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NFL & NCAAF – Detroit Lions & Oklahoma State Cowboys – RB Barry Sanders – L E’s Stories Special – “Now You See Him, Now You Don’t…..Tame Sanders And Win Was The Mantra Of All Opposing Teams” – Celebrating Greatness!! With Our Tribute To RB Barry Sanders

 

Albeit I have been a lifetime Texas Longhorn fan…..whose blood runs “burnt orange”…..and have typically disliked all things Oklahoma, especially Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys…..but, I must admit that the subject of this post has been one of my all time favorite running backs since 1986 and running continually through his last NFL season in 1998….. while gobbling up yardage for the OSU Cowboys on his way to the Heisman Trophy in 1988…..and then as the only truly bright light on the ever so dismal Detroit Lions from 1989 to 1998 on his way to becoming the 2nd youngest player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  I must admit that I watched every possible football game that Barry Sanders played from 1986 to 1998 on TV…..as you would find me in front of the TV set just because I knew that something mystical and magical was bound to happen wherever Barry touched the football…..and way more often than not, it did.  Therefore, I invite you to explore the life and legend of one of the very best running backs and most humble superstars to ever grace the football gridiron, Barry Sanders.

NCAAF & NFL – Documentary – 2019 – A Joseph Vincent Bored Film Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Impossible Elusiveness G.O.A.T”

 

  

Barry David Sanders (born July 16, 1968) is an American former football running back who played for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL) for 10 seasons. Sanders led the league in rushing yards four times and in rushing touchdowns once, establishing himself as one of the most elusive runners in the history of the NFL with his quickness and agility, despite being only 5 ft 8 in tall and weighing 203 lbs.  Sanders played college football for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  As a college junior in 1988, he compiled what is widely considered one the greatest individual seasons in college football history, rushing for 2,628 yards and 37 touchdowns in 11 games. He won the Heisman Trophy and was unanimously recognized as an All-American.

 

 

 

NCAAF & NFL – Documentary – 2023 – A NonStop Production Special – “Barry Sanders: How Good Was He Actually?”

 

 

Sanders was selected by the Lions in 1989…..and had an immediate impact in his rookie season…..while winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award…..when in 1991, Sanders helped lead the Lions to their 1st and only postseason win since 1958…..which he followed in 1994 by winning the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award (OPOTY).  In 1997, he rushed for 2,053 yards in the regular season…..and was awarded the NFL Most Valuable Player Award (MVP)…..which was alongside his 2nd NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award.  While still performing at a high level, Sanders unexpectedly retired from professional football in 1999, at the age of 31…..and just a mere 1,457 yards short of breaking the NFL’s then all-time rushing record held by Walter Payton…..as Sanders cited the Lions’ front office and declining team production as reasons for his retirement.  He finished his career with 15,269 rushing yards…..which was 4th all-time…..and 99 rushing touchdowns….. which is 10th all-time…..plus, in each of his 10 seasons, he was selected to a Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams.  The Lions retired Sanders’ # 20 jersey on November 25, 2004…..when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame three months prior.  A year later, Sanders was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame with former college teammate Thurman Thomas.

 

 

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2021 – A Clasher Sports Production Special – “Barry Sanders: The Game Where Fans Realized Barry Sanders Was Not Human” – 1991 Lions Vs Vikings

 

 

In 2007, Sanders was ranked by NFL Networks’ NFL Top 10 series as the most elusive runner in NFL history…..while being placed # 1 on the list of the greatest players never to play in a Super Bowl.  He is considered by many as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.  Bleacher Report ranked Sanders # 1 on their list of greatest running backs in NFL history…..after he averaged 1,527 rushing yards per season…..and just under 100 rushing yards per game (99.8).  Sanders was 1st inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1998…..then into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003…..and in that same year inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.  In 2000, Sanders was included in the NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team…..which was followed in 2019 by being named to the National Football League 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

 

 

 

 NCAAF – 2016 – A PockyCandy Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Classic Tailback for Oklahoma State Cowboys” 

 

                                                                                                                                                                          

Sanders was born on July 16, 1968, in Wichita, Kansas…..as the 7th of 11 children to William and Shirley Sanders.  His father worked as a roofer and carpenter…..while his mother worked as a homemaker for the Sanders family. Sanders and two of his brothers worked as roofer’s assistants to his father.  As a child, Barry was known for having an appetite…..while being able to eat an entire loaf of bread in one sitting.  He would often listen to regional college sports games with his father on TV.  Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press wrote: “All day they would labor, with the hammers, with the tar, sweating in the hot summer sun. You did not complain in the Sanders family. Not unless you wanted a good whupping.”

 

 

 

NCAAF & NFL & Talk Shows – 2019 – Live on the Dan Patrick Show – Troy Aikman on the Genuine Modesty of Barry Sanders

 

 

Sanders played football at Wichita North High School.  Before this, he enjoyed playing youth football and basketball.  Sanders started at tailback in his sophomore year in high school, but his brother Byron started before him in that position during Barry’s following junior year.  When Byron graduated and left for Northwestern University on a football scholarship, Sanders was expected to start at tailback in his senior year—but instead was started at wingback—a variant of the wide receiver position.  His head coach at the time perceived that his small stature would be a liability and that he “lacked contact courage.”  Besides taking part in football, he played basketball as a guard.  Table-tennis and baseball were also sports that Sanders tried to take a part in.  During this period—according to writer Samuel Crompton—the Sanders family had to “scrimp and save to get by”. 

High School Football – Highlights Special – 2018 – An ESPN Archives Production Special – “Barry Sanders:  Rare Wichita North High School Football Highlights”

 

Sanders did not become the starting running back until the 4th game of his senior year…..when the original player was suspended for disciplinary reasons…..as he rushed for 274 yards and four touchdowns in that game….. after which he rushed for 1,417 yards on 139 rushing attempts…..while he averaged 10.2 yards per rushing attempt…..and scored 17 touchdowns through his seven-game senior season.  In the last game of the season, Wichita North’s head coach, Dale Burkholder, offered Sanders more playing time in order to gain enough rushing yards to reach the state rushing title, but Sanders declined, saying it was “not important.”   For his season, Sanders earned all-state honors…..and was named an Honorable Mention All-American.  Although he was viewed as a stellar athlete, because of his short stature Sanders received scholarship offers from only Wichita State University, Iowa State University,  University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University–Stillwater…..so, he accepted the offer from Oklahoma State.

 

 

 

High School Football – Highlights Special – 2012 – An endzoneelite Production Special – “Barry Sanders:  Running Wild for Wichita North in 1984 and 1985”

 

 

Sanders later said that his choice to play at Oklahoma State caused a conflict between him and his father.  When Oklahoma State’s coach came to his father’s house with a letter of intent the day Sanders signed with the team, his father was frustrated, saying as the coach walked out the door that Sanders was “making a big mistake” when signing with the team.  His father was similarly frustrated because Oklahoma State played in the same conference as the Oklahoma Sooners…..whom William was a fan of.  A friend of Sanders told him that William said Sanders had chosen to play at Oklahoma State “in order to hide”…..as Sanders would be playing behind Heisman candidate Thurman Thomas…..with this being as opposed to playing at a school where he would be the starting running back.  Eventually, his father supported Sanders at Oklahoma State…..as evidenced by his attendance at all of his games when he played.

 

 

 

NCAAF – Highlights Special – 2022 – A barry sanders Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1988 Heisman Year Highlights”

 

 

Sanders enrolled at Oklahoma State University…..where he played for the Oklahoma State Cowboys from 1986 to 1988…..and wore the # 21 jersey.  During his 1st two years, he backed up Thomas at running back.  In 1986, Sanders played in eight games…..while rushing for 325 rushing yards on 74 rushing attempts…..with two rushing touchdowns.  In 1987, he led the nation in yards per kickoff return (31.6)…..while rushing for 603 yards and scoring 9 rushing touchdowns…..while catching 4 passes for 58 receiving yards and a touchdown…..plus scoring 2 touchdowns from 29 total special teams returns. He was named a 2nd-team College Football All-American as a return specialist…..however, while still a backup to Thomas, he received notable attention from his opponents.  Oklahoma Sooners head coach Barry Switzer in particular told his players not to injure Thomas, in fear of Sanders starting in his place, telling them: “You won’t touch this kid”.  Sanders was not fond of this as he believed Thomas to be a good teammate.  Thomas moved on to the NFL in 1988…..which allowed Sanders to become the starter for his junior year in college.

 

 

 

NCAAF – Highlights Special – 2018 – A College Football Wave Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Unstoppable As Greatest Running Back in College Football History”

 

 

In 1988, in what is considered one of the greatest individual seasons in college football history, Sanders became the 1st player to open two consecutive seasons with a 100-yard kickoff return.  He led the nation by averaging 7.6 yards per attempt and over 200 yards per game…..which  included rushing for over 300 yards in 4 games.  Despite his massive workload of 344 attempts, Sanders was still used as the team’s punt and kickoff returner…..while adding another 516 yards on special teams.  He set college football season records with 2,628 yards rushing and 3,248 total all-purpose yards…..which was broken by Christian McCaffrey in 2015…..234 points…..which was broken by Montee Ball in 2011 with 37 rushing TD’s and 39 total touchdowns…..with 37 rushing, one kick return, one punt return, tied with Ball.

 

 

 

NCAAF – Highlights Special – 2018 – A ESPN Archives Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Heisman Trophy Season Special” – Rare Video

 

 

Sanders had five consecutive 200-yard games…..while scoring at least two touchdowns in all eleven games…..plus eight times he scored at least three touchdowns.  Sanders ran for 222 yards and scored five touchdowns in just three quarters of action in the 1988 Holiday Bowl, a game that is not included in the official NCAA season statistics.  When added to his original rushing total, Sanders recorded 2,850 rushing yards from a workload of 373 attempts, 42 rushing touchdowns and 44 total touchdowns.  Sanders learned of his Heisman Trophy win while he was with the team in Tokyo, Japan  preparing to face Texas Tech in the Coca-Cola Classic…..when he accepted the award via satellite…..as he garnered 559 first-place votes for 1,878 points….. while becoming the 8th non-college senior to attain the trophy…..plus, he was selected as a unanimous All-American.  Nevertheless, he believed Rodney Peete should have won the award.  Along with his Heisman Trophy, Sanders was awarded the Maxwell Award…..the Walter Camp Award …..and was named the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year.   Sanders initially announced that he was not going to enter the NFL Draft…..but after receiving pressure from his father, he announced his entrance into the draft.

 

 

 

NCAAF – Highlights Special – 1986 To 1988 – An Oklahoma State Athletics Production Special – “Barry Sanders: College Career Highlights”

 

 

College statistics

Season

GP

Rushing

Receiving

Att

Yds

Avg

Y/G

TD

Rec

Yds

TD

1986

8

74

325

4.4

40.6

2

0

0

0

1987

11

105

603

5.7

54.8

9

4

58

1

1988

11

344

2,628

7.6

238.9

37

19

106

0

Total

30

523

3,556

6.8

118.5

48

23

164

1

NCAAF – Extended Highlights Special – 1988 – An ESPN Archives Production Special – “Big 8 Game of the Week Highlights – # 5 Oklahoma Sooners Vs # 8 Oklahoma State Cowboys – Featuring Barry Sanders In His Heisman Trophy Winning season”

NCAA FBS records

Sanders set 34 NCAA Division I FBS records in his college career, and still holds the following records:

  • Most rushing yards in a season: 2,628

  • Most rushing yards gained in a three, four, and five game span: 937; 1,152; 1,472

  • Most rushing touchdowns in a season: 37

  • Most 2+ rushing touchdown games in a season: 11

  • Most 3+ rushing touchdown games in a season: 8

  • Most consecutive games scoring two or more touchdowns: 13 (from November 14, 1987, through 1988)

  • Most scrimmage touchdowns in a season: 39 (tied with Ball)

  • Most games rushing for 300+ yards in a season and career: 4

  • Most all-purpose yards per game in a season: 295.5

  • Most rushing yards per game in a season: 238.9

 

 

 

NCAAF – Extended Highlights Special – 1988 – An ESPN Archives Production Special – “Big 8 Game of the Week Highlights – Nebraska Cornhuskers Vs Oklahoma State Cowboys – Featuring Barry Sanders In His Heisman Trophy Winning season”

 

 

Sanders, a college junior, was originally ineligible for the NFL Draft….. however, Oklahoma State had been under investigation by the NCAA for going against recruiting rules…..and later were given significant penalties for their violations…..so if Sanders had stayed for his senior season, his games would not have been televised…..and the Cowboys would be ineligible for college bowl games…..therefore, due to these circumstances, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle allowed Sanders to enter the draft…..then one year after he was selected, the NFL allowed all juniors to participate in the draft.  During pre-draft measurements, Sanders was measured at 5 ft 8 in tall, and weighed at 203 lbs.

 

 

 

NCAAF – Highlight Special – 1988 – An Oklahoma State Athletics Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 101 Yard Kickoff Return in Season Opener Against Miami Ohio”

 

 

The Detroit Lions drafted Sanders 3rd overall in the 1989 NFL Draft, after Troy Aikman and Tony Mandarich, thanks to the endorsement of head coach Wayne Fontes.  The Lions competed in the central division of the National Football Conference (NFC)…..who from 1970, the football team had made the postseason only twice…..and had not had a season at or above .500 (more wins than losses) since their most recent playoff season in 1983. Fontes, who took over the coaching position midway through the previous season, was impressed with Sanders’ athletic ability after he lifted 225 lbs (102 kg) for 21 reps.  Lions’ management considered drafting another “Sanders”, cornerback Deion Sanders, but Fontes convinced them to draft Barry instead…..then Fontes offered Sanders jersey # 20…..which had been worn by former Lions running back Billy Sims…..who was one of the league’s premier running backs in the early 1980’s…..as Fontes requested he wear the number in tribute to Sims.  Sanders had doubts about what his career would have been like if another team selected him, such as the Green Bay Packers, who selected Mandarich at # 2, later saying: “I don’t know what I would’ve done if I was drafted by Green Bay, I don’t know if I would’ve wanted to play in Green Bay, I don’t think I could’ve handled this weather every day.”

 

 

 

 NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 1989 – A TA Sports Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1st Game for the Lions…The Build Up, First Carries…and Touchdown”

 

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2023 – A Highlight Mini Castle Production Special – “RB Barry Sanders Vs LB Mike Singletary – As Detroit Lions Take On Chicago Bears in Week 3 of the NFL Season”

 

 

Sanders did not participate in the training camp of his rookie season due to a contract dispute…..when he eventually came to monetary terms with the Lions, signing a deal for 5 years, $9.5 million, including a $2.1 million signing bonus…..of which 10% ($210,000) was donated to his local church, Paradise Baptist Church.  In his 1st Lions press conference, Sanders prefaced that he wanted to assist in restoring the franchise’s reputation in the NFL landscape …..while stating that he wanted to help “restore the roar in the dome.”

 

 

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2009 – A yfz01 Production Special – “Barry Sanders: The Great!” – Career Highlights

 

 

As a rookie in 1989, Sanders started 13 out of a possible 16 games for the Lions.   In his 1st career professional game against the Phoenix Cardinals on September 10, Sanders ran for 71 yards on 9 attempts…..and scored a rushing touchdown.  Against the Chicago Bears, Sanders compiled 126 yards on 18 attempts and a touchdown…..but became injured with bruised ribs and a hip pointer that plagued him through the rest of the season.  On October 1, Sanders only had 1 yard on 5 attempts against the Pittsburgh Steelers…..then he bounced back against the Minnesota Vikings…..with 99 yards on 23 attempts.  After the game, Vikings head coach Jerry Burns asked game officials to check if Sanders had applied silicone to himself…..as Burns believed this was why his players had difficulty tackling him…..but no illegal substance was ever found.  On December 24, the final game of the season, he had 158 yards on 20 attempts to go along with 3 touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons.  During the game, the Lions installed a special phone line in one of the press boxes to monitor Christian Okoye, a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs who, at the time, was tied with Sanders for the league rushing title…..when Okoye’s game ended, Sanders trailed Okoye by only ten yards…..so, Fontes offered Sanders the chance to return to the Lions’ game to gain enough yards to pass Okoye, after Sanders was pulled from the game when the score was in the Lions’ favor.  Yet Sanders declined to return to the game, letting Okoye keep the rushing title.  Sanders finished the season totaling 1,470 rushing yards off of 280 attempts and 14 touchdowns.  His rushing total was both a rookie franchise record…..and a franchise record for any running back in Lions history…..which were both records held previously by Billy Sims.  Sanders was awarded the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award…..and named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team…..plus, he was also selected to the Pro Bowl…..and was named a 1st-team All-Pro by the Associated Press (AP).  The Lions struggled that season, posting a 7–9 record and failing to make the postseason, despite winning five straight games to end the year.

 

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 1989 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1st Thanksgiving Day Game – Detroit Lions Vs Cleveland Browns”

 

 

On September 9, 1990, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sanders had 79 yards from 14 rushing attempts and a goal-line touchdown…..then against the Green Bay Packers on September 30th, Sanders had 20 attempts for 94 yards…..which was followed by 16 attempts for 90 yards and a touchdown, coupled with five receptions for 135 yards receiving and a 47-yard receiving touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs…..when on November 4th, playing against the Washington Redskins, Sanders had 11 rushes for 104 yards and a touchdown, in a game where the Lions surrendered a 21-point lead to lose 38–41.  On December 10th against the Los Angeles Raiders, Sanders was credited with a season-high 176 yards from 25 attempts and two touchdowns…..and on December 22nd against the Packers, Sanders had 19 attempts for 133 yards and a touchdown in the 24–17 victory…..as Sanders had a productive year, finishing the year 1st in the NFL in rushing yards, with 1,304, becoming the 1st Lions running back to lead the league in rushing yards since Byron White in 1940…..when he ranked 3rd in rushing TD’s with 13…..and 6th in both attempts with 255 and yards per attempt with 5.1.  As a result, Sanders was selected to his 2nd Pro Bowl…..and was again named an AP 1st-team All-Pro.  The Lions finished the year with a 6–10 record and missed the postseason for the 7th consecutive season.

 

 

 

NFL – Entire Game – 1990 – NFL Game of the Week – Detroit Lions Vs New Orleans Saints – Featuring Barry Sanders and the Lions Run and Shoot Offense

 

 

On September 1, 1991, Sanders was inactive for the Lions’ 45–0 shutout loss against the Washington Redskins, due to having sore ribs before the opening kickoff…..as the loss was the franchise’s worst in over 20 years.  On November 24th against the Minnesota Vikings, Sanders dominated, with 220 rushing yards on 23 attempts and 4 touchdowns in a game the Lions won 34–14…..when Sanders dedicated the win to teammate Mike Utley…..who suffered a career-ending spinal cord injury the previous game.  In the final game of the regular season against the Buffalo Bills, Sanders had 26 attempts for 108 yards and a touchdown…..but fumbled in Lions territory, allowing the Bills to tie the game…..but the Lions would still be victorious, ending 17–14 in overtime.  Sanders finished the regular season with 1,548 rushing yards from a workload of 342 attempts…..when he led the league in rushing touchdowns, with a career-high 16…..after which, he was selected to the Pro Bowl and AP 1st-team All-Pro team…..and was awarded the Bert Bell Award.  The 1992 season was the most successful season in terms of wins with Sanders starting at running back…..with a 12–4 record, the Lions clinched the NFC Central…..and made the postseason for the 1st time since 1983…..with Fontes being awarded that year’s National Football League Coach of the Year Award.  Those 12 wins are the most in a season by the Lions franchise in its history.  Having the # 2 seed in the NFC, the Lions skipped the Wild Card Round and advanced to the Divisional Round…..where they faced the Dallas Cowboys…..when Sanders helped lead the Lions to their 1st postseason victory since the team won the 1957 NFL Championship Game.  In the game, Sanders was held to only 22 yards rushing before he broke away for a 47-yard touchdown run…..in which he broke several tackles to close out the 38–6 victory.  In the NFC Championship Game, Sanders was held to eleven attempts for 44 yards in the Lions’ blowout 41–10 loss to the eventual Super Bowl-winning Redskins.  Sanders finished the postseason with 23 attempts for 113 yards and a touchdown. He would never win another playoff game in his career after that season.

 

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 1991 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “NFL Game of the Week Highlights – Detroit Lions Vs Minnesota Vikings”

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 1991 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “NFL Game of the Week Highlights – Detroit Lions Vs Miami Dolphins” – Featuring HOF Dolphins QB Dan Marino & HOF Lions RB Barry Sanders

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 1991 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “NFL Game of the Week Highlights – Detroit Lions Vs Indianapolis Colts” – Featuring HOF Lions RB Barry Sanders & HOF Colts RB Eric Dickerson

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 1991 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “NFL Game of the Week Highlights – Detroit Lions Vs Dallas Cowboys” – Featuring HOF Lions RB Barry Sanders & HOF Cowboys RB Emmitt Smith

 

 

On September 13, 1992, Sanders had 26 attempts for 66 yards against the Minnesota Vikings…..when on the following week against the Washington Redskins, Sanders recorded 14 attempts for only 34 yards.  On November 22nd, Sanders compiled 29 attempts for 151 yards and a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals…..as his rushing total against the Bengals brought his career total to 5,202 rushing yards…..which passed Sims for a new franchise record…..then he finished his final regular season game with 19 attempts for 104 yards against the San Francisco 49ers.  Overall, Sanders was credited with 1,352 rushing yards from a workload of 312 attempts and 9 TD’s…..as  his rushing yards total ranked 4th in the league…..and his attempts ranked 3rd.  He was selected to the Pro Bowl and named an AP 2nd-team All-Pro for the 1st time.  The Lions regressed from their previous season, posting a 5–11 record for the year…..and missed the playoffs after making the conference championship the prior year.

 

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2021 – A Rare Sports Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1992 NFL Season Highlights”

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 1992 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “Barry Sanders Vs Emmitt Smith: In NFL Game of the Week Dallas Cowboys Vs Detroit Lion Highlights” – With Pat Summerall & John Madden                                                                                                                                                                              

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 1992 – A Classic Sports Production Special – ” In NFL Game of the Week Dallas Cowboys Vs Detroit Lions Highlights” – With Bob Trumpy & Dick Enberg                                                     

 

 

During the 1993 season, Barry Sanders appeared to be well on his way to that year’s NFL rushing title…..however, on November 25th against the Chicago Bears, after rushing for 63 yards on 16 attempts, Sanders was forced to leave the game with an injury…..as the Lions revealed after the game that Sanders had suffered a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL)…..and would miss three to five weeks…..plus, it was subsequently revealed by a physician that Sanders had also torn his posterior cruciate ligament.  As a result, Sanders was inactive for the last 5 games of the regular season.  In his final contract year, Sanders and the Lions agreed to a 4-year, $17.2-million contract, making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL…..and the 3rd-highest-paid player overall, behind John Elway and Steve Young.  After starting in only 11 games due to the injury, he finished in the top 10 in multiple rushing categories…..as he was 5th in the league in rushing yards  with 1,115…..9th in attempts with 243…..and 2nd in rushing yards per game with 101.4 rushing yards per game…..while having a career-low of 3 rushing touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl and an AP 2nd-team All-Pro. The Lions finished the regular season with a 10–6 record…..while clinching the NFC Central and a postseason berth.  The Lions faced their division rival Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card Round…..when Sanders, after being cleared for the game, recorded 27 attempts for 169 yards…..which was the best statistical postseason game of his career…..but the Lions lost 28–24. 

 

 

 

NFL & TV Ads – 1993 – Barry Sanders For Nike

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 2021 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “1993 Detroit Lions Vs Los Angeles Rams – Featuring Lions RB Barry Sanders”

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 2021 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “1993 Detroit Lions Vs Chicago Bears – Featuring Lions RB Barry Sanders Prior To ACL Injury”

 

 

On September 11, 1994, Sanders struggled, as he had 12 attempts for only 16 yards in a 10–3 loss against the Minnesota Vikings…..prompting his head coach Wayne Fontes to say, “We’re learning little by little, the hard way, that when Barry Sanders is not having the day you expect him to have, it’s hard for this team to win.”  Against the Dallas Cowboys the following week, Sanders improved with a career-high 40 attempts for 194 yards…..when for his performance, he was named the NFC Offensive Player of The Week.  On September 25th, against the New England Patriots, Sanders recorded 18 attempts for 131 yards and two touchdowns…..when during this game, Sanders had one of the most memorable runs of his career…..while rushing 39 yards for a touchdown, Sanders juked and spun his way to the end zone, causing Patriots safety Harlon Barnett to spin around trying to tackle Sanders…..as Barnett later spoke of the moment saying, “It’s not that I’m  embarrassed  about what happened, as I thought I did pretty good by just getting in front of him twice”…..when Barnett then added, “I just didn’t stay there.”  Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sanders had arguably the best statistical game of his career, compiling a career-high 237 rushing yards (franchise record), off of 26 attempts…..while setting the record for most rushing yards in a single game without scoring a touchdown.  Sanders entered the final game of the season within striking distance of 2,000 yards rushing…..but finished the loss to the Miami Dolphins with only 12 carries for 52 yards.  Nevertheless, Sanders finished 1st in the league in rushing yards….. while recording 331 attempts for 1,883 yards rushing…..and scoring 7 TD’s.  His single-season rushing total was 4th in NFL history up to that point.  He totaled 2,166 yards from scrimmage…..which, at the time, was the 7th-most ever in a season…..and as a result of his season, he was selected to the Pro Bowl and named an AP first-team All-Pro after the regular season.  Sanders was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year (OPOTY) for the 1994 season…..while finishing 2nd in NFL Most Valuable Player voting behind Steve Young.  The Lions finished the year with a 9–7 record and made the postseason with a wild card spot…..when they faced the Green Bay Packers again in the Wild Card Round, after being defeated by them the previous season…..when on December 31st, Sanders struggled against the Packers and recorded what is viewed as the worst game of his career…..while having 13 attempts for -1 rushing yards…..when 6 of his 13 attempts went for negative yardage…..and the Lions as a team were held to only -4 rushing yards in the game, losing 16–12.

 

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 2021 – A wny_vad13 Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1994 Season Highlights”

 

 

 

NFL – Full Game Highlights – 2017 – A Hawking Regime Production Special – “Barry Sanders:  1994 Full Game Highlights Against the Cowboys – 40 Carries for 194 Yards 

 

 

NFL – Entire Sunday Night Football Game – 1994 – NFL Week 11 Game of the Week – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs Detroit Lions – Featuring Barry Sanders – With Mike Patrick & Joe Theismann on the Call

 

 

The 1995 season began against the Pittsburgh Steelers as Sanders recorded 21 rushing attempts for 108 yards…..then on September 25th against the San Francisco 49ers, Sanders had a down game, recording 17 attempts for only 24 yards…..but against the Cleveland Browns, Sanders improved with 157 yards from 18 attempts and three touchdowns…..which included a 75-yard touchdown run, in a 38–20 victory.  Sanders finished with 314 attempts for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns for his season, Sanders was selected to the Pro Bowl and named an AP first-team All-Pro.  The Lions posted a 10 – 6  record and made the postseason with a wild card spot…..where they faced the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card Round.  Sanders had ten attempts for 40 yards as the Lions’ rushing game was stuffed by the Eagles’ defense. The Lions were likewise overwhelmed by the Eagles’ offense and faced a 44-point deficit in the third quarter 51–7, eventually losing the game 58–37; despite teammate Lomas Brown stating before the game that a Lions victory was “guaranteed” At the time, this was the highest-scoring postseason game in NFL history, with 95 points scored.  This record was bested by one point in a 51–45 victory by the Arizona Cardinals over the Green Bay Packers  in 2009.

 

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 2021 – A Detlef Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1995 Full Season Highlights”

 

 

 

 NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 1995 – A Classic Sports Production Special – NFL Game of the Week – Detroit Lions Vs Minnesota Vikings – Featuring Barry Sanders on the Prowl

 

 

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2020 – A Detlef Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1995 Full Season Highlights”

 

 

In 1996, during the 1st game of the season against the Minnesota Vikings, Sanders recorded 24 rushing attempts for 163 rushing yards.  Against the Oakland Raiders, Sanders had nine attempts for only 36 yards.  On November 3 against the Green Bay Packers, Sanders had 20 attempts for 152 yards and a touchdown.  Against the Seattle Seahawks on November 17, Sanders had 16 attempts for 134 yards and a touchdown.  Against the Chicago Bears the following week, Sanders had 21 attempts for 107 yards and a touchdown.  Sanders had 20 attempts for 134 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings, but a missed two-point conversion attempt after his touchdown resulted in the Lions losing 22–24.  In the final game of the season, he recorded 28 attempts for 175 yards against the San Francisco 49ers.  Overall, Sanders finished the regular season first in the league in rushing yards with 1,553 rushing yards from 307 attempts. He scored 11 rushing touchdowns, and had 97.1 rushing yards per game, which was first in the league.` At this point in his career, Sanders had 11,725 career rushing yards, seventh all-time, and ranked eighth all-time in career rushing touchdowns, with 84.  The Lions regressed, posting a 5–11 record, and failed to make the postseason after three straight playoff seasons from 1993 to 1995; though Sanders still made the Pro Bowl and was named an AP second-team All-Pro.

 

 

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2021 – A Rare Sports Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1996 Lions Season Highlights”

 

 

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2020 – A Detlef Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1996 Full Season Highlights”

 

 

Before the start of the 1997 season, Fontes was fired after nine seasons coaching the Lions, and replaced by Bobby Ross; Sanders was saddened by Fontes’ firing, believing he deserved another chance at coaching the team.  On September 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sanders struggled on the ground, having 10 attempts for only 20 yards, but recorded 102 receiving yards and a touchdown.  On October 12, Sanders dominated with 215 yards from 24 attempts and two touchdowns against the Buccaneers, passing Jim Brown to be the fourth-ranked career rushing leader in NFL history, with 12,513 career rushing yards; he also caught a seven-yard touchdown pass. Against the Indianapolis Colts, Sanders had another stellar performance, compiling 24 attempts for 216 yards and two touchdowns (including one of 80 yards).  With the win, Sanders became the first running back with ten consecutive games with 100 yards rushing in a season, and became the first running back to have three touchdowns of 80+ yards in a season.  Against the Chicago Bears, Sanders had 19 attempts for 167 yards and three touchdowns, passing Eric Dickerson to become the second-ranked rusher for career yards behind Walter Payton  On December 21, 1997, Sanders entered the season finale against the New York Jets needing at least 131 rushing yards to reach 2,000 for the season; both teams needed a win to clinch a playoff berth.  Sanders reached the 2,000 mark on a two-yard run; finishing the game with 23 attempts for 184 yards and a touchdown; helping the Lions edge the Jets 13–10.  Sanders had a season that is considered among the greatest ever by a running back.  He recorded 2,053 rushing yards, which was first in the league that season, from 335 attempts and 11 touchdowns, becoming just the third running back in history to reach 2,000 rushing yards in a season. For his accomplishments, he credited his offensive linemen, stating: “Without them, I wouldn’t have run far at all.”  Sanders rushed for 100+ yards in the season’s final 14 games, an NFL record.  With 2,358 total scrimmage yards, he broke the single-season record for scrimmage yards that was held by Marcus Allen; the record was broken two seasons later by Marshall Faulk, and again by Chris Johnson in 2009.  Sanders was named to the Pro Bowl and AP first-team All-Pro, and awarded the Bert Bell Award. Sanders was also awarded his second NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award, and the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) (co-won with Brett Favre).  The Lions posted a 9–7 record and clinched a wild card spot as the No. 5 seed in the NFC.  Sanders and the Lions faced the Buccaneers, who were playing their first home postseason game in 18 years.  Sanders had 18 attempts for 65 yards as the Lions lost 10–20, after quarterback Scott Mitchell left the game with an injury in the third quarter.

 

 

 

NFL – Full Game Highlights – 1997 – A Jsn Highlights Production Special – “Barry Sanders Vs Dan Marino – Game of the Week Highlights of Miami Dolphins Vs Detroit Lions Game”                                                              

 

 


 
NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 2022 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “NFL Game of the Week Highlights – New York Giants Vs Detroit Lions” – Featuring Lions RB Barry Sanders

 

 

 

On September 13, 1998, against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sanders recorded 185 rushing yards from 26 rushing attempts with three touchdowns.  Sanders had 22 attempts for 69 yards in a 6–29 loss against the Minnesota Vikings.  On November 26, 1998, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sanders had a down game, with 20 attempts for only 33 rushing yards; the Lions were still victorious 19–16 in overtime.  Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sanders had 18 attempts for 102 yards.  In Sanders’ final game of his career, on December 27, 1998, he had 19 attempts for 41 yards in a 10–19 loss against the Baltimore Ravens.  Sanders capped off his final season with 1,491 rushing yards (fourth in the league), from a career-high 343 attempts (fifth in the league), and four touchdowns.  He was nine yards short of completing five straight seasons with at least 1,500 rushing yards. He was selected to his tenth Pro Bowl, and named an AP second-team All-Pro.  The Lions struggled despite Sanders’ performances, going 5–11, and failing to make the playoffs.

 

 

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2021 – A Detlef Production Special – “Barry Sanders:  1998 Full Season Highlights”

 

 

 NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 2022 – A Highlight Castle Production Special – “Barry Sanders Vs Ray Lewis: 1998 Ravens Vs Lions”

 

 

On July 27, 1999, Barry Sanders announced his retirement from pro football on the day before Lions training camp was set to start…..when his retirement was made public by faxing a letter to The Wichita Eagle, his hometown newspaper.  In the letter, Sanders wrote: “Shortly after the end of last season, I felt that I probably would not return for the 1999-2000 season.  I also felt that I should take as much time as possible to sort through my feelings and make sure that my feelings were backed with conviction.  Today, I officially declare my departure from the NFL.”

 

 

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2020 – A ESPN Archives Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Retirement Footage”

 

 

He left football healthy, having gained 15,269 rushing yards (the most ever by any NFL player in a 10-year span). He retired within 1,457 rushing yards of Walter Payton’s career rushing mark of 16,726 yards. It has been speculated that Sanders would have surpassed the record if he had not retired early, a view held by Emmitt Smith, the eventual holder of the record. His father praised him for his decision, saying that it “took guts.” Sanders took time in his decision, waiting “till the last minute.” His retirement voided $20.9 million in collective salary and bonuses, along with millions of dollars in endorsements.

 

 

 NFL – Mini Documentary – 2018 – A 90s Sports Nostalgia Production Special – “The Detroit Lions in the 1990’s – The Original Greatest Show on Turf” – All Attributed to Barry Sanders

 

 

Sanders’ retirement came somewhat unexpectedly and was a matter of controversy. Two years earlier, Sanders had renewed his contract with the Lions for $34.56 million over six years with an $11 million signing bonus.  The Lions demanded that he return $7.37 million of the bonus.  Sanders’ agents refused, and the Lions filed a grievance with the NFL.  On February 15, 2000, an arbitrator ruled that Sanders had to immediately repay $1,833,000 (a sixth of the bonus), with the remaining bonus to be repaid over each of the three years Sanders had left on the contract provided he stayed retired.  Before the ruling, Sanders offered to pay back the entire bonus in return for him being traded to another team or his release.

 

 

 

NFL – Highlights Film – 2015 – A Joseph Vincent Bored Films Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Now You See Me….Now You Don’t” – An In-Depth Look at Barry Sanders’ Elusiveness

 

 

It was thought by some that Lions head coach Bobby Ross himself may have actually been the reason for Sanders’ early retirement, but in his autobiography Barry Sanders: Now You See Him, Sanders praised Ross as a head coach who had nothing directly to do with his retirement. It was more his frustration with the management and direction of the Lions and the resulting lack of success that contributed to his retirement, as Sanders revealed in his autobiography: “My retirement letter didn’t even hint at my frustration, because I didn’t want to take shots at people as I left … Management had let quality players slip away. We’d been losing for years. Now we were right back where we were when I arrived.” He wrote: “A goal that I still hadn’t realized was playing in the Super Bowl, and all of the statistical achievements didn’t put the team any closer to playing in the big game.”  Sanders has since patched things up with the Lions, rejoining the organization in a paid role as a team ambassador in 2017.

 

 

 

NFL – Mini Documentary – 2019 – A TPS Production Special – “Barry Sanders: The Real Reason Why He Retired From the NFL”

 

 

NFL career statistics

Legend

NFL MVP and OPOTY

GS

Games started

TD

Touchdowns

×

NFL Offensive Player of the Year

Att

Rushing attempts

FD

First downs

*

Led the league

Yds

Yards

Rec

Receptions

GP

Games played

Avg

Average yards

Fum

Fumbles

Bold

Career-high

Lng

Longest (attempt or reception)

Lost

Fumbles lost

 

 

 

 NFL & Talk Shows – 2022 – A Rich Eisen Show Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Admits He Took Joy in Angering Defenders With His Signature Jukes”

 

 

Regular season

Year

Team

Games

Rushing

Receiving

Fumbles

GP

GS

Att

Yds

Avg

Y/G

Lng

TD

FD

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

FD

Fum

Lost

1989

DET

15

13

280

1,470

5.3

98.0

34

14

0

24

282

11.8

46

0

0

10

0

1990

DET

16

16

255

1,304*

5.1

81.5

45

13

0

36

480

13.3

47

3

0

4

2

1991

DET

15

15

342

1,548

4.5

103.2*

69

16*

91

41

307

7.5

34

1

18

5

1

1992

DET

16

16

312

1,352

4.3

84.5

55

9

68

29

225

7.8

48

1

7

6

2

1993

DET

11

11

243

1,115

4.6

101.4

42

3

46

36

205

5.7

17

0

6

4

3

1994×

DET

16

16

331

1,883*

5.7*

117.7*

85

7

72

44

283

6.4

22

1

16

0

0

1995

DET

16

16

314

1,500

4.8

93.8

75

11

70

48

398

8.3

40

1

18

4

2

1996

DET

16

16

307

1,553*

5.1

97.1*

54

11

79

24

147

6.1

28

0

5

4

2

1997†

DET

16

16

335

2,053*

6.1

128.3*

82

11

85

33

305

9.2

66

3

11

4

2

1998

DET

16

16

343

1,491

4.3

93.2

73

4

63

37

289

7.8

44

0

10

3

1

Career

153

151

3,062

15,269

5.0

99.8

85

99

574

352

2,921

8.3

66

10

91

44

15

NFL – Highlights Special – Sept. 10, 1989 – A TA Sports Production Special – “Barry Sanders: First Game for the Lions…The Build Up…First Carries…and Touchdown”

Postseason

Year

Team

Games

Rushing

Receiving

Fumbles

GP

GS

Att

Yds

Avg

Y/G

Lng

TD

FD

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

FD

Fum

Lost

1991

DET

2

2

23

113

4.9

56.5

47

1

0

9

45

5.0

10

0

0

0

0

1993

DET

1

1

27

169

6.3

169.0

44

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1994

DET

1

1

13

−1

−0.1

−1.0

7

0

0

3

4

1.3

3

0

0

0

0

1995

DET

1

1

10

40

4.0

40.0

9

0

2

2

19

9.5

11

0

1

1

1

1997

DET

1

1

18

65

3.6

65.0

15

0

3

5

43

8.6

15

0

2

0

0

Career

6

6

91

386

4.2

64.3

47

1

5

21

111

5.3

15

0

3

1

1

 

NFL – Highlights Special – 2009 – An ActionJackson23 Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Pinball Wizard, Desire, Circles, Embarrass You and I Get Knocked Down, But Get Up Again, You Are Never Going To Keep Me Down!

 

NFL records

  • Seasons with 1,500 or more yards rushing (5)

  • Consecutive games with 100 or more yards rushing (14)

  • Games with 100 or more yards rushing in a season (14)

  • 150+ yard rushing games (25)

  • 150+ scrimmage yard games (46)

  • First running back to have two 80+ yard touchdown runs in a game

NCAAF & NFL – Mini Documentary – 2022 – An FY6 Classroom Produced Special – “Barry Sanders: Defies The Laws of Physics”

Awards and honors

NFL

  • NFL Most Valuable Player Award (1997)

  • 2× NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award (1994, 1997)

  • 4× NFL rushing champion (1990, 1994, 1996, 1997)

  • NFL rushing touchdowns leader (1991)

  • 10× Pro Bowl (1989–1998)

  • 6× First-team All-Pro (1989–1991, 1994, 1995, 1997)

  • 4× Second-team All-Pro (1992, 1993, 1996, 1998)

  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (1989)

  • Bert Bell Award (1991, 1997)

  • NFL 1990s All-Decade Team

  • NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team

  • # 20 retired by the Detroit Lions

  • Pride of the Lions

 

 

NFL & Talk Shows – Radio Podcast – 2019 – A Dan Patrick Show Production Special – “Barry Sanders: As Spoken Of By Troy Aikman With Dan Patrick”

 

 

College

  • Heisman Trophy (1988)

  • Maxwell Award (1988)

  • Walter Camp Award (1988)

  • Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year (1988)

  • Unanimous All-American (1988)

  • Second-team All-American (1987)

  • First-team All-Big Eight (1988)

  • Oklahoma State Cowboys No. 21 retired

  • Oklahoma State Cowboys Ring of Honor

 

 

 NFL – Mini Documentary – 2020 – A Detroit Lions Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Celebrating Greatness”

 

 

Sanders is widely regarded as one of the greatest running backs in the history of the NFL…..as he was ranked # 1 by Bleacher Report…..while being in the top ten by other media outlets.  When he retired, Sanders was ranked 2nd all-time in career rushing yards with 15,269 rushing yards…..6th all-time in career rushing touchdowns with 99 rushing touchdowns…..and 2nd all-time in career rushing attempts with 3,062 attempts…..and as of 2022, Sanders is still ranked in the top ten in all three statistics.  Over his entire career, Sanders averaged 1,527 rushing yards per season…..with 99.8 rushing yards per game…..which was 2nd to Jim Brown.  He never went below 1,000 yards in any of his ten seasons…..while having the 2nd-most career 1,000-yard rushing seasons with ten…..as Sanders was a notable bright spot on a Lions franchise that had endured years of unsuccessful play…..while helping to lead the team to their 1st playoff victory in decades.  At the same time, Sanders only won one playoff game throughout his ten-year career…..with NFL Network’s Derrin Horton stating that “Not even Barry Sanders… could pull Detroit out of the playoff snakebit,” in reference to the team’s postseason failures.  The Lions’ overall unsuccessful play was noted for possibly being a reason for Sanders’ early retirement.  His number 20 was retired by the Lions on November 25, 2004…..along with Sims and Lem Barney…..who wore the same number.  Sanders was also honored by the Lions when they inducted him into the Pride of the Lions, the franchise’s ring of honor.

 

 

 

NFL & Talk Shows – 2022 – A Dan Patrick Show Production Special – “Barry Sanders: On Who’s The Best Athlete: Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, Or Bo Jackson?”

 

 

Throughout his career, he achieved Pro Bowl and All-Pro status in all 10 of his NFL seasons…..as Sanders was named 1st-team All-Pro 6 times…..and named 2nd-team All-Pro 4 times…..plus he was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1994 and 1997…..while being awarded 2 Bert Bell Awards…..and was named to the 1990’s NFL All-Decade team.  Both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame enshrined him on August 8, 2004, and August 21, 2005, respectively.  At the age of 36, Sanders became the 2nd-youngest player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  In 2019, Sanders was named to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.  In 2007, he was ranked by NFL Network’s NFL Top 10 series as the most elusive runner in NFL history …..then in 2012 was placed # 1 on their list of the greatest players to never play in a Super Bowl.

 

 

 

NFL & Talk Shows – A Pat McAfee Show Production Special – “Barry Sanders: On He Would Have Loved To Play In Today’s NFL”

 

 

Sanders led the NFL in rushing yards 4 times…..which was 2nd to Brown…..plus, he led the NFL in rushing touchdowns once in 1994.  He co-won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 1997 with Brett Favre…..as a result of rushing for 2,053 yards in 16 games…..thus becoming the 3rd running back to surpass 2,000 yards in NFL history.  In the same season, Sanders totaled a record 2,358 yards from scrimmage…..which was later surpassed by both Marshall Faulk and Chris Johnson.  By the end of his career, Sanders was known as “one of the game’s most electrifying runners”…..as described by the Pro Football Hall of Fame…..which was also a view shared by Sports Illustrated…..who described him as “running circles around NFL defenses with an electrifying style unlike anything the league has seen.”  His 1989 season is regarded as one of the best all-time by a rookie running back…..which is ranked # 3 by NFL analyst Elliot Harrison and # 4. by ESPN analyst Jeff Merron.  In 1999, an ESPN survey of journalists, athletes and other sports figures ranked Sanders as the 76th greatest North American athlete of the 20th-century.

 

 

 

NFL – Extended Highlights Special – 2021 – A Classic Sports Production Special – “Barry Sanders: 1989 Thanksgiving Day Tussle With The Cleveland Browns”

 

 

Although he sat behind fellow Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas on the depth chart for his 1st 2 collegiate seasons, Sanders is considered one of the greatest college football players of all time…..while his Heisman trophy-winning season in 1988…..in which he set the single-season college football records for most rushing yards gained…..most touchdowns scored…..as well as the total yards from scrimmage (among other records), is often considered the greatest individual college football season ever, ranked # 1 by both ESPN and Sporting News.  In commemoration of the 150th year of college football, Sanders was honored during halftime at the College Football Playoff National Championship game on January 13, 2020, as the # 9 player of all time.

 

 

 

NFL & Talk Shows – CBS Sports Radio Podcast – 2020 – The D. A. Show on CBS Production Special“Lions 4x Pro Bowl WR Herman Moore Says Barry Sanders Was a Superhero with the Ball”                                        

 

 

In contrast to many of the star players of his era, Sanders was noted for his on-field humility.  Despite his flashy playing style, Sanders was rarely seen celebrating after the whistle was blown…..but instead, he just handed the ball to a referee…..and was never tempted into celebrating any further.  He was recognized for putting his team’s success over his stats…..as shown when he denied a request from head coach Wayne Fontes to return to play in a game so that he could gain enough rushing yards to become the rushing leader for that season.  He disliked speaking to the press…..and rarely spoke about his accomplishments publicly.  When reflecting on his career, ESPN described Sanders as a “humble superstar.”

 

 

 

NFL & Talk Shows – 2020 – A Rich Eisen Show Production Special – “Barry Sanders: On Playing Against Lawrence Taylor + Reggie White”

 

 

Sanders is a Christian.  He and his wife, Lauren Campbell Sanders, a former news anchor for WDIV in Detroit, filed for divorce in February 2012 after 12 years of marriage.  Sanders’ brother, Byron, was the starting running back at Northwestern University and was drafted by the Chicago Bears…..but was cut by the Bears 2 months after joining the franchise.  Sanders has four sons: Barry J. Sanders, Nick, Nigel, and Noah…..as the youngest three are from his marriage to Campbell.  When the couple divorced, Sanders requested joint custody of them, while Campbell kept their medical coverage.  Sanders’ oldest son, Barry J. Sanders, played running back at Stanford University from 2012 to 2015, and Oklahoma State University in 2016.  In 2022-2023, his son Nick plays basketball at Michigan State University.  In 2003, Sanders co-wrote his autobiography, Barry Sanders: Now You See Him: His Story In His Own Words, with Mark McCormick.  He has reportedly donated to several charities, under the condition that they do not disclose his participation in any of them.

 

 

 

NCAAF & NFL – Mini-Documentary – 2023 – A Hot Route Production Special – “Barry Sanders: His Family and Lifestyle”

 

 

Sanders introduced ESPN’s Monday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears and the Lions on October 10, 2011.  In April 2013, Sanders made it to the finals of the vote to be on the cover of EA Sports Madden NFL 25, which celebrated the game’s 25th anniversary…..so, by beating head coach Ron Rivera in Round 1…..running back Marcus Allen in Round 2…..linebacker Ray Lewis in Round 3…..quarterback Joe Montana in the quarter-finals….. and wide receiver Jerry Rice in the semi-finals……then, in the final round, he defeated running back Adrian Peterson to become the next cover athlete…..which is the 1st player to appear on the cover of Madden NFL Football more than once…..as he had appeared in the background of the Madden NFL 2000 cover.

 

 

 

NFL – Documentary – 2015 – A J. Edwin Bailey Production Special“Barry Sanders: The Greatest Ever Running Back”With Host Steve Sabol

 

 

In bringing this post to a conclusion…..and after watching all of these Barry Sanders videos posted herewith…..while again being reminded of just what a once in a generation or more running back that Barry was…..for at the end of the content of this tribute to him, it simply solidifies my long time opinion that he was the greatest natural running back the game of football has ever seen.  Barry is not just an all time great football player, he is equally a great human being…..who still has the greatest end-zone celebration in the history of the game…..which is called the Act-Like-You-Been-There-Before.  I was lucky enough to watch his whole career…..and I can say with a great deal of confidence that he is possibly the most humble athlete of all time.  As a young SportsPhile, Barry’s retirement was heart breaking…..cuz he could have easily demolished the rushing record…..I mean 2600+ rushing yards with 39 TDs in 11 games…..Are you kidding me?  Easily the best season ever…..and the man was so humble none of that mattered.  It was a privilege and honor to witness his phenomenal mastery.  My heart has always gone out to him…..for Barry was a straight up warrior and beast.  Some people would never understand what its like to have a father like Barry’s father…..but I do, cuz my dad was also tough but fair.  A father with principles is worth more than a pound of gold, it’s priceless.  I’ve always had a great deal of respect for how firmly planted this man’s feet in life was back then and still is today, for Barry Sanders treated the game of football just like it was created to be, A Game, that’s fun to play…..which is not bigger than life itself.  A regular client at The Sports Place, Madison Square Garden in downtown Austin, TX  told me that he sat next to Barry Sanders in coach on a trip departing Detroit…..saying how incredibly impressed he was with Sanders…..while calling him a humble giant…..saying that he spent the entire trip to Austin watching how Barry Sanders joyfully sat in coach and kept signing autographs and talking to folks.  What a man.  A favorite quote about Barry Sanders…..“I met Barry at Pizza Hut 1 mile from my childhood home in 1996. He was with his family. My 2 friends & I were in awe. We lived in the suburbs of Detroit & were well aware of this man’s brilliance & character. We grew up watching him. We asked for his autograph. He declined. Initially it shocked us. He then proceeded to sit with us for 10 minutes & reveal that spending time talking to us was more meaningful than his name written on some paper. To this day, I remember it vividly. If it was an autograph, I wouldn’t. This is a very special person long before these highlight reels on the field.”    Hands down my favorite RB ever, the most humble person in the world, a pure class act and overall great person. By far the greatest RB to ever play the game…..for he could literally play in any Era and still be the best player on the field.  We have a league full of great history…..but I can promise you that you’ll never see or have a player like Barry Sanders again…..who had great speed…..could literally stop on the dime…..and change direction without loosing his balance or speed.  He literally was a gift from God…..and I’m so grateful that I had a chance to watch him play as much as I did…..and to witness his greatness as much as I did.  Thanks for sharing your greatness with us and for being such a great person and student of the game.  You give us hope for the future. 

 

 

 

NCAAF – Extended Highlights Special – 2010 – An Oklahoma State Athletics Production Special – “Barry Sanders:  Highlight of His College Career at Oklahoma State Set To Classical Music”

 

 

NCAAF – Extended Highlights Special – 2010 – An Inside Cowboy Football Production Special – “Barry Sanders: Highlight of His College Career at Oklahoma State”

 

 

 

 

 

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