Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in ‘Brian’s Song’

NFL players of different colors didn’t share hotel rooms on the road when the Chicago Bears put Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo together in 1967. Not surprising, they got off to a rocky start – not because Sayers was Black and Piccolo was white, or even because they were competing for playing time in the backfield. But they made allowances for each other’s personalities, supported each other through injury and illness – a story recounted in “Brian’s Song” a 1971 made-for-TV film that remains wildly popular and resonates again with Sayers’ death Tuesday at age 77.