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Walter Payton, the man they called Sweetness, ran and ran and ran. As a National Football League back, he gained nine and a half miles (16,726 yards) in his thirteen year career. But after Payton died of liver canceron November 1st, 1999, he wasn't praised as just the greatest runner in N.F.L. history; he was lauded as a remarkable person; a man who, on the edge of death, refused to use his celebrity status to jump the line for a new liver. In fact, in the days after his demise, one heard the same words repeatedly: "He was even a better person than he was a player." Imagine. this autobiography, crafted by Don Yaeger in the last months of Payton's life, could make all but the most heartless cry. The title derives from advice his coach Bob Hill gave Payton on getting hit: "if you're going to die anyway, die hard; never die easy." But Payton didn't die easy; he died sweet.