Thursday, October 05, 2006

Find Your Open Field

Gayle Sayers, a former running back for the Chicago Bears and the owner of Sayers’ Computer Source, drew a full-capacity crowd for his keynote address today. When he was introduced, the 300 attendees gave him a standing ovation as he walked to the podium prompting him to say, “I’ve been out of football for 30 years, and I thought all my fans were dead.”

At the age of 28, Sayers retired due to a knee injury after playing just 68 games for an NFL team, but he still became the youngest player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame. During his keynote address, he used the analogy of running down an open field as a way to tell the attendees to follow their dreams. “There’s no question you will succeed if you have the skill and desire to go all the way,” he said.

He credits his success in his football career to five friends, coaches and mentors such as Buddy Young. “During my career, I worked with special people who gave me support in a dark hour,” he says. “You face setbacks, and you have to have the courage to get through the good times and the bad.”

He took several questions from the crowd following his keynote presentation and then signed autographs for Chicago Bears fans.

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