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NFL World Paying Tribute To Legendary Running Back Monday

A Chicago Bears helmet sitting on the field.

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 05: A Chicago Bears helmet rests on the ground during pregame warmups against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on October 5, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Today marks a special day in the NFL as fans pay tribute to the late-great Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton.

The Chicago Bears legend would have been celebrating his 68th birthday today. Around the NFL, fans and teams are paying tribute to former NFL rushing title holder.

Naturally, the Bears and members of Payton's surviving family were among the first to pay tribute to him. The Bears released a graphic listing off the many, many accomplishments that their team legend achieved during his 13 years in Chicago.

Payton's son Jarrett wrote a heartfelt message to his late father:

Other NFL fans paid tribute in their own ways with highlight clips, videos of "The Super Bowl Shuffle" and general birthday wishes.

Walter Payton, aka Sweetness, is widely considered one of the greatest players in NFL history, let alone greatest running backs of all-time. 

Payton was a nine-time Pro Bowler and an eight-time All-Pro selection. He won MVP honors in 1977, had 10 seasons of over 1,200 rushing yards and was the leading rusher on the famed 1985 Chicago Bears.

Payton retired as the NFL's all-time leading rusher and ranks second behind Emmitt Smith in yards. Smith himself has Payton on his NFL Mt. Rushmore.

Sadly, Payton passed away in 1999. The NFL commemorated Payton by renaming the NFL Man of the Year award for him.