Walter Payton’s brother Eddie is writing a biography about the great man that he says will set the record straight:
Many fans of the late Walter Payton were stunned by the depiction of the Bears Hall of Fame running back as a flawed human being in Jeff Pearlman’s controversial book: “Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton.”
Assertions that Payton abused drugs and was a self-indulgent womanizer with occasional suicidal tendencies sent shock waves through the sports world.
Yet no one felt worse than his older brother, Eddie Payton, who has written his own book, “Walter & Me: Standing in the Shadow of Sweetness,” published by Triumph Books to be released next week.
Eddie Payton played five seasons in the NFL, mostly as a kick returner, with the Browns, Lions, Vikings and Chiefs, once returning a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in the same game.
Payton, who has a book signing at Ditka’s Restaurant on Thursday, was assisted by writers Paul Brown and Craig Wiley.
“I am not a writer,” said Payton, who has been Jackson State’s golf coach for 27 years. “But someone said that it was something you needed to do for the millions of people that you run into that can tell you their favorite Walter Payton story.”
“If you look at our book, you see that all of the proceeds are going for the Walter Payton Scholarship. I mean, I don’t need to make money. I have a job. And if this (book) is about Walter, then it should go to the scholarship.
“We have given away about 33 in his name and raised more than $1 million dollars for scholarships. I know Walter would be proud, because that is what we talked about the most to do before he got sick … coming back to Mississippi and doing something to make a difference in young people’s lives. I am just carrying on his wishes.”