On this day in 1965, Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers scored 6 touchdowns in a 61-20 rout of the San Francisco 49ers at Wrigley Field. The performance was the most exciting in the career one of the most electrifying players in NFL history.
A rookie out of the University of Kansas, Sayers was already a star when the Bears and 49ers met in the 13th game of the season. He scored early on a screen pass. Then with his team leading 13-7, Sayers ran off-tackle for a 21-yard touchdown and took a 7-yard pitch for another. The Bears led 27-13 at halftime.
In the third quarter, he sealed the game with touchdown runs of 1 and 45 yards. Ironically, his most exciting score came on an 85-yard punt return in the 4th quarter when the Bears already had the game in hand.
His performance that day tied Ernie Nevers’ and Dub Jones’ records for the most touchdowns in a game, and has not since been touched. Knee injuries limited Sayers career to seven seasons, but performances like this one are why he was still inducted into the Hall of Fame.