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I Am Third: The Inspiration for Brian's Song: Third Edition Paperback – November 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142000752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142000755
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Sayers's 1970 autobiography serves double duty: it is the story of how he catapulted himself out of an Omaha ghetto to become one of the greatest running backs in National Football League history and the tale of his friendship with Chicago Bears teammate Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer. Sayers's memoir was the basis for the film Brian's Song, a remake of which will air soon. A solid title for both sports and black history collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It was so well written.
Todd M. Laycock
78-79) There is SO much more in this book; anyone who wants to read one of the truly great "inspirational sports stories" of all time, needs to read this book.
Steven H. Propp
They were such good friends, that their differences made each of them better.
warren fitch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
The book "I AM THIRD" written by Gale Sayers is the best autobiography I have ever read. This book is compassionate, emotional, and sometimes comic. It tells the story of a man with such love for a sport when a knee injury almost destroys his career and all the friends he didn't even know he had. One letter a boy wrote really touched Gale emotionally. Linda, Gale's wife, gives Gale all the support a wife could. In 1970 Gale was named the Most Courageous Player of the Year. This book also talks about the friendship between Gale Sayers and Brian Piccilo, both famous players for the Chicago Bears. Gale Sayers was a "great running back on the field and a great friend off the field" says Brian. The story includes the importance of faith in Gale Sayer's life. He concludes "The lord is first, my friends are second, and I am third." I recommend this book for any young football player who has BIG dreams.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have read a lot of books and I still remember, after thirty years, lines from this great book. The best of all is "God is 1st, Others are second, I am Third", the way God intended it to be. I don't believe I will ever forget how it has touched my life in many ways and many times. This is among the greatest of all books. I rate it up there with the best, after the Bible, of course. This book shows how two people can be the best of friends, even in the worst of times; no matter what the color of your skin or how different your personality may be.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
I came across this book by watching one of my all-time favorite movies, which is based on this book: "Brian's Song". Gayle Sayers and Brian Picolo had a wonderful and humorous friendship. Their differences (skin color) were not a problem for them. In fact, they made jokes about themselves and their differences. This book is a very inspirational story for anyone to read. You do not have to be a football fan, just someone's friend, to enjoy this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By harriss@ndu.edu on April 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
As a young boy, I read this book and it has stuck with me ever since. Though not a religious man, Gale Sayers touched me with his prioritization in such Godly order. It is a story that every young person should read as they make up their mind what is important in life.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I never really liked sports but one day in my english class we had to watch this movie and write a report on it. The movie was great it really moved me how there skin color didnt matter, and how two people so different yet so alike could work to build a grest friendship. I wanted to learn more about Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo. Now i love football i've read so much about both of them and the sport they played.uy this boook
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Buckner on July 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a great sports history as well as a great historical account of Black Omaha, NE in the 50's and 60's. I also grew up on the 'Near North Side' and attended Omaha Central High School. Gale's recollections are accurate and tell many stories that are otherwise untold. Friendships, hardships and places that no longer exist, except in our collective memories...I will always be grateful that this aspect of my upbringing has been preserved this way.

Although I'm 13 years younger than Gale, I remember when we would play tackle football in both the schoolyard of Lothrop Grade School and Knoutze Park, everybody wanted to be Gale when they ran with the ball, we all carried the ball like a loaf of bread, we all tried to shake the defender the way he did...EVERYBODY. In the locker room at Central, there was a framed poster of him, no name, just 'All-Metro, All-State, All-American, All-Pro', with the likes of backs like Calvin Jones, Michael Carter, James Tolbert and Ahman Green coming later, there's no wonder Central is refered to as 'Half-Back High'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on July 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Chicago Bears star Gale Sayers reveals his life and personality in this dated but potent biography. Written in his last season (1970), Sayers provides a very insightful look at his upbringing in Kansas and the Omaha ghetto in a poor but close-knit family. We follow him to stardom in his mostly-white high school (where he was a poor student) and the University of Kansas. Drafted by both the NFL's Chicago Bears and the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs in 1965, Sayers probably could have gotten more than the four-year, $25,000 per year contract (plus $50,000 signing bonus) he signed for - worth several times as much in 2010 dollars. Readers learn about the NFL in the waning George Halas/Vince Lombardi era, including competitive training camp, pre-game jitters, and pressure. Later came steroids, the NFL-AFL merger, football-only stadiums, and more money. We learn about how Sayers handled his 1968 knee injury (I've seen film of that hit many times), his family, and some equally revealing words from his wife Linda. We also hear of his friendship with teamate Brian Piccolo, who's death from cancer became basis for the superb film Brian's Song.

This readable book provides sports excitement with the insights of a decent man unfraid to reveal his fears and flaws. Apparently, Sayers has been quite successful in business and philantropic ventures since leaving the NFL - nice to see, given that many athletes ignore education and find hardship once their playing days end. This book is dated but solid reading, and one wishes there were more like it.
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