The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Top Ten All Time - Number 10

Since top ten lists are all the rage these days, the dog days til training camp start, I thought it was time for one more! Since USA Today is counting down the top 25 players of the last 25 years til camp,(and we will keep you up to date on the Niner notables on that list), I will go one better. Here is number 10 on my list of top ten players of all time, regardless of era or position. And yeah, there might be a 49er or two in here!!

Number 10:

Walter Payton, Chicago Bears, 1975-87

Payton, who rewrote the rushing record with 16,726 yards while missing only one game in his illustrious career, was one of the most versatile backs ever. An exception blocker and receiver, he was perfectly suited to the "black and blue" NFC Central Division. It is remarkable that Payton was able to be as productive as he was considering the lack of help he had in a passing game for most of his career. Early on, opposing defenses keyed on him when there was little else in Chicago's attack to fear, and still failed. In 1977, with a flu, Payton broke O.J. Simpson's single game mark with 275 yards against Minnesota. Just one moment out of a career of moments, like the 10 1000 yard seasons and 76 100 yard games.

Payton finally got some help from Jim McMahon and a passing game, and one of the best defenses ever to earn himself a Super Bowl ring in 1985. Not one to let his skills erode and tarnish his legacy, Payton retired after 13 years at the end of the strike shortened 1987 season.

Payton was the best of runners all rolled into one. The fluid open field strides of Eric Dickerson, the high knee kicks in traffic of Roger Craig, the untackleabiliy of Emmit Smith, and the toughness up the gut of Jerome Bettis. He passed away in 1999 at the far too young age of 45 leaving a legend of "sweetness" both on the field and in his actions in the community. So much so that the NFL's humanitarian award was renamed in his honor.

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