Brett Favre is a stud! The guy played under terribly adverse circumstances in Week 16, just one day after his father died unexpectedly. He was a one-man wrecking crew against Oakland, and that game speaks volumes to his grit and the obvious respect he enjoys in the NFL.
Story of the Week
"BULLET" BOB HAYES
He wasn’t faster than a speeding bullet; he was the speeding bullet. He could flat-out fly. He was impossible to cover one-on-one, and was the catalyst to zone defenses and the bump-and-run in the NFL, all designed to try to slow down this great sprinter. He was "Bullet" Bob Hayes.
As a high school track star in his home town of Jacksonville, Florida, he was able to run the 100-yard dash in 9.6 seconds. He was also a very talented football player with incredible instincts to go along with his burning speed, proclaiming that football was his favorite sport. He earned a football scholarship to Florida A&M University in 1960, where he also excelled and won national acclaim on the track and field team.
From 1961 to the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, Hayes became more and more prominent among the track stars of the world. He traveled to track meets all over the U.S. and abroad, breaking numerous track and field records in the process. At the National AAU Championship Meet in St. Louis in 1963, he established the world record of 9.1 seconds in the 100-yard dash. After performing this feat five times, he was dubbed "The World’s Fastest Human."
Hayes’ most unforgettable meet was the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He won the 100-meter race in 10.0 seconds, typing world and Olympic records. He also anchored the United States 400-meter relay team to victory, making possible a new world and Olympic record of 39 seconds. That was his last race as an amateur track star.
His burning ambition was still football. He was the first African-American to play in the Senior Bowl Game in Mobile, where he scored for the South on a long pass from Joe Namath. He was also named the South’s MVP in that game.
In December, 1964, Hayes signed a contract with the Dallas Cowboys. In the opening game of his rookie season, 1965, he caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Don Meredith. Three of his first four catches went for touchdowns. He led the NFL in yards per catch (21.8) and touchdown catches (12) as a rookie.
Bob Hayes was electrifying, and truly something to behold on a football field, and his receiving accomplishments went on and on. His last big season was 1971, the year Dallas won its first Super Bowl. He again led the NFL with 24 yards-per-catch. He played for the Cowboys from 1965-1974, and retired from the NFL after one season with the San Francisco 49ers.
His career numbers were awesome. He wound up with 371 catches for 7,414 yards, an average of 20 yards-per-catch. His 71 touchdowns included a 95-yarder. Other Dallas team records included season average and career average for punt return yards. Bob Hayes is also the only person to win a Super Bowl and Olympic gold; the latter would have been a great trivia question.
Bob Hayes had his share of hard times after his sports career ended. He was convicted of drug trafficking in 1979, and spent time in prison as a result. It, no doubt, kept him out of the Football Hall of Fame. However, the Hall’s Seniors Committee has selected Hayes as a finalist to be considered for election into Canton with the class of 2004. It’s about time; Bob Hayes unquestionably belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Bob Hayes passed away on September 18, 2002 at the age of 59.
Last Week’s Trivia
The veteran Montreal Canadiens and the expansion St. Louis Blues played for the Stanley Cup in 1967-68, the NHL’s first expansion year. The playoffs and Cup finals were set up for a veteran team to play an expansion team to draw fan interest in the six new teams. The very unique result, although the powerful Canadiens won the Series in four straight games as anticipated, was that the Blues stayed right with them in all four games, losing them all by just one goal, and taking Montreal to overtime in two of the four games.
Trivia Question of the Week
Who are the only two non-baseball personalities honored in the Baseball Hall-Of-Fame Museum in Cooperstown, New York? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.