New York Jets are mourning the death of one of their greatest wide receivers of all time in George Sauer, Jr., better known as “Mr. 83″. Sauer passed away on Tuesday at the age of 69. They will be wearing their helmets for you this season Sauer.
Sauer played six NFL seasons with the Jets. Sauer will be forever remembered in the Jets organization as an impactful receiver with the offensive powerhouse of Joe Namath and Matt Snell, who helped the Jets win Super Bowl III over the Baltimore Colts (now Indianapolis Colts) on Jan. 12, 1969. Sauer’s greatest play came in the AFL-NFL championship game when he received a pass from Namath to set up for the Jets final field goal to go on to 16-0 lead over the Colts in the fourth quarter.
Sauer played for the Jets from 1965 through 1970, catching 309 passes for 4,965 yards and 28 touchdowns in 84 games. His greatest overall statistical season was in 1967, when he had 75 receptions, 1,189 yards and six TDs. He is ninth overall in Jets history with 309 receptions and sixth overall with 4,965 yards. Having a father in George Sauer Sr., who played with the Green Bay Packers, Sauer Jr. was already primed for big time football after being born in Sheboygan, Wis., on Nov. 10, 1943.
Sauer retired from football at the age of 27 because he felt the game “both glorifies and destroys bodies,” according to a 1983 New York Times article.
He later went on to write novels and poetry, reviewed books and was a textbook graphics specialist in St. Paul, Minn., in the 90s. He passed away in Westerville, Ohio, of congestive heart failure after a struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.