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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 “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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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:05 am

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

Since: Dec 2, 2011
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New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

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New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

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New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

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Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: October 7, 2011 4:59 pm

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

Check out the NFL network special on Walter Payton to remember Sweetness in the way he should be remembered, by his peers and on the football field.  (Football Life)

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: October 7, 2011 2:48 pm

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

Shame on this author.  His whole job is based on the accomplishment of others.  Writing about one of the greatest RB's (after his death) is just not a good thing.  Clearly the Peyton Estate needs money and so does this author.  What good does this do?  If Sweetness were alive and approved of this, this would be different for me.

Shame on you.  Shame on this shameless plug of a story as well.


Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:39 am

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

In today’s tight economy, one's money certainly can be better enjoyed elsewhere.

Pearlman is far from a polished writer. His book seems more like a college paper thrown together by a half-asleep sophomore who was up all night partying, and remembered he had a paper due, but couldn’t think clearly enough to throw it together at the last minute. The book is riddled with inaccuracies, inconsistencies and misspelled words, an indicator of the caliber and credibility of the book.  Pearlman has said that he works from home.  Maybe he’s dallying in mind-altering substances himself while watching porn and/or soap operas in his apparent overabundance of “down” time. 

Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 4:22 pm

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

If the point of this article was to get me to read the book, it may have worked. I'm guessing there was a handshake deal somewhere along the lines.

Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:50 pm

New book brings shocking Walter Payton news

I don't understand what the big deal is here.  Don't 90% of the men that make 7 digit paychecks cheat on their wives and do drugs (whether it be alcohol, pain killers, cocaine etc.)?

 No body can be perfect at football and perfect at life.  If someone wants so badly to wrtie about negative things (I know he says its "definitive") then write about how people starve to death every day or how we still hunt and kill every animal on the planet.

Why bother pissing on someone's great pro career by letting the world know he had problems all along.  Pearlman your a jerk. 

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