• by Jeff Pearlman
  • Narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner
  • 18 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At five feet 10 inches tall, running back Walter Payton was not the largest player in the NFL, but he developed a larger-than-life reputation for his strength, speed, and grit. Nicknamed “Sweetness” during his college football days, he became the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing and all-purpose yards, capturing the hearts of fans in his adopted Chicago.
Drawing from interviews with more than seven hundred sources, acclaimed sportswriter Jeff Pearlman has crafted the first definitive biography of Payton. Sweetness at last brings fans a detailed, scrupulously researched, all-encompassing account of the legend’s rise to greatness. From Payton’s childhood in segregated Mississippi, where he ended a racial war by becoming the star of his integrated high school’s football team, to his college years and his thirteen-year NFL career, Sweetness brims with stories of all-American heroism and covers Payton’s life on and off the field. Set against the backdrop of the tragic illness that cut his life short at just 45 years of age, this is a stirring tribute to a singular icon and the lasting legacy he made.


What the Critics Say

"Jeff Pearlman does the work of first-rate biography in his addictively readable Sweetness. He presents Walter Payton in all of his flaws and contradictions yet leaves you in the end with a much deeper appreciation of an uncommon man." (David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize–winning author)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent and very complete!

I looked forward to getting back to "the book" each time I had a drive to make. It is a long book but held my interest throughout. If you are interested in the 1985 Bears this book adds a lot to the story at a deeper level about a key player.
Read full review

- Thomas T. Whaley Jr. "tom98685"

Honest Accounting Of A Fascinating Life

Started listening to this book after getting a tip from A Football Life episode on Walter Payton. Thought that there had to be more to the man than the sparkly clean image put forth by the media and the family and this book does a very thorough job of giving the details of a rather complex human being without being a tabloid.
The narrator did an excellent job with the pace and the different sounding voices. It was an audiobook that was hard to turn off. It covers Walter's life from Mississippi to Illinois and pretty much everything in between. I was able to follow up some of the events of the book with YouTube clips (e.g., Walter's Hall of Fame Induction speech and his brother Eddie's eulogy at the memorial service) which brought the elements of the book to life.
I highly recommend this audiobook.
Read full review

- RevInTampa "Pastor Darryl"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-17-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.