New Book Makes Shocking Claim: Walter Payton Was Human

Walter Payton stands in the endzone during warm-ups with his namesake towel, "Sweetness," prior to the start of his final game at the LA Coliseum against the then Los Angeles Raiders in Dec., 1987. Payton, the Chicago Bears running back who became the NFL's all-time leading rusher and led the team to its only Super Bowl victory, died Monday, Nov. 1, 1999. He was 45. He had suffered from a rare liver disease and had been waiting for a transplant. - Walter Payton stands in the endzone during warm-ups with his namesake towel, "Sweetness," prior to the start of his final game at the LA Coliseum against the then Los Angeles Raiders in Dec., 1987. Payton, the Chicago Bears running back who became the NFL's all-time leading rusher and led the team to its only Super Bowl victory, died Monday, Nov. 1, 1999. He was 45. He had suffered from a rare liver disease and had been waiting for a transplant. | AP

Shock, denial, dismay, anger, sadness…

We all remember how hard it was when we learned there was no Santa Claus.

Now many of us are going through the same traumatizing experience all over again.

In a new book entitled “Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton,” author Jeff Pearlman makes a number of startling claims,including that Number 34 abused drugs, was unfaithful to his wife, and suffered from severe depression.

Most shocking of all? Walter Payton was human.

Many have struggled to accept such a seemingly outlandish claim. Walter Payton, the larger than life legend, a childhood hero to many, turned adult object of nostalgia for more, was nothing more than….human?

It’s true.

He was.

Whether all, or some…or none of Pearlman’s claims are true, the fact still remains, Walter Payton was born human, lived human, and died human.

And you know what? Being great…even the best at something, say running with a football, does not exempt one from, or make one immune to, the inherent defects of human design.

We all struggle with temptation, with impulses, and we all have moments of indulgence…of excess. We all at times feel insecure, feel lost, feel ashamed.

And we all often hide all of it….

Walter Payton, who was extra-ordinary on the gridiron, was simply ordinary off it….or in other words, he was  by definition, a flawed member of “we all”.

Connie and Walter’s children accepted that. So can we.

Despite the revelations in Pearlman’s book, the memories, the records, everything Walter gave us, will still be there.

Only now we know, as with gifts at Christmas, we have an ordinary human to thank.

Be Good Friends,

@koolking83

Leave a comment

  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Advertisement:
  • Fresh Chicago News

  • Categories

  • Tags

  • @offhand_dribble

  • Subscribe to Offhanded Dribble

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: