Tuesday, November 30, 2021

This Day in TV History: Brian's Song premiers on ABC

50 years ago tonight, the nation learned...that men could cry.

Real-life subject Chicago Bears RB Brian Piccolo had died of cancer not a year and a half earlier, so the tragic situation was still fresh in minds when this dramatization of his career and friendship with Gale Sayers debuted.

Well, maybe not exactly, but one of the weepiest male-oriented TV movies of all time had a big impact and is still remembered with fondness today. In 2021 it isn't quite the cultural touchstone it was in the 1970s, 1980s, and even 1990s, but Brian's Song was a go-to reference for many years. It's not streaming anywhere officially, but that is more a sign of the lack of respect for TV movies than any lack of anything with Brian's Song.

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