Sport: Running Wild

Payton aims at O.J. 's record

The scene is a familiar one to all small boys with big dreams: make-believe football games in the backyard, played in solitude to the roar of an imaginary crowd. "I'd throw up the ball, pretend it was a kickoff, then run and fake and flip and fall down and get up again and call another play. Sometimes I'd pretend it was a pass. I'd run and catch it or dive for it. That was a lot of fun."

Now the phantom crowds that cheered on Walter Payton as a boy...

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