Walter Payton rushes past Jim Brown

On October 7, 1984, Walter Payton passed Jim Brown‘s career rushing record of 12,312 yards.

Payton worked alongside quarterback Jim McMahon helped the Chicago Bears get a 20-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Saints were working with Richard Todd as their quarterback at the time.

Payton, known to fans as Sweetness, finished his career with 16,726 yards rushing and is ranked second to Emmitt Smith who had 18,355. He went to the Bears as the fourth overall pick in the 1975 draft. He left the game in 1987, still with the same team he started.

With all of the records he broke and the awards he received, Payton never stopped being a humanitarian. The National Football League still gives out the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in his memory to honor players who demonstrate outstanding skill on the field as well as notable charity work. The award was originally given out in 1970, and Payton claimed it in ’77.

There is one thing he never had the chance to do, and coach Mike Ditka regrets it. Payton never had the chance to score a touchdown during the 1986 Super Bowl because the coaching staff knew the New England Patriots would have their defense on his tail the whole game.

“All people, regardless of whether they’re athletes or not, should treat people the way they want to be treated.” -Walter Payton

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