This afternoon I watched the 2001 remake of Brian's Song, the story of the friendship between Chicago Bears players Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo.
These men were my heroes. I well remember the day Brian Piccolo died. I knew he had cancer, but the news still shocked me. As a lifelong Bears fan, I'd always admired his ability to get an amazing amount accomplished with considerably less size, speed, and raw talent than one would expect to be required.
I learned of his death when I happened to see a newspaper headline while getting off a bus to take my pre-induction physical. It was 1970, the height of the Vietnam War.
Fortunately, I failed. It turned out I had high blood pressure. General Hershey didn't give up easily, but essentially the result of that exam meant that I wo…