From the Stars and Stripes archives

Bob Hayes returns to field he tore up in 1964 Olympics

Bob Hayes, wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, arrives at Tokyo International Airport in March, 1974.


By RANDY MURPHY | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 22, 1974

TOKYO — Bob Hayes, wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League will join a team of the U.S. All-Stars in Japan on Sunday at Tokyo's National Stadium against the Kanto All-Stars from the Nippon Football League.

Hayes, known in Japan as the "Brown Bullet" because of his heroics in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics held here — at National Stadium — and the U.S. All-Stars will also play on March 31 at Nishinomiya Stadium, Nishinomiya City, near Osaka against the Kansai All-Stars.

Making up the U.S. All-Stars cast will be the Zama Ramblers, who finished with a 5-5 record in the Kanto Plain Interservice Football League, this past sea.son, plus a few extras.

The extras are players from Fuchu AS, Kamiseya Naval Station and Okinawa, and a quarterback by the name of Gary Valbuena.

Valbuena is 21, stands 6-foot-3, weighs 208 pounds and lives in Huntington. Calif. Valbuena also turned down a chance to sign with the Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins, who drafted him this year.

Valbuena elected to play in the World Football League, where he's been offered more money for his services and perhaps have a chance to prove himself much sooner than if he joined the Dolphins, who have Bob Griese and Earl Morral for starters.

The University of Tennessee graduate just recently signed a favorable three-year contract with the Southern California franchise in the WFL, and football experts predict he'll be an outstanding professional quarterback.

As for Hayes, the Japanese remember him as the world's fastest human as a result of his feats in the '64 Summer Games, where he amazed millions with his speed.

During the Games, Hayes tied the world record in the 100-meter dash, covering the distance in 10 seconds flat. Hayes also anchored the 400-meter relay team to victory.

Taking the last handoff some three yards behind the leader, Hayes grabbed the baton from Paul Stebbins and streaked to a .39-second last lap in world record time to win the gold medal for the U.S.

Hayes turned in a wind-aided 9.9 in the 100-meter semifinal trials where he picked up the nickname "Brown Bullet" by the Japanese.

At the helm for the All-Stars will be Ramblers coach Jim McCollum.

Asked what his game plan would be McCollum said, "We'll be running out of a slot I pro-set offense geared to have Hayes in the action 75 per cent of the time, since this is what the spectators will be coming out to see."

Tickets for the game are available at playguide box offices located in the larger department stores and at Special Services outlets at Kamiseya, Zama, Yokosuka and Yokota ranging between 500-1,800 yen each.

The game will be televised starting at 4:30 p.m., programmed as the "Big Sports Hour."