One of the stars of Super Bowl III has passed away.
Former Jets’ wide receiver George Sauer, who we talked about a bit during our part one of our jersey series, has passed away. He was 69 years old. His family has confirmed that the cause of death was congestive heart failure.
In a career with the Jets that spanned 1965-1970, Sauer amassed 309 receptions, 4,965 yards and 28 TDs. He quit the game at the young age of 27 because he considered it, in his words, “dehumanizing”. He did play one year in the WFL in 1974 before hanging up his spikes for good.
In Super Bowl III, with Don Maynard not recording a reception, George was there to pick up the slack, catching 8 passes for 133 yards.
Sauer had aspirations to be a poet and a writer, and these aspirations in other areas led him to hate the life of a professional football player as he mentioned in a 1971 interview:
“When you get to the college and professional levels, the coaches still treat you as an adolescent,” he said in an interview in 1971 with the Institute for the Study of Sport and Society. “They know damn well that you were never given a chance to become responsible or self-disciplined. Even in the pros, you were told when to go to bed, when to turn your lights off, when to wake up, when to eat and what to eat. You even have to live and eat together like you were in a boys’ camp.”
George Sauer was a talented wide receiver in his time, and he will be missed by the Jets family.