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The only argument you’ll ever need to show that Walter Payton is the G.O.A.T.

Question: When is a G.O.A.T. argument not really a G.O.A.T. argument?

Walter Payton Jumps Over Gary Hrivnak in Game

A few days ago I threw up a poll on the WCG Twitter account asking if Walter Payton is the greatest football player of all time. I prefaced it by reminding voters to take all aspects of the sport into consideration, but I knew the results would be overwhelmingly in favor of Sweetness. We are a Chicago Bears account after-all, so it was no surprise that over 70% of the vote went to the Bears’ all-time leader in rushing yards, receptions, and touchdowns, that also excelled as a blocker, that threw for 8 TD passes, returned kicks early in his career, and even ripped off a punt during his thirteen years in Chicago, Walter Jerry Payton.

Picking the G.O.A.T. in a sport with so many different positions is tough, but the argument laid out by our resident historian, Jack M Silverstein, in another of his spectacular Twitter threads at @readjack is a must read.

Jack’s “no QBs” argument really takes shape a little further down the thread, so for all you Tom Brady or Joe Montana stans out there, stay tuned...

For those scoring at home, Sweetness is 5 for 5 so far, but the qualifications don’t stop there...

Have you ever heard a teammate, or an opponent for that matter, say anything negative about Payton? The NFL Man of the Year Award was renamed in 1999 to the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, and it recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. Payton won the award after his third season as a pro, 1977, and that was also the year he was named Offensive Player of the Year and league MVP.

Yes, Payton did actually play some quarterback in an NFL game, and while his numbers didn’t pop as a passer that day, I have no doubt that if an offensive coordinator had to design a full game-plan around Sweetness as a QB, he’d be able to get the job done.

And speaking of quarterbacks, here’s where Jack puts the Brady or Montana argument out to pasture.

Jack goes on to throw some scenarios of 11 vs 11 all-time match-ups in a few Twitter polls, so make sure you peruse all of those so you don’t miss any of his thread.

He also presents some polls about Payton being able to be successful in any era of the National Football League. With his all around skill set he would definitely thrive in the iron-man era going both ways playing as a single wing tailback or quarterback on offense and as a defensive back or maybe even a linebacker on defense.

Bronko Nagurski is probably the only all-timer that would give Payton a run for his money in a hypothetical 11 on 11 match-up. Bronko could run, pass, block, kick, play defense, and while probably not as fast as Payton, he would have the size advantage at 6’2”, 226 to Payton’s 5’10, 200 pounds.

But back to Sweetness...

With his ability to block and catch, Payton’s greatness transcends time and scheme.

For me the most impressive thing Payton did was have so much success while being the only legit offensive weapon on the Bears for the majority of his career. Did you know the Bears didn’t have another Pro Bowl player on offense during Payton’s first 10 years in the league?

Answer: When the argument is so mic-droppingly perfect that there is no debate.