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New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:17 am
 
There were some shocking revelations made in a new book about Walter Payton (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s one of the most-anticipated sports books to hit the shelves in time for the holidays, but on Wednesday, Jeff Pearlman’s biography about Walter Payton -- titled Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton -- got much bigger publicity. It’s to be excerpted in this week’s Sports Illustrated, and to help hype the book, which drops Oct. 4, some of the scandalous news that emerges from it was released.

Like, for example, Payton abused pain-killing drugs during and after his career, contemplated suicide at some points of his life and maintained mistresses on the side of his marriage.

That last point created a potentially big problem at Payton’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony when his girlfriend insisted on attending despite the fact his wife was going to be there as well.

"The introduction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is supposed to be the greatest moment in his life," Ginny Quirk, Payton’s executive assistant, told Pearlman. "And in truth, it was probably the worst. Four full days, and Lita and Connie were like two ships passing in the night. If Connie was scheduled to come late, I'd make sure Lita was there early. If Connie was there early, Lita would be there late. I can't describe the horror of that trip."

In response to the excerpts of the book, the Bears released the following statement: "When we take the field each Sunday, we represent the great players like Walter who helped build the rich tradition of our organization. Nothing will change our feelings for a man we have the deepest respect for and miss having around Halas Hall to this day."

For Pearlman’s part, he says he set out to write about Walter Payton in full. Not just about the positives that you might know, but about the secrets you probably don’t.

“It hurts me that this will hurt his kids,” Pearlman told SI.com. “It really does because Jarrett and Brittney are wonderful, engaging, fun, caring people and they're really uplifting figures in the Chicago landscape ... That said, I set out to write a definitive biography -- period. When people would ask, 'Well, is this going to be positive?' I'd say, 'Not positive, not negative -- definitive.'"

The Payton family, via the Chicago Tribune, also released a statement: "Walter, like all of us, wasn't perfect. The challenges he faced were well known to those of us who loved and lived with him. He was a great father to Jarrett and Brittney and held a special place in the football world and the Chicago community. Recent disclosures -- some true, some untrue -- do not change this. I'm saddened that anyone would attempt to profit from these stories, many told by people with little credibility."

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Comments

Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: September 30, 2011 2:53 pm
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

last i checked a biography is about the persons life good and bad. hence the meaning BIOGRAPHY!! lol. america is far too senseative now. every little thing shocks people grow up and realize people are not perfect.



Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: September 30, 2011 2:51 pm
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

wow a football player did drugs.. WHAT A SHOCKER. theres no drugs in america shut up people and calm down.



Since: Nov 3, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2011 1:58 pm
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

This Guy is a grave robber.Nothing more !!  Drama sells.what earthly reason is there to dig up Sweetness's private life




Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2011 1:34 pm
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

There’s a good article in today’s Chicago Tribune about the effects of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which is the disease that has recently been linked to athletes that have suffered numerous blows to the head and concussion symptoms, and the effects include depression, suicidal thoughts, self-esteem issues and often drug use. Several hockey and football players have recently attempted and some succeeded in suicide attempts and Dave Duerson, Walter’s teammate, also committed suicide. Part of Walter’s mystic was the way he shook off hit after hit and kept getting up – quite likely, and not at all surprisingly, with the aid of extensive use of painkillers. But, there may have been effects of that abuse that were unknown at that time and are just now coming to light in professional sports. Apparently, the author of the book decided to ignore this issue, even though it is current and relevant, but probably would not have helped to sell books like sexual encounters and excessive use of painkillers might. The author says his book is not intended to be either positive or negative - and yet, the hype that he has put forward is ALL negative. Why not hype the greatness? Why not hype the charitableness? Obviously, sales are more important to the author than being "definative". Thankfully, I have no doubt that Walter Payton will continue to be remembered much more for being a heroic gladiator on the football field and for his post-football charity and toys-for-tots fundraising than for anything this greedy author had dug up on him. Walter Payton was awesome and should RIP.




Since: Sep 25, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2011 1:18 pm
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

It was sad to read that our hero had off-the-field problems with major depression causing suicidal thoughts, obsessive compulsive tendencies & having drug problems. His womanizing was no big surprise as I recall the rumors about Walter being popular with the ladies.  What was so sad was how depressed he was prior to his final illness. If it is true what the author alleges--that Walter often threatened to kill himself prior to his final illness, it is sad that it took a terminal ill to make him realize how precious life really is.  I am not sure I wanted to know all the hangups about Walter.  I think he was one of the greatest football players of all times.  I used to think he was as great off the field as on. If these stories are indeed correct--I am sorry to say I no longer feel that way about his greatness off the field. He did have a courageous ending though--much like Mickey Mantle!



Since: Jun 20, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:07 pm
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

The man is human, nothing will ever change the way I feel about this man.  We all do things we regret but it has to feel right when we do it and we have to live by it.  Walter was a man among boys



Since: Apr 7, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2011 10:38 am
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

Like all humans Walter Payton had his good points and bad. He is still one of the greatest players of all time. A biography should show the whole person warts and all.



Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 9:04 am
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

It would be great if not one book was sold and this author and the publisher were hit for the loss. Maybe someone should research the authors family to find all the dirty little secrets on one of his family members who has passed and publish it.
Not gonna happen.  And nobody cares to read about Jeff Pearlman.



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2011 2:47 am
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

Some things are simply nobody else's business. Walter Payton was among the greaest running backs to ever play the game. His contribution to the NFL and his own personal accomplishments are what we all remember. His selflessness and generosity to others is also well known. Perhaps most telling of all was his influence on a slow undersized running back whose work ethic and commitment was shaped by the late Walter Payton. Perhaps you've heard of him his name is Emmitt Smith. The author may believe his book is definitive but it serves no purpose other than to enrich a man whose fisrt priority is book sales not the legacy of the man known to his fans as " Sweetness".



Since: Mar 25, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 2:25 am
 

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

It would be great if not one book was sold and this author and the publisher were hit for the loss. Maybe someone should research the authors family to find all the dirty little secrets on one of his family members who has passed and publish it.

Too bad his parents didn't teach him if you don't have anything good to say.... 


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