A new biography of Chicago Bears' Walter Payton set to come out next week reveals that the Hall of Fame running back often used drugs, had extramarital affairs, struggled with depression and frequently discussed suicide with close friends.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Sports Illustrated's Jeff Pearlman spent more than two years working on the book titled Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton. Pearlman uncovered shocking details about Payton whom the NFL named its Man of the Year Award after.
Sports Illustrated released an excerpt of the book this week, and in a section Pearlman describes Payton's drug use as follow:
The burden of loneliness and his marriage weren't Payton's only problems. As a player he had numbed his maladies with pills and liquids, usually supplied by the Bears. Payton popped Darvon robotically during his playing days-says Holmes, I'd see him walk out of the locker room with jars of painkillers, and he'd eat them like they were a snack-and also lathered his body with dimethyl sulfoxide, a topical analgesic commonly used to treat horses. Now that he was retired, the self-medicating only intensified. Payton habitually ingested a cocktail of Tylenol and Vicodin. In a particularly embarrassing episode, in 1988, Payton visited a handful of dental offices, complaining of severe tooth pain. He received several prescriptions for morphine and hit up a handful of drugstores to have them filled. When one of the pharmacists noticed the activity, he contacted the police, who arrived at Payton's house and discussed the situation.
Pearlman also said Payton used the painkiller Darvon during his days as a player. When his career ended, Payton reportedly battled depression and talked of suicide with close friends. Payton suffered two failed relationships that affected him.
Pearlman detailed an incident where Payton's estranged wife and girlfriend both attended his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
They were like ships passing in the night, Payton's assistant said, according to Yahoo! Sports, which reported that though the weekend was triumphant, it was one of the worst of Payton's life.