“Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.”

—Luke 5:18
blogpicOne thing in the world of sports is team work, the vast majority of sports require team work. They do not rely on individual accomplishment as much as they rely on the team. Your teammates become friends, and friends help other friends. The parable above speaks about a man who was unable to walk, but his friends cared so much for him that they lowered me and carried him to Jesus. They put their faith in Jesus, while their friend put their faith in them. Many of you know of this parable. Friends and teammate help each other and this was no different for Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers. Many of you know the tragic story of Brian Piccolo because of the famous movie Brian’s Song, and Gale Sayers by his gridiron acrobatics. While some of the move dramatized some aspects, the friendship it depicted was very real. In fact, its one of the few movies men admit they cry to.

“There’s no question that Brian Piccolo’s story was amplified by the movie. And now generations later, you don’t know how many guys who ordinarily would be loath to admit that they shed a tear, will tell you at the drop of a hat, I still cry every time I see Brian’s Song,”

Bob Costas on ESPN Classic

Brian Piccolo died at the age of 26 from cancer. The two men had their ups and downs, but they remained friends until Piccolo’s death. The Chicago Bears added two talented running backs that year. They would go on to be the first white and black roommates in the NFL. They would help each other, push each other, and get themselves through the tough times. Piccolo pushed Sayers, like Sayers pushed Piccolo, even though they had their struggles like every friendship does they had each others backs until the end. Gale Sayers when on to win the 1969 rushing title, it was a year of triumph and heart break for this friendship, while they push through Gale’s injury together, Piccolo was diagnosed with cancer.

Shortly after Piccolo began chemo Gale Sayers was awarded the George Halas Award as the league’s most courageous player. On that night Sayers gave his emotional speech which jerked the hearts of millions.

“He has the heart of a giant and that rare form of courage that allows him to kid himself and his opponent — cancer,” Sayers told the audience. “He has the mental attitude that makes me proud to have a friend who spells out the word ‘courage’ 24 hours a day of his life. . . . I love Brian Piccolo, and I’d like all of you to love him, too. Tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him.”

-Gale Sayers

They were friends to the end, they help each other until the end. They looked out for each other, and they cared for each other. I knew neither Piccolo nor do I know Sayers, but from what I read Piccolo and Sayers relationship was not always the greatest they overcame and created a strong bond. They showed what it took to be a friend, much like the friends who took their paralyzed friend to Jesus. Friends go great lengths for each others. Will you be a friend?
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