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#7 Brian's Song

James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, ... | TEAM SPIRIT Caan and Williams in the sorrowful ''Song''
Image credit: Brian's Song: Everett Collection
TEAM SPIRIT Caan and Williams in the sorrowful ''Song''

Why ''Brian's Song'' is a top tearjerker

Yes, it was made for TV. But, really, there's no way to omit Buzz Kulik's ultimate straight-male love story, the Emmy-winning true-life drama of Chicago Bears teammates Brian Piccolo (James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams). Mirroring the less refined and even-more-dated ''Bang the Drum Slowly,'' this brief tale of two utter opposites whose on-field bond is only strengthened when one develops cancer has always been the tough guy's best excuse to get misty -- and to say ''I love you.''

KLEENEX MOMENT Sayers accepts a courage award by dedicating it to his stricken friend: ''I love Brian Piccolo. And I'd like all of you to love him, too. And tonight when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him.'' Touchdown.

Originally posted Nov 19, 2003