Today in Sports History: October 7

In 1984, former running back for the Chicago Bears, Walter Payton, passed Jim Brown, as the National Football League’s rushing leader.

From 1975 to 1987, Payton rushed for a total of 16,726 yards, rushed an average of 4.4 yards, and 110 touchdowns. He received a total of 4,538 yards, an average of 9.2, and 15 touchdown passes.

He was named to the All-NFL Team seven times, and the All-NFL Second Team five times. He has also been named to the All-NFC Team six times and the All-NFC Second Team twice. He was in nine Pro Bowls from 1977-1981 and 1984-1987.

He still holds the records in the NFL Record Book for the most rushing attempts, the most yards rushing, the most seasons- 1,000 or more yards rushing, the most yards rushing in a game, most games 100 or more yards rushing, most rushing touchdowns, most combined attempts, most combined net yards, and tied for the most consecutive seasons leading the league in rushing attempts, and the most consecutive seasons – 1,000 or more yards rushed.

He was named to the 1970s and 1980s All-Decade Team, The NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team, and the All-Time NFL Team selected in 2000. He was also named the 1976 NFC Player of the Year, the 1977 Most Valuable Player, NFC Player of the Year, Offensive MVP, NFC Offensive Player of the Year, and in 1985 the Most Valuable Player and NFC Offensive Player of the Year.

In 1986, Payton was a part of the Superbowl Champion Team beating the New England Patriots, 46-10.

A couple of years after his retirement in 1987, he was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame. In1993, he was inducted for his outstanding career and incredible records. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
After retirement, he looked into business opportunities such as real estate, restaurants, and cars. He started his foundation called the Walter Payton Foundation, which helps less fortunate people find their reason for dignity and pride while receiving positive opportunities.

In 1999, he announced that he was diagnosed with bile duct cancer. His foundation would later raise awareness. He passed away on November 1st alongside his family and friends. Payton and his career will always be remembered and have made such an impact on the city of Chicago and the sport of football.

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