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An extravagant outing for a rare rookie
Tex Maule
December 06, 1965
Gale Sayers opened in New York and made a clinching argument in his case to be named the NFL's Rookie of the Year. The swift, lithe Chicago halfback ran for two touchdowns and outgained all his Giant opponents
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December 06, 1965

An Extravagant Outing For A Rare Rookie

Gale Sayers opened in New York and made a clinching argument in his case to be named the NFL's Rookie of the Year. The swift, lithe Chicago halfback ran for two touchdowns and outgained all his Giant opponents

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Sayers is married, lives in Chicago and spends a lot of time listening to hi-fi music, but the only real passion of his life is football. "I get my kicks running with the ball," Sayers says. "I would play any position Mr. Halas wanted me to. Football is fun for me, and pro football is more fun than college football because you don't have to spend all that time studying other things. I mean, professional football is my career. I haven't even thought about what I want to do when I get through. Right now I'm just concentrating on doing as well as I can in my profession."

Someone asked him what he thought of Frederickson, who, along with Ken Willard of San Francisco, Dallas' Bob Hayes, and Butkus, is Sayers' strongest competition for Rookie of the Year.

"He impressed me at the All-Star camp," Sayers said ungrudgingly. "He's so compact you don't realize he weighs 225 pounds. And he hits hard, man, very hard. He also cuts better than any big man I ever saw. He is a real good one."

He is all of that, and the Giant fans, although disappointed by his performance Sunday as measured against Sayers' superperformance, knew that Frederickson would give them pleasure on other afternoons to come. He was the Giants' first draft choice as "the best athlete" of his collegiate year—the heavy, hard-running star of a fine Auburn team—and when the season opened it was clear that he was the big back New York had done without for too many years.

He was not merely a hustler who could rip into a good St. Louis team and send it into a tailspin (from which it never really recovered), as he did on October 31. He was also blond and good-looking and Deep South courteous. To Madison Avenue types who had been depressed by the decline and departure of Y. A. Tittle, he was the biggest thing since the sixpack.

But up at the Stadium, Sayers was wasting little energy pondering Frederickson or any other competitor. "All I think about, man," he said, "is winning, just winning."

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