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Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby stomperrob » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:21 pm

Not a pretty picture, but given the drugs it sounds like a former player in a lot of pain from his football career and the pounding a body takes. Doesn't paint a pretty picture, but it in no way overshadows his accomplishments on the field.

Book: Drugs drained sweetness from Walter Payton's life
8:29 AM, Sep. 29, 2011
Written by
Associated Press


LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- According to a new book, Chicago Bears star Walter Payton abused painkillers in retirement and became suicidal.

In "Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton," author Jeff Pearlman says the Hall of Fame running back used a cocktail of Tylenol and Vicodin in retirement, kept tanks of nitrous oxide in his garage and even obtained Ritalin from a friend whose son was prescribed pills. Pearlman writes that Payton drew the suspicion of pharmacists and a warning from the police after visiting several drugstores to have a dentist's prescription for morphine filled.

Payton's longtime agent, Bud Holmes, is quoted as saying "Walter was pounding his body with medication."

The book goes on sale Oct. 4. An excerpt appears in this week's Sports Illustrated.

Holmes and Payton's executive assistant, Ginny Quirk, recall receiving suicidal calls at all hours during the mid-1990s, and Pearlman reports Payton was living apart from his wife Connie and having extramarital affairs after retirement. That created an awkward situation at his 1993 Hall of Fame induction, with Connie and his mistress attending.

con't...

more: http://www.indystar.com/article/2011092 ... ext|Sports

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Re: Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby FatFoot » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:00 pm

This was big news this week around Chicago.

But it wasn't off the radar... I mean, people knew he had a couple dependencies. I HOPE they aren't what killed his liver. But I don't hold addiction against someone who played football for a full career. All of those guys have to be adrenaline junkies, and far too many HAVE ended up on substances. It's the human condition.

The book also talks about his extra marital fiascos... but that's no surprise either. It's sad, but I assume MOST superstars are playing the field, so to speak.

The book doesn't only focus on the dark period of Walter's life. But that's how his life ended, so that's presumably the focus of the second half of the book.

I won't be reading it. Too much of a Payton fan to want specific details.
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Re: Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby petedog9 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:53 pm

Take it all with a grain of salt... Walter isn't around to dispute any allegations against. Especially when an author is making money off of copies sold... Personally, it's uncouth to speak of the departed and air any dirty laundry about them. leave a dead hero At peace...
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Re: Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby latsprewell20002000 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:29 pm

Who the F cares? We all read that and say OMG he was doing drugs!! When half of us are doing the same damn thing. I personally remember when we had a nitrous tank for instance. Crazy times when we had that thing...
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Re: Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby moochman » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:50 pm

FatFoot wrote:This was big news this week around Chicago.

But it wasn't off the radar... I mean, people knew he had a couple dependencies. I HOPE they aren't what killed his liver. But I don't hold addiction against someone who played football for a full career. All of those guys have to be adrenaline junkies, and far too many HAVE ended up on substances. It's the human condition.

The book also talks about his extra marital fiascos... but that's no surprise either. It's sad, but I assume MOST superstars are playing the field, so to speak.

The book doesn't only focus on the dark period of Walter's life. But that's how his life ended, so that's presumably the focus of the second half of the book.

I won't be reading it. Too much of a Payton fan to want specific details.


If it helps, the rare Bile duct cancer that Payton suffered from is not known to be caused by medication abuse. It is known to be associated with abdominal and back pains that may have led Sweetness to abuse pain medications. As many know, those who have chronic pain and high tolerance to analgesics (pain meds), like professional atheletes tend to develop, are at high risk to abuse these drugs serving as a gateway to abusing other substances. Subsequently, that abuse sets into motion emotional instabilities which often lead to suicidal ideations, attempts and suicides. A very sad side of the Walter Payton story that many of us probably would have been very happy to have never known about.
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Re: Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby dgan » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:44 pm

Great people aren't perfect - typically, they are recognized as "great" because of one aspect of their life that became transcendent.

Most of our greatest historical leaders were either bigots, liars, power abusers, thugs, adulterers, or just your common jerks. Much less the drunkards and drug abusers. But they overcame (or hid) their weaknesses to accomplish something great for humanity - or, in some cases, their greatness eventually gave way to their weakness.

I never expected Payton to be the perfect person. But he was the greatest humanitarian super-athlete of his day and one of the finest players you could ever hope to watch play the game. Appreciate him for that, and burn everything else...his personal issues don't affect us - his fans - only his family, and IMO people debating it does them a disservice.

RIP, Sweetness.
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Re: Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby dream_017 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:32 pm

FatFoot wrote:I won't be reading it. Too much of a Payton fan to want specific details.

Agreed. He is one of the reasons I began watching the NFL and I still love it today.
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Re: Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby petedog9 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:50 pm

#2 favorite guy to watch with the rock in his hads... Right behind Barry Sanders... Let him rest in peace... ;-D
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Re: Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby ampant » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:59 pm

I heard an interview with the Author on local Sportstalk radio show. He was talking about how people were focusing on one small part of a 400-page book and getting pissed off at him. According to the author, he had a tremendous respect for Payton and thought he was a great guy, but he was writing a biograpy.

His point was that we was writing a comprehensive biography of a perton with tremendous significance, and was trying to accurately portray his life. He could either relay the complete story, or intentionally omit anything negative.

Listening to the interview it certainly seemed that he was trying to provide an honest representation, and that the book focused plenty on Payton's numerous positive qualities, contributions to the community, genuine and caring nature, and charity work. That he explored some darker periods of the man's life doesn't mean he was attempting character assassination.

Historians frequently try to delve into numerous aspects of lives, whether we are talking about ex-presidents, world leaders, political figures, moviestars, artists, or sports icons. People are not one-dimensional, and everybody has some rough patches. I don't think the fact that Payton had some personal issues later in life diminishes his professional and personal accomplishments, or cause anyone to lose respect for him.
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Re: Walter Payton - new book claims drug abuse

Postby FFslacker » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:40 pm

Article from yahoo from a guy that has read the book. He says that the excerpt basically is overshadowing the fact that it is a great biography.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... iew_100311
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