WATCH: Walter Payton Had the Original “Flu Game” on This Date in NFL History (VIDEOS)

Walter Payton is a legend. And he is in that conversation when football folks discuss who the best there is, was, and ever will be in NFL circles. But you don’t get to legendary status simply by racking up numbers. There are mythical events that a player must put on tape to build that legacy.

And I’m not sure it gets any better than Sweetness delivering the OG “Flu Game” on this date in 1977:

Two decades before Michael Jordan had some bad pizza in Utah (why you’d ever get pizza in Utah is beyond my realm of thought, but to each their own I guess) and had what is widely known as “The Flu Game” for his heroics during the 1997 NBA Finals, it was Payton doing it on the gridiron. And setting a new single-game rushing record at the time.

The box score from a Bears 10-7 win against the Vikings is an absolute treat:

  • 40 carries
  • 275 rushing yards
  • 1 TD
  • A game-long run of 58 yards
  • An avearge of 6.88 yards per carry
  • And of course Ahmad Rashad (the NBA on NBC sideline reporter and close MJ confidant) was playing for the Vikings in that game. Who’dathunkit!?

    Now, here we are 45 years later and the Bears offense is riding high behind a glorious rushing attack. And while I’m not predicting Justin Fields or David Montgomery will top Sweetness’ efforts, it would be some sort of symmetry if the Bears did something magical today. Go get ’em!

    written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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