There will surely be some tributes to Walter Payton this weekend in many of the various media outlets in the city as Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of his death. The Sun-Times will have a story in the Sunday edition.
The Bears are going to have a ceremony honoring the Hall of Fame running back at halftime of their game with the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Perhaps no athlete was a greater representative of the franchise than Sweetness. The NFL named its Man of the Year award after him following his death, a tribute to the impact he had as a player and a person.
I started at the Sun-Times a little more than 10 years ago, and remember one of my first tasks of significance being to put together a myriad of statistical packages on Payton for a special section. I never covered Payton, whose career ended after the 1987 season, and I never saw him play in person. But you couldn’t miss his greatness watching on television. I am sure many of the regular readers here have terrific memories of Payton both watching him and perhaps some personal memories.
The halftime ceremony will include a video tribute. Payton’s family will be on hand with his former teammate and blocking buddy Matt Suhey. Fans attending the game are being encouraged to wear their Payton jerseys.
I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t know about Payton or didn’t see during his playing days. Here’s a chance for you to share your memories of one of the greatest players in franchise history.