Brian Piccolo Biography

Back in 2002, I wrote a?Brian Piccolo biography that is by far my most visited page on the site.? I have received hundreds of e-mails from well-wishers on his subject.? So I’m creating this post in case anyone wants to post comments on this Chicago Bears Legend.? Please click on “leave a response” below.

124 Responses to “Brian Piccolo Biography”

  1. I only found the article about Brian P. because I was on the net tonight (the result of an unusual experience). I was having dinner in Bourbonnais this evening (8/11) with my family and noticed Gale Sayers at the next table. Like you, I don’t feel that it is proper etiquette to bother famous persons, in public. So, upon finishing dinner, I merely walked by Gale and quietly said, “Go Kansas,” and he smiled. Then I sort of whispered, “Thanks for some great memories.” He nodded his head, said, “I appreciate it,” and I left him to his dinner with his beautiful wife. Part of me wanted an autograph to proudly show-off to my friends, but fortunately a better part of me wanted him to enjoy his surprising-unknown presence, to others in the place. I spent a long life practicing law and protecting others’ privacies – Gale Sayers’ should be no different. That I created no scene and that my granddaughter may have learned something about the feelings of others tonight, I am pleased. Nonetheless, after reading your tribute to Brian, I wonder just how much Gale still misses his friend and if his feelings would not have been better served, tonight, if I had stolen a bit more of his private time and said something in memory of “Pic,” too.

  2. i got my first football cards at 8 years old and dick butkus happened to be one of them and my father told me to hold onto it and that he was the best def. player in the game and called him an “animal”..i was hooked..the bears became my favorite team[not easy for a kid from jersey] because of 1 card and comment..i saw brians song a year later at 9..i rememeber hiding my head in a pillow so no one in the family room would see me struck me 2 ways..1 was anyone could get cancer even a “bear”..and 2 i was scared to death of getting 44 now ….i dont watch football anymore because the players of today no longer respect the game..but my framed card of butkus still hangs on the wall of my den and the memories of walking down the street with my dad talking about butkus ,sayers,pic,and all the bears..

  3. I watched Brian’s song tonight for maybe the 100th time and I, too, cannot watch it without crying. My son was named after him, as I have always loved everything he stood for. He will be 26 in about 5 months, so watching it tonight really hit me hard. Brian Piccolo was one of those people that everybody in sports and in life should emulate.

  4. I have always loved football and the Chicago Bears are my all-time favorite team. I have watched Brian’s Song so to the point that I know the movie verbatim. Brian Piccolo was a fighter and had great tenacity even in the midst of devasting circumstances. I am also thankful for the real sincere friendship shared between Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers that truly emulated what real brotherhood ultimately should stand for! Forever Brian P. in our hearts! If anyone knows what website the Chicago team pictures can be found on could you please email me @ Thank You and God Bless

  5. Yesterday, I was watching the “Tim McCarver Show” and I probably would have turned it off, if it wasn’t for the fact that Gale Sayers is the guest on the show. I immediately flashed back to my parents’ living room in the early ’70′s where I was watching the original “Brian’s Song”. The courage that both men displayed was truly amazing! I must say the movie really choked me up back then. It forced me to read “I am Third!”. What these two athletes did to help progress racial harmony in this country can never be understated. Brian’s courage is something everyone should aspire to. These were two great men and great friends. Watching that show yesterday made realize that as bad as things may seem, you should never give up. There is not a person out there who can not learn something from Brian Piccolo’s story. Rest in peace, Brian!

  6. My dad is dying of cancer right now…Brian Piccolo was born in 1943 and my dad in 1941, so they’re basically the same age. I’m flipping the channels last night and “Brian’s Song” is on; my husband looks at me like I’m nuts for wanting to watch it. I saw this movie in high school, and several times after. I have the very moving (yet depressing) theme song on my I-Pod. I haven’t seen it in a very long time though, and I’m watching the movie, crying of course…and after Brian dies, they say he was only 26 – I knew that, but I guess I forgot or just didn’t really focus on it since I watched it when I was young and 26 seemed kind of old to me then. How tragic to die so young. And as sad as I am about my dad, he’s lived a full life so I can’t complain, and I had a lot more time with him than Brian’s daughters did. So in a very weird way, the movie actually made me feel a little better. It’s weird how life works sometimes. Go figure.

  7. I first watched the movie “Brian’s Song” at the age of 13. I remember all the emotion that was portrayed and realized the impact that this man had made on so many lives. Death is something we all must face,,Brian’s legacy will go on forever. I know that his daughters and family were so very proud of this remarkable person and continue to feel that way.

  8. I first saw the Brian Picolo movie in 1971 at the age of 10. I was still learning english at the time [French citizen at the time]. The movie just tore at my heart for Brian and his loving family. and now 35+ years later I watch the remade version of the movie and saw thru adult eyes. My God what a brave man he was.The movie also showed on how important family and dear friends make in ones life.
    I would like to say also that Gale Sayers is a remarkable man,what a strong shoulder he must of been for Brian and his family,friendships like that don’t come by very often so sad that it was so short. God Bless the Picolo family as well as the Sayer’s

  9. I have seen Brian’s song, several times and love the friendship that Piccolo and Sayers had. That what a true friendship. Now days it is hard to find true friendship

  10. Linda - Birmingham, Alabama on September 8th, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    I’ve never been much of a football fan. But I will say that Brain Piccolo is my favorite football player ever. He was such a fighter and an insperational person. He has a very special place in my heart. My last child I had …a son.. was named after Brian. Like Brian lost his life my son Brain lost his due to a car accident at the age of 15. My Brain was a fan of Brains and I’m sure that they have meet each other. I have worn out two copies of Brian’s Song and am on my third one. I’ll curl up in my bed with a box of tissues everytime I watch it. I’m also a fan of Gayle Sayers.. what a beautiful friendship those two men shared. I know Gayle must have a spot for Brian in his heart as well. So glad that I have found this website its in my favorites and can go back to it often now. I’ll remember these two men the rest of my life…. Thank you….

  11. Savannah Condetti on September 18th, 2007 at 9:19 am

    I have read and seen Brian’s song only a few times. I would love to learn more about Brian and Gale. Email me and maybe we could talk.

  12. hello who ever you are.
    but ya i love this book.
    it is amazing..
    it helped my report,
    the website did.]


  14. Gopi (Malaysian) on October 15th, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    I saw Brian’s Song and was really moved by it. His life teaches us to appreciate everything we have at the moment especially our loved ones. It also teaches us the value of true friendship,which is to be there for each other in times of need and to always push each other to achieve their best in life.

  15. hi. i’m not a sport enthusiast. never was and never will be. last night, i was flipping through channels when i saw a scene. the guy had his daughters all over him and he was asking everybody if they have seen them. i find it cute. i’ve always been fascinated with scenes of dads showing their love for their kids. every scene after that just made me put down the remote control and watch. the movie moved me to tears. my two sons saw me crying, they watched it with me. i wrote down brian piccolo’s name and made it a point to surf about him on the net when i wake. so, here i am. i don’t know the title of that movie last night, and i feel bad that i wasn’t able to watch it from the start. he was a great man. i hope i’ll be as optimistic as he is. he always finds something good to say. i liked it when he said to the doctor, “and next time, i’d appreciate it if you won’t make my wife cry.”

  16. hey i liked this book to,sorta kinda it wasnt all that bad i guess

  17. I just watched brians song again last night before i went to sleep, this movie touches my heart and it make’s me cry evrytime. To see two guys come together like they did and them giving him that chance someone who saw through him and knew he had something great to offer to play in the NFL I thank you “George Halas” that was the greatest gift any one could ever give him besides his wife, his three daughters and his friends and teamate’s “Brian Piccolo” will never be forgotten He will live on in our hearts forever. And to you Mr. Sayer’s they said he really never had a chance to shine but in a sad twisted way when your knee went out Brian did have a chance to shine and share that with the world, He would of been a great asset to the NFL.

  18. I was in my early 20′s when ” Brian’s Song” was released as a TV movie. A friend of mine was a nurse at the hospital in nyc where Brian was treated. She wasn’t his nurse, but those who had any interections with him were inspired by him. Besides enjoying the movie immensely, I became a life long football fan. Needless to say, the movie certainly propelled the careers of the two main actors. I’m very glad that the form of cancer that Brian had is more treatable.I’m always touched by the movie, as swell as the books written about them

  19. Today Dec. 14 I am again watching Brians Sing probably for the 50th time. Everyone could take lessons as Brian Piccolo is one of the best humanitarian and never cared about what anyone thought back in the 60′s. He and Gayle Sears are the best the Bears ever had.

  20. I would just like to say I watched the movie Brians Song in school, I just got done watching it today.. It still caused the same reaction from me, tears n thinking what a beautiful friendship they both had.. God Bless you Gayle Sayers forever for being such a TRUE FRIEND n God love you Brian Piccolo FOREVER for your strenght, love and courage you showed us all… Kate

  21. I told my wife before watching this movie, that I wouldnt cry, she told me she cried the first time she watched it. I told her “ah”(waving her off) trying to be macho… I havent teared as much since my father passed away. It was a very touching film and well documented, thanks.

  22. hi my name is katie and brain seemed like a great guy and so did gale sayers.everyone reading this should read the story brains song and see the movie and the newer version of this movie.we watched it in reading class and it was so great.these guys put up a huge struggle to be known in history and i think that they should be recignized for many years,generations,and lifetimes to come.

  23. wanna know what i think about brian piccolo
    go to and search brian piccolo and gail sayers and when the page comes up it will be the only one.

  24. Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers in the same backfield. My younger brother and I used to argue over which one of us got to be Sayers and who was piccolo. To me, Brian Piccolo epitimizes what courage is all about.

  25. Raymond Corsetto Jr. on February 2nd, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    It’s unbelivable how certain people and things, from your childhood always comeback at you.. Brian Piccolo, has always popped into my mind time after time. But today is the day before Super Bowl XLII and I was reminicsing about past football games and Brian Piccolo pop into my head.. I had to look him up on the web. your piece that you wrote is on the money.. I will share the movie Brian’s Song with my 2 boys tonight!! Thanks

  26. Today, February 24,2008 our ladies Sunday School class discussed some sports figures of today. Some wonder why most are not comparable to some in earlier years. I reminded them of Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers and the beauty of a sports figure with a life short lived. I have seen the movie, Brian’s Song, several times and appreciate the things I have been able to read.

  27. My name is Richard, from Sydney Australia.I have just finished watching the 2001 re-make Brian’s Song. Previous to watching this, i had not known of Brian Piccolo. I have never been emotional during a movie or even felt inspired by one, however, this feeling has certainly changed after watching this incredibly inspiring story. I truly believe i could write for hours about how i feel right now. I’d just like to finish on this note. The Piccolo family should feel so proud (and i’m sure they already are) to have 1 of the greatest and most courageous role models the world has ever seen, in their very own family. Thank you for sharing Brian’s story with us.

  28. Belive it or not I am Brian Piccolo’s 10th cousin which un beliveable because I have just recently found this out seeing that I am only 13. I would imagine that “Pic” was a great guy who I would have been glad to meet. I appreciate the biography you wrote about him, thank you for that.

  29. I remember the first time I watched Brian’s Song, almost 40 years ago in a sports lit class. I am not showing it to my students. I cried then and still now have to fight back the tears. Wonderful story to teach children life lessons.

  30. When I speak to others about friendship and courage or think about it myself, I often use the examples of Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers. No matter how often I see the movie, “Brian’s Song”, I am deeply grateful to these great athletes for the love and courage they showed to and for each other. These men are true heroes and models to be emulated by all.

  31. I turned 13 the month that Mr.Piccolo died. I was just heartbrokened. I loved Brian’s Song. The relationship between Brian and Gayle was untouchable. It was magic. I learned alot about love, friendship and courage. I still look for things pertaining to to Brian. Found this site. He was a hero in every sense of the word and definitely a model to follow. It would have been a pleasure to meet him and for all that have, you all are so very lucky.

  32. I remember watching in my sophomore year of high school, a screening of the original movie. I have never in my life, before or since, gone to see or watched a movie where, I have seen young men and grown men alike cry right along with the ladies. Just as the friendship of Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers transcended race, so too did the movie transcend gender and age, and after all these years time as well.

    Although still touched by the movie to this day, I don’t think I fully appreciated the story it told, until much later in life. I remember his wife Joy being interviewed on tv about the book after first seeing the movie. I can even remember that the first high school football game that I went to after moving to South Florida was at St. Thomas Aquinas at Brian Piccolo Memorial Field as I think it was called and thinking how special it was. I can also remember how excited I was to buy a copy of Gayle Sayers’ book.

    But it wasn’t until I was grown and on my own many years later after seeing a re-run of the movie on a Thanksgiving Day in Orlando, that I realize what a powerful message the movie sends.

    As many years have now passed, I found this web site tonight, and can’t help but wonder as we sometimes struggle to reach our growing daughters two of whom are in middle school, what a positive and powerful lesson that they and many kids their age could learn from watching the movie. I can honestly say that if you have not watched this movie, you will never be the same once you have.

    Brian Piccolo, our season with you on this earth may have been short, but your season in our hearts will never end.

  33. you are so cool you are the best linebacker ever!Your #1 fanBro i am 11 years old doing a report on you.By

  34. Unpacking, stopped to channel surf; show the Bears and stopped to see; realized it was the movie for which I have never viewed from start to finish and today is still the case; but I left the movie playing; excellent, Today, I will own this movie to view from the start to the finish. I asked myself where is Mr. Gale Sayers and his family, as well as, Mr. Brian Piccolo’s family. I wondered if either of them got honorary spots in the Football Hall of Fame. The information was not listed at the end of the movie. I wonderd if any of the children were involved in sports or owners. It was a great movies, and a great expression of love and caring between good decent people. I was too young for this period of time but Walter Peyton was my hero.

    Thanks for a moment to speak.

  35. It’s Saturday morning, April 26, 2008. I just finished watching the original “Brian’s Song” and am still crying for not the first time. I first saw this movie when I was about 14-15 years old. My grandfather had recently died of brain cancer, my first personal experience with death of a close relative or friend. I recall that I was watching the TV movie while lying on the sofa in my parents’ den and was pure and simply crying my heart out…couldn’t stop. This is a very special movie about two great men whose love and friendship transcended competition, race and illness, and it will always have a place in my heart. I, too, wondered about Gale Sayers and Brian’s family and was inspired to search the web for information about them so came to this site. Thank you so much for your touching tribute. The courage and determination that Brian Piccolo demonstrated during his very short life is worthy of our admiration, and I hope his family and friends see this site and find comfort in knowing that even those who never knew him personally will ever remember his gift to the world. Gale Sayers was a phenomenol athlete, but I’m sure knowing Brian Piccolo made him an even greater man. May God bless the Sayers and Piccolo families!

  36. Michael Bates on May 24th, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I saw “Brians Song” when it first appeared, and It is the only movie that I had watched that made me cry. I am 51 years old now and I have seen many things, and lost many friends especially in the service but, this was the first time I had felt such an emotion for someone who showed what class and courage together can acheive. We meet many people in our lives, but very few, so very few strike us in such a way that leaves such an indelible mark, coming from a small all white town the fact that two people , one black and one white could impress us in such a way. I only hope that when my time comes, that I can leave this world with only fraction of the respect and love that Brian was able too, because isnt that all what we can only hope for? To leave the world knowing that you have touched someones heart, and left it with a glimmer of hope that changes can be made for the better.

  37. Michael Anderson on May 31st, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Wow! What a marvelous well-written biography! I remember Brian Piccolo (I am now 53) and still admire him and his courage tremendously!!

  38. Rosalyn Thomas on June 21st, 2008 at 12:34 am

    I was moved by the original “Brian’s Song” at the age of 6. I didn’t really understand the full meaning of the unfolding drama, but did understand that a man died of this horrible illness. At the time, 26 seemed old to me. Years later, I read Jeanne Morris’ book and realized how young he was when he was dealing with this.
    Brian Piccolo has remained an inspiration to me. It was nice to see the ESPN special a few years ago and see how beautiful his daughters are. I know he would be so proud of them. It’s wonderful to see the way his story has impacted so many and serves as a reminder to us all to live our lives well and with gratefulness. His life was short, but look at his enduring legacy.

  39. i cry everytime i even think of the movie and brian piccolo’s story. to be so strong and have so many fiends is amazing

  40. robin braswell on July 14th, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I love the movie “Brian’s Song”. I just saw the remake of it last night–did not realize they had done it-I was expecting to see the original movie. I recorded the movie years ago and have been watching it every so often. The story is so moving and so real. And yes, I cry every time. Both players had so much courage. I need to get the books and read them–also want to get dvd’s. I will continue to watch it—one of my all time favorite movies.

  41. Anybody want to see a picture of him the night b4 he went to see a “specialist” regarding his cough?

    It was taken at a sporting goods convention here in Chicago.

    (It’s autographed and with me)

  42. I was 13 when Sayers was injured and remember vividly the stories of his rehab by “Pic”. I have seen the original movie many times and have the soundtrack in both cd and tape. The article by Mr. Taylor is truly wonderful. I would like to know the update of his wifes journey over the last 40 years.

    God Bless Brian piccolo !!!!!

  43. id want to know how his wife is doing and how shes living now

  44. No matter how many times I see Brian’s Song, I end up crying like it was the first time I seen it.

    The true friendship between these two guys has to be admired by all. It took Brians humor and Gayles strength for them both to endure the final days.

    God bless the Piccolo and Sayers families. Brian will forever live in their hearts as he will live in the fans and those who watch Brian’s Song.

  45. Hey Shaun, I’d like to see the photo and hear your story — I have a photo of Brian framed and it’s a prized possession.. e-mail

  46. The Watts Family on August 9th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    I have just finished watching Brian’s song with my daughter and all we could do was cry, this was a true depiction of love, family and friends enduring a time of tragedy with strength and honor. Yes, I cried for the life lost and the families affected. I can only say that seeing the life of a great man who endured has encouraged myself and my children to be better equipped for the circumstances of life. I was never a football fan, I just thank god for the friendship made and reciprocated in his time of need, We will never forget Brian, and this story will continue to touch lives until the end of time. Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers will be forever be etched in our hearts!!!!

  47. One of my favorite movies of all times is Brian’s Song…Brian Piccolo must have been a remarkable man. I cry every time I see his story. When I was five I named my dog (a german shepherd) after him. Everyone made fun of her name until i told them why she was named Piccolo.

  48. i am related to brian piccolo and look up to him everyday becuase i know that his strength is in me thinking about his story insipers me to acheeve exalance everyday

  49. It was just yesterday (06/09/2008) during the 19th year of my life that I watched the movie named “Brian’s song” which is dedicated to this amazing person. The one and only thing that I’m sure about is that I won’t forget him. This is the least that we can do for him.. Because we shouldn’t consider mr Pic as dead.. He is alive in our soul giving us the mental and spiritual strength that we may lack..Let’s fight for life to keep him alive through us.
    Thank you Brian!

  50. We Were required to read Brian’s Song in HIgh School about 30 years ago and the only thing I remember was the ultimate compliment of Brian. “Its not how he died they remeber. It’s how he lived. How he did live” Wonderful saying for a wonderful man.

  51. I just had to read Brain’s song over the last few days, and let me just say that before then i never knew who gale sayers and brain piccolo was. I was touched by both the movie and the play.

  52. As a survivor of embryonal cell cacinoma, like Brian Piccolo, I can
    relate to some of what he was experiencing in battling this horrible disease. God bless Brian for maintaining his dignity, and for his willingness to give back to others, even as he faced his own monumental struggle.

  53. We moved to Chicago from St Louis in the mid 60′s just in time to see Piccolo play for the Bears. I grew up loving the Bears because of Brian’s story. This story moves me to this day. I’m so very happy that they are able to save lives for people who get this type of cancer. So many things Brian Piccolo taught us but his humor had to be contagious.

  54. dude u r a legend i love your Biography it talks about football in such a way that no one knows ive been playing football for six years and i love your book sincerally Chaz Mosley

  55. Brian Piccolo’s life story was one of the most moving experiences of my life. I have been an NY Giants tickek holder since 1960 and saw both Sayers and Piccolo play in Yankee Stadium. I watch the movie whenever I can and am always moved to tears by the courage displayed by Mr Piccolo and the interaction between he and Gayle Sayers. His life has been an inspiration to me.
    Thanks for the wonderful biography.

  56. I coached at conroe high school in Conroe ,texas at one time i showed this movie to my freshman football team this is without a doubt a movie about true character something this world is severly lacking today ! tonight i will be going to see “the Express” the Ernie Davis story as i was looking up that movie i was brought to this link and in reading i was reminded and brought to tears here at work on a saturday as i am trying to sell cars ! Long live the memories of those who bring us to to a better understaning of life and love ,like “Pic”

  57. Keep up the good work.

  58. Several years ago we saw the original “Brian’s Song” (which, by the way, will always be our favorite version) and cried throughout the story. Recently we pulled the video out of our collection and watched it again, with much the same reaction. Just recently I purchased a box of books at an auction and in it was “I am Third” by Gale Sayers, which I’ve just finished reading. What a marvelous example Brian Piccolo and Gale set for establishing meaningful friendships! Most outstanding are the words of Gale Sayers as he accepted the George Halas Award – would that we could all be that unselfish and caring!

  59. I was born in 1970 and was named after Brian Piccolo. I never really cared about that fact until I was in College and was reading Brian’s biography by Jeannie Morris and found out that my parish priest growing up had conducted Brian and Joy’s wedding and found a few other things that we had in common and since then have always considered him to be my hero. I didn’t marry and have children until I was older than 26 and I often stop and consider how short a time that he had here on earth and it is terribly sad to think of his children and the things that they were never able to share with their dad. However, as a father, I am most moved to tears when I consider the fact that he was dying and at some point Brian must have realized all the things that he was going to miss.


  61. At Wake Forest where Brian played his college ball setting then an NCAA single season rushing record of over 1,200+ yards, I remember well having to tackle him during practice, being on the scout team most of the time. Hitting him was one thing bringing him down another. While a teammate, I knew little about his Ft. Lauderdale history in high school (learned much about him after his death and the movie made – Brian’s Song). Today, Brian’s name came to mind when I was looking for a book for our 12 year old grandson to read. In doing a google I found this page and took a little bit of time to express my genuine respect for him and his attitude at Wake Forest. He was liked by everybody and deservedly so because he seemed not to be a premodona but a genuine caring person who was set on enjoying life in a good clean fashioned arena. He would have enjoyed being a father to his children and they must be proud.

  62. I am and will always be a Chicago Bears fan. I wish the Brian
    Piccolo story did not have to happen. He was a great player. Why do the great ones go. Walter Payton also left us at an early age. I will share Brian’s song with everyone so they can see that a man is only bound by his own will. Brian proved that we can obtain our goals. Even if it’s just for a short time.

  63. i just watched the movie today, and i cried my eyes out. i think hes the most incredable football player in the world…

  64. Tonight, Christmas Eve, 2008 my husband opened an early Christmas gift…I bought him the movie Brian Song. As a child it was my favorite movie and still is. We had both seen it many many times. But tonight we wanted to share it w/ our daughter 15 and twins sons 11. We all cried. What an amazing man and a true friendship. I wonder where his wife and daughters are today~

  65. Hoje, dia 02 de janeiro de 2009 vi aqui no brasil o filme de brian piccolo e percebi que a vida √© para ser aproveitada da melhor maneira possivel, pois ele foi uma pessoa que amava a vida e √© um exemplo para mim. Que deus ilumine seu espirito, san……..

  66. I grew up in Wisconsin, and still live there, so am a Packers fan. That being said, I have also respected Brian Piccolo for over 35 years now, for the couragous person that he was. I have watched the movie “Brian’s Song” over and over–had to replace the tape version with a DVD version of it, and have also read Gale Sayer’s book “I Am Third” (have a copy of it). Your article was very moving and is a wonderful tribute to a rare and wonerful man. Thank you so much for writing it (by the way, I had just gotten done watching “Brian’s Song” and was looking up some information on the web, when I ran across your article.
    Thank you!!

  67. hi my name is xavier i just love football. and brian piccalo and gale sayers are like my idels and im actaly doing a report on this two people. and put a little more inf about brain piccalo on this wedsite


  69. WOW! My children are doing a reort on Brian Piccolo and they havent seen the movie yet. the are doing it as a school project the whole 7th grade and they are watching it in school on Thursday & Friday right now they do not even have any idea how completely powerful and life changing this story is. Brian was an increddible person as is his dear friend Gale Sayers. I havent seen the movie in years but helping my children do research has brought tears to my eyes several times I had to call my brother who Loved Brian Piccolo!! I hope that you continue to keep this site up there are some really great comments on here. Brians family would probably enjoy reading them!! there Father was a great man what a loss !!! HE MADE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!

  70. Hi im Brian Piccolo’s niece from New Winsor, NY i love him and miss him very much although i never got to meet him but my fathers cousin.

  71. Brian Sullivan on April 8th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Hello Roy,
    Thank you for this heartfelt and genuine tribute. It truly embodies what all Bear fans feel young and old about Brian Piccolo.
    I watched “Brian’s Song” again last night for the 1,000th time and it still makes me so proud to be a Bear fan. Even though he wasnt from Chicago he certainly resembled what Chicagons are all about; Loyalty, Caring for others, and Humility.


    Brian F. Sullivan

  72. When I was a kid in the late 60s early 70s, the Bears spring training camp was in my hometown of Rensselaer, IN at St. Josephs College. They practiced on a field that was 1/4 mile from my house. I used to ride my bike up to watch them practice all the time. I remember Butkus, Sayers, Piccolo, and other. I had their cards and autographs but their all gone now. Wish I still had them. I watched Brian’s Song again tonight for the first time in a long time. I remember when it first came out and the opening scene was the college campus with Sayers taxi dropping him off for Spring training. Great memories! I guess I didn’t realize until tonight that Pic was only 26 at the time of his death. So young.

  73. What a moving writing! I loved Brian’s Song the first time I saw it in 1971 and love it all over again as I watch it tonight! What a wonderful man graced humanity!

  74. tonite i watched brian’s song for the 100 time.Pic fought his whole career,what a man,a man who’s actions spoke more than anything.It was unseen in the 60′s two men one white the other black to be given the chance to share a room together,they showed us that it could be done it was GREAT.And the special friendship each had for the other.We as people will never see this kind of bonding again in pro sports.I still get all choked up when watching this movie.Way to go pic and gayle.we miss you pic rip from new jersey.And yes thanks for the memories

  75. I was watching Brian’s Song on TV tonight for about the 20th time. Everytime I see this movie I can’t help but shed a few tears.
    I didn’t care for the re-make but the original w/James Cann and Billy Dee Williams is amazing. I enjoyed your “Tribute also.” P.S. I live in Florida and we have a Brain Piccolo Field in Cooper City.

  76. Great tribute.I feel the same.

  77. Shirlene Merrill on September 27th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I too have watched the move Brian’s Song A LOT!!! Too many to count,one of my favorite movies!!! The reason for writing this and finding this site is—Sunday, watching the Vikings (go Vikes) and the SF 49′s. There was a reference to a player running, and the commentator said something to the effect of: “haven’t seen that since Gayle Sayers”. So……….had to look up Gayle Sayers to see what he’s doing now, this lead me to this site. Their relationship said a lot, not only a great friendship but for that time, the 60′s. We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. We have made great strides, but by the e-mails we get from our idiot far right friends, you would think it is STILL the 60′s.

  78. I recently saw the new movie on Brian having seen the original so many years ago and the raw courage that he had was very evident. I have always admired the man for his courage and determination and above all the love that he had for his family and team mates especially Gayle Sayers. What a friendship they must have had,a friendship so pure that it should always be sought after. RIP Brian Piccolo.
    Ronnie Warren

  79. I often think about the movie, “Brian’s Song”..I remember how I cried thinking how unfair life had been to Brian. But what a strong man he was. What great faith and spirit he possessed in the face of death. I only hope to have this kind of strengh if ever i’m faced with such a tragic dilemma in my lifetime. God bless you for writing this article. It had been a long time.

  80. A Bears fan I was a long time ago and only a second grader when Brian Piccolo ended his battle with lung cancer. Brian Piccolo exemplified the true meaning of what a teammate really should be. No weights, steroids, multi-million dollar contracts or convicted felons back when he played. If the movie Brian’s Song doesn’t make one cry, one might check to see if they have a soul. If the filmmakers of America want to fill the cinemas, get a new movie of Brian’s Song in the theaters with Billy Dee Williams and James Caan in coaching roles while updating this great American drama. Godspeed to you Brian Piccolo. May you be united with your loving family when all is said and done.

  81. is brian piccolo in the hall of fame

  82. Not in the Hall but I think they have or had a tribute to him there.

    Brian and his family lived near me in the Beverly area of Chicago when I was in 2nd and third grade. He and another Bear came to my parish’s father and son Holy Name breakfast in 1968 and he picked me up and spun me around. What a great person. I remember him laughing with all of the boys there that day.

    He is one of my heroes. I tell my boys about him all the time and tell that they should play football and the game of life like Brian did.

  83. we have been reading brian’s song at school the past week. i love everything about it. when i was watdhing brian’s song i told my grandma i wasn’t going to cry even after she told me it was one of the sadest movies she ever watched. after the movie was over she came into the living room to see if i was crying. of course i was it just reminded me of losing my sister. the sad part is no one told me how she died.after she died it felt like no one cared about me anymore. so if someone in your family dies don’t be thinking that no one cares about you because they still do and always will even after your dead. the only reason i thought no one loved me is because i didn’t get any i know that i was wrong. right know i am 12 and this happened about six in a half years ago.

  84. This was an awesome article which touched me quite profoundly and emotionally.Brian was an exceptional human being that Gayle certainly recognized and that you pointed out so well.
    All NFL palyers should know this story, maybe we wouln’t have so many hot dogs today, or it seems like it.
    Brian is an example that all people from all walks of life should aspire. He worked so hard to achieve and in the face of overwhelming poor odds kept his composure, sense of humor and dignity about him.
    Thanks for your article…well done!!

  85. Dear Roy, I really enjoyed your article on Brian Piccolo. I also loved and admired Brian. In 1964 as I was a sophmore at Wake Forest and playing Offensive Center for the football team Coach Bill Tate, who was a first year coach. He gave several sophmores an opportunity to start on that team. I was one of those along with Lynn Nesbitt. The two of us along with Bull Salter, Brian’s high school friend, Bill Hopkins, and Jim Beaudoin. Lead the way for Brian to lead the nation in rushing and scoreing in 1964. If you would like more information please sen me your emial address. I have a great deal of information from our collegfe days.

  86. Mr. Taylor, I read and printed a copy of your article about Brian Piccolo to share with my students at Pierce MS, in Tampa, FL. First, students completed an activity on the + and – of Friendship. We viewed the educational film, “Brian’s Song”, for a Listening/Note-Taking lesson in LA classes. Students created a “Picture Story” (story w/o words) on posters. Next, we read your article, along with a similar one on Gale Sayers.
    I enjoyed this article and appreciate your personal comments. Educators have a hard time, trying to convince teens today that a “hero” is so much more than someone who excels in sports. They seldom see the real person behind the cheers, and they cannot see honesty, integrity and personal achievement…through the noises made by media. Thank you for seeing the real man; I, too, hightly admire Pic’s personality, courage, honesty, dedication, and the level of friendship he achieved. Doris R Ripoll, Pierce MS, 5511, North Hesperides Ave., Tampa, FL 33614.

  87. Karen on May 13, 2010 on May 13th, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Great commentary and great article. My daughter is a finalist for a college scholarship in Brian Piccolo’s name. We had a chance to revisit this sad, courageous and inspiring life story. Brian had the determination, will and positive attitude that makes EVERYONE want to get up and create amazing things in their lives. No excuses, right?

    Brian Piccolo was given the gift of 26 years and he left is mark. It makes me think: How many years have you been given? What have you done with them? If not enough, get moving. If you’re already blazing a trail…keep blazing. Every day counts.

  88. born in illinois i have always been a bears fan. i was only 10 yrs old when brian piccolo died. i remember the first time i saw brian’s song in 1971, i cried for days after everytime i thought about the movie. it just made me so sad and so mad that god would take such a truly wonderful man away from us at such a young age. and his poor little girls i couldn’t stop thinking about how sad they must feel every day. my two brothers have always been sports fanatics and have always loved all of their chicago teams even after not living in illinois for years. i am e-mailing them your article, it touched me so deeply that i had a hard time reading it through my tears. i love the way you started this article with the speech ” i love brian piccolo…. i got chills reliving hearing those words in the movie and i started to tear up. your article is beautifully written and you did his story more than “justice” in the way that wrote this. you can feel the genuine admiration in your words and know that he truly was a hero to you. as well me and millions of others who felt that he was a genuine hero, and that the world lost more than just another great football player, we lost one of the greatest men who ever lived. the dictionary should say brian piccolo as it’s definition of a hero. thank you for keeping his memory alive. RIP pic!! and there were two hero’s in this story in my eyes because the love and honor gayle sayers had for brian made him a legend too!!

  89. I have always been fond of the show Brian’s Song and along with my older brother, we were both into sports and just found it to be an inspiring story. I am moved every time I watch the scene in the hospital where Brian says goodbye to Gale. I never thought I would be in a hospital room saying goodbye to my big brother at the age of 49. I lost him to cancer last year. The funny, and amazing thing was that when I walked into his hospital room for the first time to see how he was, he said to me in a weak voice, ( he would pass away the next day to Colon Cancer), ” Hey Craig, this is just like on Brian’s Song”. I was mad at him and laughed and cried all at the same time………I miss him…

  90. Dot Hall Hanlon on January 17th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    How connected we all are. It was through your writing about Brian Piccolo that I found family members that I have not been in touch with in 40 years. In looking for my cousins, I googled Bill Cordes and came up with Roy Taylors pages. I never knew that my cousin Bill Cordes was to donate blood that the doctors believed might have helped Brian in his battle. I have always loved Brian Piccolo’s story and NOW as of this past week I am a New York BEARS fan. Thanks Roy, GO BEARS…and thanks Brian!!

  91. Love your story about Pic. I was 11 years old in 1968 when I had a chance to see Brian Piccolo at a public appearance in Indianapolis on October 7th of that year. A Monday, the Bears had already lost three or four games. Despite the losses, Brian was an upbeat and even funny guy, even to us kids. He signed my grade school football that day. Thirty years later I was able to get Gale Sayers to sign it, also during a public appearance in Indy.

    You said you’ve admired Brian your whole life. I have too. Who couldn’t?

    The only home Bears jersey I have has #41 on it and the name “Piccolo” across the back. It’s an heirloom!

    Tom Eckrich

  92. Thanks Tom! Good story. He will always be my favorite Bear.

  93. Great story!

    A sports hero due to his character, not his accomplishments.

    Someone asked me yesterday if there would be anyone else besides me wearing a Piccolo jersey this weekend. Good to hear there are still folks out there who value the person rather than the athlete.

    BEAR DOWN! Please share this story with the young athletes in your life… It is truly moving.

  94. chuck mcdonnell on January 24th, 2011 at 1:07 am

    i grew up in the same cctholic parrish as mr. piccolo and played football in 8th grade thier we would go to 6;30 mass and when the bears were home mr. piccolo would be thier and come sit with the team. some times he would come to are football practice and talk with us one time he brought gail sears with him . for a man as busy as he was he still found time for the kids of the neiberhood .he also found time to be the speaker at are football banqout in 1968 .i remember at his funeral mass all us kids were standing outside the church and all the greats were thier from all the sports yet we didnt care thats not what we were thier for he was a great man and loved and will remembered

  95. Hi Roy,
    We were in contact about 2 years ago. Any chance you could email me if you get a minute? I have a few questions. I just love this story and it warms my heart to see so many people remembering Brian to this day. Thank you.

  96. Gina, I don’t have your e-mail address. Could you click the “contact us” link on the bottom right of any page and send me a note? Thanks. Good to hear from you.

  97. Watched Brians Song for the first time in a long time.. I wanted my Children to watch it because it was based on a true story. I truly believe it had a positive affect on me growing up.. just the way two humans beings cared for one another with out regard to race is truley inspirational and something we should all carry with us throughout out lives.

  98. dude im lik lovin this report

  99. I was sucked in from the time I began reading your tribute to Brian. I’m much older than you–61–but I’m a sports fan and also a fan of great human beings. Like you, from the time I knew of Brian’s life, I was inspired. It’s a timeless story and lesson and yes, he left us the message to love everyone and to love them NOW. Thanks

  100. i luv this brian piccolo guy!!!

  101. You speak very well what so many of us feel- my wife is my hero …and whether she played pro anything or not- because of her inspiring attitude as Mr. picollo’s I appreciate evry moment I have with her! Here we are concerned with what we feel so much of the time is important, and yet we have the wicked enemy death affect you and/or your loved ones, hopefully a reminder like Brian’s will help us draw strength in what is meaningful and what really matters- i have in my own way many times thanked he and his family for their

  102. when i was watching the movie i cried during the part when they screamed and cried i love you to each other why do people have to die these days god bless us all i promised i wouldnt cry but i did all you dudes out there its ok to cry just this once at this movie cause i did

  103. I often wonder what happed to Brian’s brother Joe. Joe was with the CIA back in the day. Joe dated a freind of mine at the time and I hung out with him a few times. Anyone know Joe?

  104. Hello from Savannah!

    Just wanted to say that I totally enjoyed your article! I am not a sports fan but I love to hear stories that inspire me- less than often its sports related.
    I remember that movie too and I believe you said it best when you wrote that few people are heroes but this guy is one of them.
    Am typing on my iPhone and I HATE it but thought you should know what a kicking article you wrote!
    Keep writing,

  105. Alessandra Piccolo on August 24th, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Hello,my name is Alessandra piccolo and I really don’t know if Iam related to Brian. My parents are also italian from Calabria, which is in southern italy.I have alway been interested in brian’s story because Iam a cancer surviour (3) times I have battled (NHL)for the last 14 yrs. and I had a steam cell transplant in 2002.I don’t know if by having the Piccolo last name we carry cancer but my father also died at the age of 51.

    I love watching football/ Chicago needs help but I still hold them close to my heart, thanks to brian.and I really enjoyed your article !!!!! Biran song is still my favorite movie. Keep up with your writing and we will enjoy reading. Cheers Alessandra Piccolo

  106. Thanks for writing Alessandra-best wishes to you on good health!

  107. Back in 2000 I was diagnosed with a thymoma (cancer of the thymus gland) having one year of some kind of treatment I was starting to do better. Just 2 years later my youngest son was killed in a auto accident close to our home. He had started high school playing varsity football after he passed away we always said Daniel was up there playing with Brian one of his friends did put a football with him. Daniel too had the jokester side to him It was at my second surgery when my surgeon said that he was coaching at at Stanford when Brian was playing for the Bears and mention his name I just smiled because at that time I thought it was a way of letting me know things were okay I told him my story at the next visit and then when I looked up about Brian another fact jumped out at me and that was we were both put into the hospital on the same day (years apart) but maybe its because of his help with these kinds of cancer I have lived for 11 years As with the family we miss our Daniel but one day we will be together

  108. During desegregation, in the early ’70, as the Baby Boomers of white families were trying to learn to share the world with their Boomer brothers and sisters of black families, most older white adults did not support our reaching across the racial divide to know each other and find peace in the new world we realized we were ushering in. As Human Relation Council President of my college, I lead our committee in a weeklong celebration of interracial understanding. The culmination of that week was the free airing of the movie “Brian’s Song”. I had seen it the year before and appreciated the power of Brian Piccolo’s courage and his love for his friend whose character not his color was what he saw. I wanted so for the students of my college to want to live up to the desire to change our world for the better by relating to each other as people who saw themselves as more alike than different. I wanted them to want the world that Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers knew and lived in. That world did not come then, it did not come later, but it is coming clearer with each new generation and my greatest hope is that one day we will fully respect each other for the good in all of us and the differences that make us unique, not different. God love them both, they brought us such joy in their own unique ways and more in their connection to each other.

  109. I was just a kid when brian was playing. All these years later and
    His star shines as bright as ever. Guys like brian and walter will be remembered long after the game fades away.

  110. Steve Bobinski on March 26th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Hello Roy,

    I was moved deeply by your article, specifically how Brian lived, each day a gift. I’m thankful my family and myself are healthy..but Brian’s life and his will to live each day to it’s fullest, is a wonderful model to all of us, and we should learn from his great example to embrace life each day. I agree with your comment regarding teaching your son not to worship celebrities or athletes strictly for their fame. But I think you’d agree that Brian was a person that was different…Thank you, Roy and thank you Brian.

  111. Nancy Sangiacomo on April 25th, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I have watched this movie about Brian so many times and every time I watch it I cry…He was such a strong guy loved his family and life…Go Bears….

  112. Marilyn Platt on May 8th, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Hello, l live in Australia and have just watched the movie about Brian and still have tears in my eye’s, he was so young and l am sure very much missed by all who knew him. What a great movie, what a great man.

  113. Steve Scalici on June 26th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I survived the same cancer as Pic, now being 15 years out. When I first saw the movie in 1972, I did a class presentation on it, never realizing the irony that I too would suffer the same disease as Mr. Piccolo some 23 years later. Thanks to his foundation and the role it played in research to find a cure for testicular cancer, I am alive to write this note.

  114. just read what u wrote, there should be more people like u in this world, u are a great person for the way u wrote ur story.i feel everything that u feel after reading ur story thank u eddie

  115. Just saw the 2001 version with my wife and spotted this article on the net. Great story and great piece. Thank you for the details and other info not in the films. yes, I have four young boys ages 3 mo- 8 years old and these are the ones i want them to look up to. In the face of all that was going on in his life…he continued to give to others. Gayle was also an inspiration. I will buy and read both of their books. Thanks!

  116. I enjoyed this story very much. I too have always had a soft spot and a lot of admiration for Brian. I didn’t know all of the trials he went through with his cancer…….That was a lot more than most people will ever endure. My Mother was going through cancer treatments at the same time as Brian and so I understand what he was suffering…but he was so young. I was and still am a Bears fan and whenever I watch a Bears game, I think of Brian. Right now we are watching a Wake Forest Game and it also reminds me of Brian. What a great guy and football player he was….

  117. Thank you,Mr. Taylor,your article is excellent. I was just a baby when Brian Piccolo played for the Bears, but I do remember watching Brian’s Song as a child and being deeply moved by it. I love football and the amazing stories of human triumph and courage that have transcended American football into the world’s greatest sport.

    I am struggling in my life now, but I will not succumb to self-pity and defeat. I pray to Brian Piccolo for the strength to pick myself up and achieve my goals. Brian’s message of hope to children was the importance of maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity. Equally significant in overcoming life’s difficulties is a person’s sense of humor, and Brian epitomized that with his wit, charm, and warmth.

    He has always been one of my heroes. As I sit here on this quiet morning, I think of Brian and humbly ask him to inspire me to succeed in spite of any adversity. Thanks again for sharing your story.

    God bless, and GO Bears!


    Benjamin Martzell
    New Orleans, LA

  118. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader

  119. Thank you for a more detailed story of Brian Piccolo’s story. Yes, I’m a Packers fan, but who could not be moved by the story of such a young heroic man. The ultimate test of character, I think, comes in 2 parts: how did we live the responsibilities entrusted to us, and how did we face death. Brian Piccolo was exemplary in both aspects. I think of his young wife with 3 little children, seeing her whole life changing by something so unknown, almost incomprehensible. With what grace, humor, love, courage they faced the very hard diagnosis and treatment.
    I remember working on my wedding plans in my family’s home when this movie aired on TV. Though seated in an adjoining room, I was half-listening when drawn by the dialogue and the musical theme, I thought I’d take a “look.” Of course, I had to finish watching the very short movie.
    Thanks for posting this…you did a great job…this story should never fade away.

  120. Thank you Anne, nice comment.

  121. Francette Liance on June 16th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I just saw the original movie with James Caan again today and remember it when it originally aired on TV in the 1970′s, when I was in my 20′s. What a beautiful story of true courage, determination and love of fellowman!! It is really comforting to me to know that Brian (I didn’t realize his first name was Louis, my dad’s name!) has the hope of being resurrected back to life on a cleansed earth where there will be no more sickness, old age or death (John 5:28; Revelation 21:1-4) and to be reunited with his family and friends, including Gale Sayers, one of his best friends! I can’t wait to meet him and get to know him myself!!

  122. I was reading about Gale Sayers lawsuit against the NFL this morning ( and glad to see he dropped that suit ), and started watching highlights of Sayers and Walter Payton when I ran across this story. As a child I watched Brian’s Song for the first time and it impacted me in a way I cant describe. To this day I find it hard to watch the movie that I love so deeply.

    I have been a die hard Bears fan since that day and am proud to say I was born on June 16 the day Brian Piccolo sadly passed. It is one of the best articles I have read filled with respect and love for someone so deserving.

    All I can say is thank you!

  123. This is a beautifully composed article about an outstanding human being. I was born in 1961, so I was a kid when Brian Piccolo died, and the first time I saw “Brian’s Song”. The example of strength of character that Brian Piccolo showed in life and as he died never left me. Thank you for honoring Brian Piccolo’s memory with this article, and articulating what his life meant to so many of us.
    -Paula Jones

  124. A heart felt story that should be known throughout the world. I saw Brian’s song when I was 12 years old I realized in love and compassion knows no color true friendship is the meaning

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