Today, I was able to speak with Jeff Pearlman, the author of the new book “Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton”. The book not only chronicles Payton’s life on the football field but also discusses his life off the field. A segment of the book was recently posted on Sports Illustrated that shed a different light on the Walter Payton we thought we knew. The particular segment talks about a number of things that were generally unknown to the public such as Payton’s addiction to pain killers, infidelity and threats of suicide.
Much of the response to this portion of Pearlman’s book in the social network has been overwhelmingly negative and even Payton’s family came forward publicly to criticize Pearlman and the book.
During the brief 10 minutes that I spoke to him, I found him to be an extremely friendly and easy to talk to person willing to answer any question I threw at him.