Chicago Bears.
Newsprint attached to stretched canvas. To view paintings for sale please visit: John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.
Gail Sayers said, “"give me 18 inches of daylight
that's all I need", which meant
that all the offensive line had to do was to open up a small hole in the
defensive line for him of 18 inches and he could squeeze and zig-zag through
for some good yardage. Mike Ditka, who
played for Chicago and later coached the Chicago Bears for 11 years and New
Orleans Saints for three years said of Sayers, “if you’re talking about making
people miss and cutting back, nobody was ever better than him.” Dick Butkus, the great linebacker who played
with Sayers (and one of my all time favorite players) said of Sayers “He had a
great ability to come at you and then…he’s gone. He was something to play with. I’m just glad he was on our team.”
Gail also known as "The Kansas Comet" was a
running back in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons during the
1960s and early 1970s. He played college football for the University of Kansas,
and was twice recognized as an All-American. He was a first-round pick in the
1965 NFL Draft, and played his entire pro career for the NFL's Chicago Bears. Selected to the Pro Bowl four times (1965,
1966, 1967 and 1969) and five times in consecutive All-Pro (1965, 1966, 1967,
1968 and 1969), he is part of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro
Football Hall of Fame since 1977. His number 40 was retired by the franchise of
the Chicago Bears. It is also part of the NFL team of the 1960s and the team's
75th anniversary of the NFL. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian
Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian's Song. During his seventh
season in Chicago,
Sayers suffered a career-ending knee injury. He retired from the sport in 1972
George Halas,was the iconic founder and owner of the
National Football League's Chicago Bears.
Halas didn`t believe in starting rookies, but with Gail he felt a little
different and Sayers delivered. In his
first heavy pre-season action, he raced 77 yards on a punt return, 93 yards on
a kickoff return, and then startled everyone with a 25-yard scoring pass
against the Los Angeles Rams. –Sayers' records include most touchdowns in a
rookie season, (22 in 1965). Also in Sayers record book he had the most
touchdowns in a game (6, tied with Nevers and Jones), highest career kickoff
return average (30.56), and most return touchdowns in a game.
Gail Sayers said, “There's no way I would have made the Hall
of Fame or set any of the records I did by myself. No matter how many yards I
gained, whether it was three or 300, someone had to be there to make the block.
Here is a portion of Gail SayersHall of Fame speech, July 30, 1977, that I like best, “God gave me a great
gift and I had a lot of help developing for this occasion. Reaching this point,
however, is not as important as striving to get here. This is true in all
professions and all of life's activities. There are doctors, lawyers,
schoolteachers, plumbers all who strive to do their very best with their
abilities. We hear a lot today about how the American people have lost their
dedication to excellence. I don't believe that is true. Each of us excels at different things, sometimes in
areas that are only a hobby, more often in our life vocation. The most
important thing, however, is to strive to do our very best. Nothing is more of
a waste than unrealized potential. Sometimes failure to use one's talents to
the fullest is often the fault of the individual. Nothing could be more tragic.
I am sure many of you have been to a Special Olympics and if you have, I am
sure you have felt the same exhilaration I have felt in watching young people
with disabilities strive as hard as they can in various events. The sense of
satisfaction they get from striving is to them much more important than where
they finish in the competition. As Robert Rawlings said, 'A man's reach should
exceed his grasp'. It is describing to reach a goal that is important and if
you should reach that goal, set new goals and strive for them.”
A Friend In Deed.
While at his first training camp, Sayers met fellow running back Brian
Piccolo. The two became close friends and were the first racially mixed
roommates in the history of the Bears. After cancer brought Piccolo’s life to
an untimely end, Sayers’ book documenting their friendship became the basis for
the TV movie "Brian's Song" starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. The film won the 1972 Golden Globe
Award as the Best Film Made for Television and spawned a cult following that
has persisted for almost three decades, and even resulted in a remake by Disney
and ABC-TV in 2001.
After all is said and done about Gail Sayers, this is my
favorite quote of his, ""Football is a very short-term proposition.
Football really prepares you for nothing. The only thing I got out of football
was the ability to work hard, and that's it."