For football lovers, an admiring biography of the Chicago Bears' recently retired running back. After chapters detailing Walter Payton's high standing--he holds nine NFL records and is considered by many to have been the best all-around player in football--Sufrin traces his background: a loving family, rivalry with his older brother (also a football pro), a childhood full of daredevil stunts. The author describes a natural athlete whose exploding energy often got him into trouble as a child, but whose adherence to sport's discipline and training by his parents gave him the steadiness needed for a triumphant career, even after his disappointing first pro seasons. The final chapter poignantly depicts an athlete with the courage to walk away from a game he loves while he can still play it with honor. Sufrin touches little on Payton's personal life, and suggests his personality only as it affected performance on the field. While valid, this approach limits the book's interest, as do the abundantly detailed game descriptions. Still, well written and inspirational--a cut above the rest, like its subject. Index.