George Sauer, who helped lead the New York Jets to the team’s only Super Bowl, has died at 69.
Sauer played an important part in the Jets 16-7 upset win over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl. Though the game is most remembered for Joe Namath’s famous guarantee that the underdog Jets would be the Colts, Sauer played a key role in what is still considered one of the biggest upsets in NFL history.
Sauer caught eight passes in the game for 133 yards, keeping the ball away from the Colts potent offense and allowing the Jets to grind out the victory.
The wide receiver played 84 games in his career, catching 309 passes for 4,965 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was selected to four all-star teams and twice named to the All-Pro team.
Sauer topped 1,000 yards receiving three times in his career.
Sauer played six seasons with the New York Jets — five in the AFL and his final season in the NFL after the merger. He retired from the NFL at age 27 but had a short stint in the World Football League, playing for the New York Stars and Charlotte Hornets.
He also had success at the college level, helping lead the University of Texas to a consensus National Championship in the 1963 season.
George Sauer came from a famous football lineage. His father, George Sauer Sr., played for the Green Bay Packers from 1935 through 1937.
After retiring from football, George Sauer returned to coach a minor league football team in the late 1970s. He also spent his post-football years pursuing writing, and even completed a novel.
He later moved on the Minnesota, where in the mid 1990s he was a textbook graphic design specialist in St. Paul.
George Sauer died Tuesday in Westerville, Ohio. He had a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, said the Moreland Funeral Home, though his cause of death was said to be congestive heart failure