Payton’s motto was “Never Die Easy”. His coach at Jackson State taught ball carriers to refuse to run out of bounds to avoid being hit. Instead, you deliver a little “Sweetness” to would-be tacklers and let them drive you out of bounds, if they can.
As incredible a player as Payton turned out to be, he didn’t even play football until his junior year in high school. It was said that Walter didn’t want to compete with his older brother, Eddie, who was the star of the team. (Eddie also played in the NFL) And even after Eddie left, playing on the team was no guarantee. Payton made the coach promise to let him continue playing drums in the high school band.