Gary Burley, a former Cincinnati Bengals player who lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 16, is not thrilled to see his former team play in yet another Super Bowl. However, he hopes for a good game when the 49ers go against the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite his feelings about the 49ers, Burley is now focused on uplifting the stories of persevering African American football pioneers through his book “Glory, The Struggle for Yards”.
Written with Birmingham journalist Donna Francavilla and friend Ralph Brooks, the book tells the stories of five Black men who broke barriers in football’s earliest days. The authors chose two well-known stories and two lesser-known stories to create a compelling narrative. For Burley, being an author is just another accomplishment in a life that includes playing in the Super Bowl. He believes that only falling in love with his wife and getting married tops the experience of playing in the Super Bowl.