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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

God Bless Walter Payton

Chances are you have heard of Walter Payton. For those who don't follow football Walter Payton was the quintessential football player. He was the ultimate competitor. He was the perfect family man. He was the epitome of the Chicago Bears football team. At one time he was the all time leader in rushing yards in the NFL.

I could write an entire blog or book about how great Walter Payton was. In fact, Walter did write a book about his life. "Never Die Easy" is the autobiography of Walter. Unfortunately, that book also chronicled his demise and ultimate death in 1999. The book is about so much more than football and I highly recommend this book to anyone.

The family of Walter Payton is graciously donating a statue of Walter that they would like placed outside Soldier Field. Soldier Field is where the Chicago Bears have played football since 1971. The Chicago Park District, which owns the field, has told the Payton family, "Thank you, but no."

The Chicago Park District is saying that the Soldier Field grounds are a memorial to war veterans and the statue would not be appropriate. Well, normally I would agree with them, but I can't this time. You see back in 2002 the Chicago Park District remodeled Soldier Field. They went from this;

To this;

The new Soldier Field dwarfs the old field memorial with a space ship looking structure that could be only be a memorial to extra terrestrial beings. When you look at the Soldier Field website,, you will be hard pressed to find any mention of war veterans.

Like all things in Chicago this is about money. I'm sure if an envelope full of money just happen to fall under the table of the right person a Walter Payton statue would go up.


Laura Jurkovic said...

Mark, I could not agree more. I too, feel that Walter was and, can still be a great role model for all. And what better way to keep his message out there than to have his statue at Soldier Field. How sad that the only thing in life that makes and breaks rules is money. Never is it what is best for society. How sad!!!!! Laura

Scott Plocharczyk said...

I agree on the idea of a statue but look at what you wrote.

You write of his great integrity and being a role model yet you finish the entry with the idea that somebody pay off somebody to get the statue at Soldier Field.

If the park district doesn't want the statue then that is it's loss. But the idea of the Payton family paying somebody off kind of tarnishes Walter's legacy.

God bless Walter Payton!

Mike said...

How is it appropriate to play football at a memorial to war veterans? Is it because you have an offense and a defense, a strategy and a battle, a winner and a loser?
Then a statue of the Walter should fit right in.

Anonymous said...

Walter was the man. His work ethic was unmatched. RIP.