Book: Walter Payton Abused Painkillers, Laughing Gas: A new biography by former Sports Illustrated senior writer Jeff Pearlman claims that NFL Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton abused painkillers and laughing gas. Pearlman quotes Payton's agent Bud Holmes saying, "I'd see him walk out of the locker room with jars of painkillers, and he'd eat them like they were a snack. ... Walter was pounding his body with medication. I wish I knew how bad it was, but at the time I really didn't." The book claims he kept tanks of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) in an RV during training camp and shared it with players. Pearlman said that after writing a book about Roger Clemens, he chose Payton as a subject because he wanted to write a book about "someone decent; about someone caring." He said, "Walter Payton was insanely curious, and his interest in other people -- regular fans, folks on the street -- extended beyond the scope of nearly any athlete I've ever come across (Sean Casey the possible exception)."