November 1st 1999, the news broke that Walter Payton had passed.

Walter Payton
Getty Images - Matthew Stockman

February of 1999 Chicago Bears great Walter Payton announced that he had a rare  autoimmune liver disease known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. It came as a shock to Chicago Bears fans all over, and a huge shock to me. Walter was like Superman to me when I was growing up, how could Superman be sick?

Sweetness made a final public appearance, very thin and in poor health in April on 1999. Ironically to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field.

"Never Die Easy" was Walter's motto. He would refuse to run out of bounds, and took great pride in lowering the boom of defenders that got in his way. His Hall of Fame career speaks for itself, the numbers he put up were just crazy.

  • Rushing Yards: 16,726
  • Games Played: 190
  • Yards per Carry: 4.4
  • Rushing Touchdowns: 110

I've had the opportunity to hang out with his son Jarrett multiple times, what an amazing human being. Walter would be so proud at the man Jarrett is, hard working and well respected.

We all miss you Walter, the NFL misses you.




More From 96.7 The Eagle