Thirteen seasons with the Chicago Bears brought good luck to running back Walter “Sweetness” Payton. Drafted fourth overall in 1975, the stutter-stepping All-American from Jackson State University broke Jim Brown’s career rushing record in 1984, and ended his career as the NFL’s leader in rushing yards—Emmitt Smith subsequently broke Payton’s record in 2002.
After retiring at the end of the 1987 season, Payton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993. Well respected both in and out of football circles, Payton should have had a long and rich post-football career, but his time was cut short when he died in 1999 from cancer caused by a rare liver disease.
In his honor, the city of Chicago added organ-donor information to its vehicle registration mailings, a cause that Payton had championed in the last months of his brief but brilliant life.
Payton’s 1976 Topps rookie card is one of the most collectible football cards of the postwar era. Also highly prized is the Payton card from a 33-card set that Topps produced for Holsum Bread. In 1977, Payton and Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson appeared on a card together, and in 1979 Payton was paired with Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell.
Because Payton missed the rapid rise in autographed merchandise in the 21st century, signed Payton collectibles are relatively rare, causing the prices for his signed number-34 jerseys and both his Riddell team and commemorative Hall of Fame helmets to be somewhat higher than those of his peers.
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Davis' versatility, resilience add depth to Rice's running gameHouston Chronicle, September 15th
What do you expect from a guy whose idol is Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton? "I always knew what I wanted to do in life," Davis, a sophomore running back at Rice, said Monday. "Playing the game of football is what I love." Davis led a...Read more
Charles Tillman vows: 'This isn't the end of the road for me'Chicago Sun-Times, September 15th
He's also the franchise's all-time leader in defensive touchdowns at nine, which includes a team-record eight interception returns. He's third in team history with 36 interceptions. And he was named the 2013 Walter Payton Man of the Year for his...Read more
Cohen Earns National Weekly HonorNCAT Aggies, September 15th
The Sports Network, which awards the Walter Payton (best FCS offensive player), Buck Buchanan (best FCS defensive player), Eddie Robinson (best FCS coach) and Jerry Rice (best FCS rookie) winners, named Cohen its national co-offensive player of the ...Read more
Lions No. 3 in TSN Poll, No. 4 in FCS Coaches' PollSoutheastern Lions Athletics, September 15th
Senior quarterback and Walter Payton Award candidate Bryan Bennett finished 16-for-34 for 213 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while also rushing for his 19th career touchdown. Senior Devante Scott (five catches, 93 yards) and junior Jeff...Read more
NFL Week 2 winners and losersUSA TODAY, September 15th
Yet for a league coming off one of its worst weeks in history, just look to Tillman — a Walter Payton Man of the Year and one of the finest human beings in the NFL or anywhere else. Kyle Fuller: The first-round rookie who replaced Tillman picked off...Read more
Chicago Bears Top 100: #1 Walter PaytonBearGoggles, September 7th
After some debate over the #1 ranking, we decided that it could only be Walter Payton. The Bears wouldn't be around to root for if not for George “Papa Bear” Halas, but Walter Payton was one of the greatest players in the NFL history and it seemed...Read more
AAMU Offensive Lineman Alan Cruz Wins 2014 Walter Payton Achievement AwardWAAY, August 31st
ORLANDO, FL (ESPN Events) - The fans have spoken. The 2014 Walter Payton Achievement Award winners are Alan Cruz from Alabama A&M University, and Quentin Todd from North Carolina A&T State University. The ESPN voting poll opened July 24 and ...Read more
Walter Payton teamed up with Razor Ramon 20 years ago todayChicago Tribune (blog), August 29th
Jarrett Payton noticed something different about his dad – Bears legend Walter Payton -- as he escorted WWF Superstar Razor Ramon to the ring in 1994 for his Summer Slam match at the United Center: His arms were enormous. Sure, Walter had always ...Read more