With the release of the Jeff Peralman book about the life of Walter Payton, detailing parts of Sweetness’s life that many didn’t know about and maybe don’t want to know about, I thought I’d throw up my Lasting Image of Walter. Walter is the reason I’m a Bears fan. He’s my all time favorite Bear. Today I don’t really have high standards for athletes as an adult and knowing what he know now about them. But growing up we have our heroes and Walter was one of mine, along with Ryne Sandberg. I won’t probably read the book, I want to remember Walter for how I remember him from my childhood.
Now for my lasting image – you would think that it would be Walter leaping over the lineman at the goal line for a score vs Detroit or Green Bay. Or maybe him high stepping into the end zone after a long run with the ball held in one hand…and those are all great memories but they aren’t my lasting image of sweetness.
This is my lasting image of the greatest running back of all time! Sitting on the bench with his helmet in his hands after the Redskins won in Soldier Field in the 1987 playoffs 21-17. Payton’s last run was a yard short of a first down to extend a drive late in the 4th quarter.
The Bears had a chance to have a dynasty in the mid 80s with the dominance they had in the league from 85-87. The Redskins though ended their season both in 86 and 87 and what could have been 2-3 Super Bowl Titles remains just the 85 Title and the Greatest Single Season team in history of Sports.