Episode 129: 60th Bob Hayes Invitational Track Meet

Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes

  • Robert as a running back for the Dallas CowboysRobert Lee Hayes
  • At the 1964 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo, Hayes had his finest hour as a sprinter. First, he won the 100m and in doing so tied the then world record in the 100 m with a time of 10.06 seconds, even though he was running in lane 1 which had, the day before, been used for the 20 km racewalk and this badly chewed up the cinder track. He was also running on borrowed spikes because one of his shoes had been kicked under the bed when he was playing with some friends and he didn’t realize it until he got there. This was followed by a second gold medal in the 4×100 meter relay, which also set a new World Record.
  • Robert Lee Hayes, nicknamed “Bullet Bob”, was an Olympic gold medalist sprinter who then became an American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. Bob Hayes is the only athlete to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. Hayes played for the Cowboys from 1965 to 1974. He dominated at the wide receiver position, and there was a reason why they called him ‘Bullet’. Hayes is also infamous for two events involving the NFL championship games in 1966 and 1967, both against the Packers. In the 1966 game, on the last meaningful play of the game, Hayes missed an assignment to block linebacker Dave Robinson, which resulted in Don Meredith nearly being sacked by Robinson and, as a result, throwing a desperation pass into the end zone that was intercepted by Tom Brown. In the 1967 NFL championship, the “Ice Bowl”, played on New Year’s Eve, 1967, Hayes was alleged to have inadvertently disclosed whether the upcoming play was a pass or, because. During running plays, he kept his hands inside his pants to keep them warm. and the Green Bay defense knew they didn’t need to cover him

In 1964, Bob Hayes earned the title “World’s Fastest Human” by winning two gold medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. This world-class speed would make him one of the most dynamic receivers in Dallas Cowboys history.

Hayes was drafted in the seventh round in 1964 as a futures selection, the same draft that yielded the Cowboys Mel Renfro and Roger Staubach. To this day, Hayes holds ten regular-season receiving records, four punt return records and 22 overall franchise marks, making him one of the greatest receivers to ever play for the Dallas Cowboys.

“He changed the game because of his speed,” Hall of Fame coach Don Shula said. “He wasn’t just the world’s fastest human, he was a great athlete and football player. Put that together, and he made you change everything on your defense when you played the Cowboys.”

“Bullet” Bob Hayes was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and a four-time All-Pro selection. Hayes played in two Super Bowls, winning the title following the 1971 season, the first world championship for the franchise.

Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes 60th Invitation

The Bob Hayes Invitational Track Meet is an annual event celebrating its 60th year in 2024. It’s designed to be a focal point for young track and field athletes, particularly those in the southeastern United States.

Here’s a breakdown of the event and its focus on youth:

  • Honoring a Legend: The meet is named after Bob Hayes, a legendary sprinter nicknamed “Bullet Bob” for his dominance. It serves as inspiration for young athletes.
  • Aspiring Athletes: The competition focuses on high school and potentially collegiate athletes, giving them a platform to showcase their skills.

While the main event is the track meet itself on March 16th, there’s a full week of activities planned, and many are geared towards the younger participants:

  • Sunday Service (March 10th): Promotes a sense of community and togetherness among the athletes.
  • High School Huddle with Legends (Friday, March 15th): Provides a unique opportunity for young athletes to interact with established track stars, gaining valuable insights and inspiration.

While not directly aimed at youth, the other events contribute to the overall experience:

  • Volunteer Dinner (March 11th): Shows appreciation for those who make the event possible, many of whom might be young people passionate about the sport.
  • Press Conference (March 12th): Generates excitement and highlights the importance of the event.
  • Induction Gala (Thursday, March 14th): Honors track and field greats, potentially inspiring future generations.
  • Schools Package Pickup (Friday, March 15th): Ensures smooth running of the main event.
  • Run for the Culture (Friday, March 15th): A separate collegiate meet that adds to the overall track and field celebration.

Overall, the Bob Hayes Invitational Track Meet is a week-long celebration of track and field, with a focus on providing a platform and inspiration for young athletes. The various events leading up to the main competition create a well-rounded experience that fosters a love for the sport.


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