Barry Sanders made a living of being humble with the Detroit Lions, and as the running back received another huge NFL honor, he showed his usual touch of class once again.
Sanders was selected to the NFL’s All-Time team at running back, making the cut in terms of the 12 greatest players at the position ever. Afterward, Sanders admitted on Twitter he was simply humbled to be in the conversation with so many other great athletes.
Here’s a look at what he wrote:
Sanders along with Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Dutch Clark, Eric Dickerson, Lenny Moore, Marion Motley, Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, O.J. Simpson, Emmitt Smith and Steve Van Buren were named to the All-Time team at the position late last week in what was a major honor for the entire group.
Sanders himself has long been a player thought to be one of the top five players at the position in NFL history, so seeing him make the cut is a certain honor for fans who watched him star in Detroit for years.
Barry Sanders Stats
To see Sanders run the ball for Lions fans through the years was to believe given what he was able to do with the team on the field. Sanders routinely had the quickness and deft ability to break plenty of ankles on the football field and remains one of the greatest highlights in the game fans love watching even years after his retirement. Athleticism is something that came naturally to Sanders, no matter whether he was on the grass or the hardwood, something that was revealed recently.
With the Lions, Sanders rushed for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns. He was routinely thought of as the best running back in the league, and would have shattered plenty of NFL rushing records had he decided to keep playing. Sanders, however, walked away from the game in 1999 on the eve of training camp, which stunned the Lions and all of their fans. The parties then went through a frustrating split for multiple years, based mostly upon the fact that the franchise made him pay back part of his contract amid retirement. It is a situation not unlike what is happening with Calvin Johnson currently.
Barry Sanders a Lions Legend Forever
Since, time has healed all wounds and Sanders has patched things up with the Lions and has become engaged in their alumni group. He also makes several visits a year to games the team is playing in, and was recently named to Detroit’s All-Century team, which is a major feather in his cap given what he was able to do as a team leader and a dominating force in the franchise.
As a result of his early retirement, Sanders maintains his health and vitality and looks phenomenal. It’s not a stretch to say that he could possibly still grind out some tough yards in the league at this point in time.
It’s great to see the Lions and Sanders receive this major NFL honor and it’s even better to see Sanders and his classy reaction to the news.