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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Southeastern Lions remain No. 3 in national FCS pollsWAFB.com, September 1st
Southeastern was dominant in all facets in the win over the Dolphins. Senior quarterback and Walter Payton Award candidate Bryan Bennett (311 yards passing, two touchdowns; 93 yards rushing, TD) led a Lion attack that racked up 564 yards of total offense...Read more
Pair of Eags Earn Conference Honors; UW Prepares for EasternKREM.com (subscription), September 1st
The Walter Payton Award candidate from Pasadena, Calif., is now 22-4 as a starter at Eastern. His 20 victories entering the season represents the most back-to-back wins by a starting quarterback in school history (Bo Levi Mitchell had 19). One of the...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
No. 23 Tar Heels douse FlamesStaunton News Leader, August 30th
Strauss was one of 20 players named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List in 2014, an award given to the most outstanding player in FCS. Brian Brown had 5 catches for 110 yards to lead all Spiders receivers, and Stephen Barnette added 6 catches for 76 ...Read more
Rapid Recap: No. 20 Richmond 55 – Morehead State 10The Collegian — University of Richmond, August 30th
Michael Strauss showed why he's on the watch list for the Walter Payton award. The Spiders' quarterback threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns on 17-23 passing Saturday night against Morehead State. He didn't turn the ball over and looked completely ...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
Teams think big picture, tooSports Network, August 27th
Six 2013 finalists are on this year's Walter Payton Award Watch List, while seven former finalists are nominees for the 20th Buck Buchanan Award. The FCS Awards package can be found here. WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS This Season's Record: 1-0 (1.000)...Read more
Walter Payton Days Until Chicago Bears Season OpenerBearGoggles, August 4th
It's an honor and a privilege to introduce a player who is not only one of the all-time greatest Chicago Bears, but also one of the greatest players in NFL history — Walter Payton. It's equally an honor and an privilege to introduce a player who...Read more