NFL world remembers Bears great Walter Payton 22 years after his death

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 22 years since Walter Payton, arguably the greatest running back of all time and equally amazing human being, passed away at 45 years old on Nov. 1, 1999.

Payton’s legacy has lived on long after his retirement and death, which speaks to his contributions both on and off the field and his place in the history of the NFL.

There was no one quite like the man they called Sweetness.

Payton is not only one of the best running backs but one of the best NFL players of all time. He held the all-time rushing record with 16,726 yards until it was broken by Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith in 2002. Payton also helped lead the Bears to their only Super Bowl title in 1985.

But Payton was so much more than his accomplishments on the field. While he was one of the most talented players to ever play on the field, he forever changed what it meant to be an athlete that contributed to his city.

It’s a legacy that lives on in the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is presented to the NFL athlete that has displayed excellence both on and off the field.

Bears fans and NFL fans alike remembered Sweetness on the 22nd anniversary of his death, where there was both an appreciation for Payton’s legacy and sadness with his loss.

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