Walter Payton is my all-time favorite non-Viking football player.
A lot of why is written about in this article from 1984 by Rick Telander.

[size=12pt]HE'S AIMING TO MAKE HISTORY[/size]
Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears is on target to become pro football's alltime leading rusher this season

Rick Telander
September 05, 1984
Stuff like this:

With that in mind, it would be wonderful for Chicago fans if Payton sets the record total so high that nobody can ever reach it. They have no doubt he's worthy. They love his charity work; they love his blue-collar intensity; they love the way he wants to break Brown's record. "I want to go up the middle, hit one guy, bounce off, hit another and another, jump over somebody and fight for the extra yard," he says. "I don't want to just break free around end and run unobstructed. I want it to be hard."
I hope you are resting in peace, Sweetness.