Posts tagged ‘Walter Payton’
One of the highlights of our Jan/Feb issue is a feature on the relationship between NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton and his former Chicago Bears backfield mate, Matt Suhey ’80. The story, written by Melissa Isaacson of ESPN Chicago, details the friendship the two developed playing together — a run that included the Bears’ memorable 1985 title season — and the bond that endured as Payton suffered and ultimately died from a rare liver disease.
The story has its heavier moments, particularly when Payton’s wife and kids talk about how Suhey became a surrogate father during and after Payton’s illness. But there’s also plenty of humor, most of it concerning a reluctant on-field partnership that blossomed into something like brotherhood. The photo above, which we didn’t find until the magazine was on its way to the printer (and which we think originally appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times), is a great example.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Our pal the UPS deliveryman showed up unexpectedly today (he wasn’t scheduled to arrive until tomorrow) with a few dozen boxes of our new January-February issue. That means that the issue is in the mail, and, depending on where you live, you could be getting your copy sometime in the next week or so. Our printer is based in Virginia, so people in the mid-Atlantic states tend to get the magazine sooner than, say, those in the Midwest or Florida or California.
We’ve got four feature stories in the new issue:
—A photo essay based on the spectacular underwater photography of Penn State faculty member and administrator Jeremy Cohen.
—In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Chicago Bears winning the Super Bowl, a story about the longtime friendship between two of the stars of that team: Walter Payton and Matt Suhey ’80. Suhey not only was (more…)
Jill Semmer ’88, a member of our Alumni Council, called my attention to a very interesting article by Mike Lopresti in USA Today this week about a little-known Penn State football player and his even less well-known backstory.
Tom Golarz is a senior, a walk-on who plays mostly on special teams. Since he was 17 he has suffered from a rare disease called sclerosing cholangitis—the same liver diease that affected Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton and led to Payton’s death at the age of 45. Golarz is hopeful that his prognosis is better, given that his illness was diagnosed relatively early (the average age at which sclerosing cholangitis is diagnosed is 40), but even so, it’s likely that he’ll eventually need a kidney transplant.
Golarz’s official bio on the Penn State Web site doesn’t mention his illness, and the USA Today piece is the first that I’ve seen anyone write about it. The article is well worth reading. And if you want to watch for Golarz in the Capital One Bowl tomorrow, he wears No. 39 and is on the field mostly for kickoff and punt returns.
Tina Hay, editor