Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

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 “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."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed

Since: May 2, 2009
Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:33 pm

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

Jeff Pearlman must be a Packer fan... What a waste of an article/book. I will not read this book. Hell, People still buy Kobe, Roethlisberger, Vick jerseys. Gimme a break

Since: May 10, 2009
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:52 pm

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

I read this and thought the exact same thing.  What "scandals" are there here?  Just a great baller who was normal.

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: September 29, 2011 12:26 pm

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

cant the man just rest in peace?  convenient that he is not around to defend himself...

Since: Oct 18, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2011 11:47 am

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

Turns out Walter was human after all, despite defensive linemen testimony to the contrary.

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:43 am


Right, so let's review the scandalous revelations:

  • Professional athlete playing a violent sport uses painkillers, and perhaps more than is good for his health; and
  • Experiences depression with accompanying suicidal ideation in his darkest nights of the soul; and
  • Being athletic, virile and above all male, he flouted his marriage vows and was getting some on the side
Jeez, next you'll be telling us he was a handgun fetishist capable of shooting a colleague while horsing around with a gun in his hand.

Oh wait...

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or