41 Facts About Walter Payton

1. Walter Payton died of a rare liver disease and bile duct cancer in November 1999.

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2. Walter Payton was eulogized by amicable personals including John Madden, Mike Ditka among others.

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3. Walter Payton continued to shine where he received not one but nine Pro Bowl selections.

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4. Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, known around the NFL as "Sweetness", was the first football player to be seen on a Wheaties box in 1986.

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5. Walter Payton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

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6. Walter Payton was survived by his wife, Connie, and their two children.

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7. Walter Payton had the flu for his first game in the NFL, but he burst through the opposing line for twenty-nine yards on one of his carries.

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8. On July 31, 1993, Walter Payton was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.

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9. Walter Payton ended the 1977 season with 1,852 yards rushing, leading the NFL in yards gained and carries.

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10. Walter Payton capped his college career by becoming the National Collegiate Athletic Association all-time leading scorer with 464 points.

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11. Walter Payton was 33-years old, and the Bears had started to split his playing time with talented newcomer Neal Anderson.

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12. Walter Payton had his Super Bowl ring, but he seemed unhappy and moody in the locker room.

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13. Walter Payton ended the season with 1,852 yards rushing, leading the NFL in yards gained and carries.

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14. Walter Payton died on November 1, 1999 in Barrington, Illinois at the age of 45.

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15. Walter Payton was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

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16. In 1988, Walter Payton joined the board of directors of the Chicago Bears.

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17. Walter Payton Incorporated dealt in various businesses including real estate, travel, and nursing homes.

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18. In 1977, Walter Payton led the NFL with the most yards rushed in a single game, with 275 yards against the Minnesota Vikings.

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19. Walter Payton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 1994 he was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

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20. Walter Payton was named to the first of nine career Pro Bowls in his second season, and in 1977 he won the league's Most Valuable Player award after leading the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns (14).

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21. Walter Payton went on to earn nine Pro Bowl selections, his efforts annually propelling the Bears into playoff contention.

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22. Walter Payton was born on July 25, 1954, in Columbia, Mississippi.

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23. At the time, Walter Payton was a junior, coming off a brilliant season of playing football at Jefferson.

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24. Walter Payton led the league in rushing yards and touchdowns in the 1977 NFL season.

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25. Walter Payton was the NFL's all-time leader in rushing yards and all-purpose yards prior to the 2002 NFL season, when Emmitt Smith broke his record.

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26. Walter Payton appeared on a 1987 episode of Saturday Night Live.

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27. Walter Payton was inducted as a laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln by the governor of Illinois in 1987 in the area of sports.

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28. The book further states that Walter Payton was depressed and suicidal in the mid-1990s.

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29. Walter Payton attributed this motto to Bob Hill, his coach at Jackson State.

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30. Over his entire career, Walter Payton rushed for 16,726 yards, which broke the record for most rushing yards by any NFL player in history, and scored 110 touchdowns.

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31. Walter Payton performed with his teammates in the widely released 1985 music video The Super Bowl Shuffle.

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32. In one 1984 game, Walter Payton was pressed into service as the team's fourth-string quarterback.

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33. In 1985, Walter Payton rushed for more than 1,500 yards, helping the Bears establish the league's second-best offense with the emergence of quarterback Jim McMahon.

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34. On September 19, 1984, Walter Payton passed Franco Harris as the active leader in career rushing yards.

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35. Walter Payton continued his success by rushing for more than 1,400 yards in both seasons.

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36. Walter Payton finished the season with only 679 yards and seven touchdowns.

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37. Walter Payton was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996, and posthumously inducted into the inaugural class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

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38. Walter Payton graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications.

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39. In 1973, Walter Payton had a school record 24 rushing touchdowns, and was named Black College Player of the Year.

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40. Walter Payton was an active member of the Boy Scouts, Little League, and his local church.

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41. Walter Payton began his football career in Mississippi, and went on to have an outstanding collegiate football career at Jackson State University where he was an All-American.

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