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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San Francisco Scouts QBsNiner Noise, March 7th
He hails from a small school, but broke all of Tony Romo's major school records en route to winning the Walter Payton Award after throwing for over 5,000 yards and 53 touchdowns. He has the arm. He has starting potential and would be an excellent...Read more
Chicago Bears - TeamReportGlobalPost, March 7th
last season, tied for fourth fewest in the NFL, and helped pave way for Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte's career-high 1,339 rushing yards, which ranks ninth-most in franchise history and more than any Bears player other than Hall of Famer Walter...Read more
GOP candidates face off in forumThe Chicago Maroon, March 7th
For example, Marin questioned Rauner, a businessman, about calling Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, formerly the Chicago Public Schools CEO, to get his daughter into Walter Payton College Prep after she had been denied admittance. “Why would ...Read more
In the FCS Huddle: NEC spring football primerWTSP 10 News, March 6th
With the departure of Walter Payton Award finalist Kyle Harbridge, Saint Francis (Pa.) surely needs to get production at running back from Khairi Dickson, Anthony Abeid and incoming freshman Marcus Bagley. Factor in the Red Flash's pass offense ranked ...Read more
Former Payton winners on College Hall of Fame ballotWTAJ, March 6th
Irving, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Former Walter Payton Award winners Michael Payton of Marshall and Archie Amerson of Northern Arizona are part of the 2014 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation ...Read more
Payton College Prep Toughest CPS Selective-Enrollment School to Test IntoDNAinfo, February 25th
DOWNTOWN — Walter Payton College Prep was the hardest selective-enrollment high school to test into this year, data shows. The data, posted on Chicago Public Schools' website this week, comes as the district mailed out acceptance — and rejection ...Read more
Rauner can't recall if he clouted daughter into Walter Payton College PrepWLS, February 19th
(CHICAGO) More problems for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, on whether he used clout to get his daughter into Chicago's exclusive Walter Payton College Prep. Last night at a candidate debate in Springfield, Rauner said he could not ...Read more
Shani Davis' drive for speedskating greatness fueled by wisdom of Walter PaytonYahoo Canada Sports, February 11th
Davis never met the late Walter Payton, one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, but as an 11-year-old growing up on the south side of Chicago, he gained some valuable life lessons after reading the Chicago Bears legend's life story. Payton's ...Read more