A Lighter Moment With Matt Suhey & 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