Former Chicago Bears great and NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton would have turned 60 today. One of the greatest players to ever suit up, let alone play the running back position, Payton once held nearly every NFL record a running back could in his illustrious career.
Today, the team for Sunday Night Football remembered Payton with one of his most classic quotes:
Today, we remember the late Walter Payton, on what would have been his 60th Birthday. pic.twitter.com/1vKQO3P9sr
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) July 25, 2014
Payton will forever be remembered as one of the greatest NFL players of all time, regardless of when his records were broken or will be. His legendary career will undoubtedly stand the test of time.
Unfortunately, Payton was taken from this world far too early as he struggled with a rare liver disease and cancer in his waning years. In the end, Payton was 45 when he died.
His legacy on the league goes far beyond his performance on the field, as the NFL renamed the Man of the Year Award to the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award upon Payton’s death in 1999. The award is given annually by the NFL to a player who has put in countless hours of volunteer and charity work, as well as performing on the field.
Winners of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award include Jerome Bettis, Peyton Manning, Jason Taylor, Drew Brees, and most recently Charles Tillman.
Although it is a sad day, we remember the greatness of Payton, and hope to strive to succeed in the way he was able to do.