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Brian Piccolo
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Football Player
    (October 31, 1943-June 16, 1970)
    Chicago Bears Running Back (1965-69)
    Birth name was Louis Brian Piccolo
    Died of rare embryonic cell carcinoma cancer at age 26
    Profiled in 'Brian's Song'
    He was the leading rusher in the nation during his senior year at Wake Forest in 1964, yet in 1965 when he turned pro he was not drafted (280 picks without interest). Scouts labeled him 'too small' and 'too slow.'
    He was picked to be on the Bears' practice squad as an insurance policy if anything happened to their star rookie running back, Gale Sayers.
    In the 1966 season, he played in all 14 games, but rushed just 3 times for 12 yards.
    The only football card on him is his 'rookie' card that came in his last season.
    If that was not bad enough, they misspelled his name twice on the card, spelling it 'Bryon' on the front and 'Bryan' on the back.
    He got his chance to prove himself only after his friend and teammate Sayers suffered a horrific knee injury.
    It was shortly afterwards he received his cancer diagnosis, ending a career that never had a chance to take off.
    The cancer that claimed his life was almost 100% fatal at the time, but modern medicine and early detection makes it now almost 100% curable.
    He and Sayers were the first interracial roommates in pro football.
    His cancer was caused by uncontrolled embryonic cells left over during fetal development.
    In four months since he had a clear chest x-ray taken, a tumor the size of a grapefruit had developed.
    When Sayers broke the news to the Bears, they dedicated the game against the Baltimore Colts to him, and lost 24-21 (November 23, 1969).
    He had to endure chemo, radiation, a mastectomy and the removal of tumors, lymph nodes and his left lung, all to no avail.
    He gave motivational speeches for a variety of organizations, bringing a friend with him who happened to be an undertaker.
    After his passing, an impromptu fundraising group comprising of his NFL teammates, friends and family members formed and began what is now a successful nonprofit organization; the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund.
    His number 41 is one of the retired jersey numbers in the Chicago Bears franchise.
    The story of his cancer battle and friendship with Sayers has been made into a popular made-for-TV movie, 'Brian's Song (1971),' starring James Caan as Piccolo and Billy Dee Williams as Sayers.
    30 years later it was remade starring Sean Maher as Piccolo and Mekhi Phifer as Sayers (2001).

Credit: Scar Tactics


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 19 Votes: 47.37% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 35 Votes: 94.29% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 18 Votes: 33.33% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 24 Votes: 4.17% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 59 Votes: 50.85% Annoying
    In 2013, Out of 36 Votes: 55.56% Annoying
    In 2012, Out of 16 Votes: 31.25% Annoying
    In 2011, Out of 14 Votes: 28.57% Annoying
    In 2010, Out of 82 Votes: 53.66% Annoying
    In 2009, Out of 56 Votes: 39.29% Annoying
    In 2008, Out of 89 Votes: 33.71% Annoying
    In 2007, Out of 332 Votes: 43.98% Annoying
    In 2006, Out of 307 Votes: 41.04% Annoying
    In 2005, Out of 766 Votes: 42.82% Annoying
 
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