One of the most critically acclaimed of all made-for-TV movies, and one of the most watched, this was a finely told and acted story of Brian Piccolo, running back for the Chicago Bears, his lasting rivalry and friendship with fellow player Gale Sayers, and his losing battle with cancer. The film was an Emmy-winner as Best Dramatic Program (1971-72), and Emmy awards also were given to William Blinn for his teleplay and to Jack Warden for his performance as Coach Halas. Caan and Williams also were nominated. The title theme by Michel Legrand has become a standard. Columbia Pictures later released the film theatrically, with a major premiere in Chicago, but withdrew it because of lack of business (virtually everybody had already seen it for free on television).