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Jeff Pearlman may have correctly portrayed Walter Payton as a flawed man off the field, but for those of us die-hard Bears fans who watched him play in the 1980s, it doesn't matter. Payton will always be like Laffy Taffy: nothing but Sweetness.
Russ Cranson, Oak Island, N.C.
After reading the excerpt from Pearlman's book about Payton (The Hero No One Knew, Oct. 3), I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth. Not because some of the mystery of Payton's life was exposed but because someone felt the need to expose it.
David Dube, Raleigh
Why do people always think that the personal life of a beloved celebrity is exempt from scrutiny? Reading about Payton helped me understand that with great success and stardom often come skeletons and insurmountable hurdles.
I was struck by the use of the word hero in reference to Payton. Many of the behaviors attributed to him in Pearlman's book seem contrary to anything that could be considered heroic. Was Payton a gifted athlete? Without question. However, there is a difference between someone who constantly abuses his physical gifts and someone who uses his gifts to set a positive example and lead a life well lived.
Steven W. Whitehead
West Des Moines, Iowa