Today at a preseason camp for the Chicago Bears, every player wore #41. That was Brian Piccolo’s number. 52 years ago today the Bears running back died of cancer. They had planned on honoring him thusly on the 50th anniversary in 2020, but all offseason camps were cancelled due to COVID. Piccolo is best remembered by most as Gale Sayers’ best friend, with their friendship immortalized in the movie ”Brian’s Song” (if you haven’t seen it, make it a point to do so). It should be noted the two men were the first interracial roommate pairing in the NFL ever. Annually the Bears hand out Brian Piccolo Awards to players who best exemplify teamwork, dedication, sacrifice, and a sense of humor (a nod to Piccolo’s propensity for pranks and practical jokes). There are also high school Brian Piccolo Awards, same criteria plus exemplifying anti-bias.
I realize this had no baseball connection, but everybody should know and remember Brian Piccolo.