All Bears players are wearing No. 41 today, in honor of Brian Piccolo

Gale Sayers, the Chicago Bears' Hall of Fame running back, dies at 77
Getty Images

Bears running back Brian Piccolo died 52 years ago today, at the age of 26. In honor of Piccolo, all 90 Bears players are wearing his jersey number — 41 — at practice today.

Here’s the video. It’s a great gesture by the Bears.

Piccolo’s close friendship with Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers became the subject of the film Brian’s Song.

“He was so young to die, with a future that held so much for him,” Bears founder George Halas sad after Piccolo passed away from cancer in 1070. “But Brian made the most of the brief 26 years allotted to him, and he will not be forgotten.”

Twice the length of Piccolo’s life later, he’s still being remembered by the Bears in a simple yet very memorable way.

13 responses to “All Bears players are wearing No. 41 today, in honor of Brian Piccolo

  1. 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.

  2. My dad was a sports fan, but not from Chicago and not a Bears fan. When I was born in 1972, he named me Brian after Brian Piccolo. This is very cool. The original movie looks outdated, but has a great cast and is worth a watch.

  3. I wear his jersey and have his rookie card. I remember watching him play at Wrigley. He was a flame extinguished way too soon.

  4. Wonderful tribute by the team. Just the thought of the movie makes me get goosebumps and a sniffle or two. Not to take anything away from the well deserved focus on Piccolo,I would love to see a film immortalizing Rocky Blier.

  5. Brian was born and died long before my fandom of Da Bears. But I read his story and have seen the film several times, crying every time! What a lovely gesture from Da Bears and love the quote from Gale Sayers in the comments from concretechuckles. Continue to rest in power reunited with your friend Gale, Brian.

  6. shoepik says:
    Wonderful tribute by the team. Just the thought of the movie makes me get goosebumps and a sniffle or two. Not to take anything away from the well deserved focus on Piccolo,I would love to see a film immortalizing Rocky Blier.
    —————————————

    As with Brian’s Song, there is also a made for TV movie about Rocky Bleier: Fighting Back, The Rocky Bleier Story starring Robert Urich.

  7. When you quote directly from the movie “Brian’s Song,” you should correctly attribute it as the source of the “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.” speech.

  8. The summer of 1970 was brutal. Brian Piccolo and Vince Lombardi taken from us too soon by cancer. EFF CANCER.

  9. Brian Piccolo played at Wake Forest. His QB was John Mackovic. We remember seeing his name in the weekly rushing stats as he competed in that regard with Gale Sayers, who was then at KU. He left a college All Star game and boarded a plane wearing his uniform and cleats so he would not be late for his wedding. V\He was very truly an exceptional person who was gone way too soon.

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