On this date in football thirty-five years ago, Walter Payton rushed for a stunning 275 yards during a game against the Minnesota Vikings – an NFL record for rushing yards in a game. Developing the nickname “Sweetness”, because of his sweet and graceful moves on the football field, number 34 of the Chicago Bears didn’t allow a 101-degree fever and intense flu stop him from carrying the ball forty times and adding a touchdown. The Hall of Famer’s “never die easy” motto showed as he surpassed Bills running back O.J. Simpson, who recorded 272 yards against the Detroit Lions one year earlier – Payton is now ranked fifth amongst the all-time leaders for rushing yards in a game behind Corey Dillon, Jerome Harrison, Jamal Lewis and Adrian Peterson.
Here’s a look back at one of the greatest running backs to ever play the game, as originally presented in “Top 100.”