What ever happened to former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin Alexander, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    I was sure he would return to the NFL soon after his departure, but I guess he really "had it" w/ football. He has to go down in NFL history as the most under utilized talent ever. Forever shame on the Detroit Lions organization! Anybody know where he is now and what he's doing?
     
  2. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Don't know about what he's doing personally, but there was a story last week that the giant mural of him in downtown Detroit (they showed it briefly in the movie Out of Sight) was removed in favor of a Detroit Red Wings mural.
    Having seen an awful lot of Sanders in his meetings with the Bears, I can say he was probably the most entertaining player to watch when he was in the league.
     
  3. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    I believe they are putting a mural of Steve Yzerman who deserves it a lot more than Sanders ever did. Barry Sanders is not very well liked in this area.
     
  4. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    It's unbelievable that they waited this long to remove that embarassing mural.

    Yzerman's played 19 years with the Wings, most of them as captain. Brought three cups to town. Always led by example. If we need a mural, it should have been Yzerman up there from the get-go.

    As for what Sanders is doing now, DKDC.

    Jon
     
  5. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    After announcing his retirement the night before training camp started and leaving the Lion's in a very bad position, Sanders has remained as elusive off the field as he was on the field. The last I heard he still has a home in SE Michigan. He married a news reporter, Lauren Campbell, a few years ago. Other than that, not much has been reported about him.

    The saddest part of the whole retirement fiasco was that it really tarnished (IMO) Barry's image for the majority of Detroit fans. Like Steve Yzerman, Barry was an idol to many in this city. He didn't trash talk, he let his game speak for him. In my lifetime, the respect Detroit fans had for Barry was matched only by Stevie Y. Where else do you get 80,000+ fans spending $$$ to go watch a terrible team? But Barry made it worth every penny, even if the rest of the team sucked! You never knew when he would break out with one of his highlight reel moves which electrified the crowd and left players shaking their heads.

    The way Barry left the Lions and the fans is a real shame. To say you don't have the desire is fine, sometimes it just isn't there. But to do so in the most damaging way to the team and its fans is inexcusable.
     
  6. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I was never a fan of Barry Sanders.

    While he could be electrifying, there are two things I hated about his game. First, he had more carries for losses than anyone in history. So while his per-carry average (5.0) was excellent, it was not made up of the consistent gainers that a team needs from its running back. I think a team would rather have 4, 4, and 4, as opposed to 17, -4, and 2.

    Secondly, Barry was almost always taken out of the game during goal-line situations. Now perhaps that was pure coaching idiocy, but if they didn't trust him to score, how can he be considered the best ever? Give me Walter and Emmit over Barry any day of the week. (Actually, I don't even consider Sanders the best Detroit RB-- that distinction would go to Billy Sims.)
     
  7. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    I think the new mural going up downtown is of the Stanley Cup. Many people wanted it to be of Steve Yzerman, but I don't think it's going to happen.
    As far as Barry goes, I believe he married a local news person and still lives in the area. I used to think he was a classy player, right up there with Yzerman, until he pulled that retirement stuff a few years back.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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  9. Ross Williams

    Ross Williams Supporting Actor

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  10. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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  11. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Emmitt Smith = 3-time Superbowl champ in which he was instrumental to each win.
    Barry Sanders = 0 Championships....but he looked good never earning them.[​IMG]
     
  12. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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  13. Ross Williams

    Ross Williams Supporting Actor

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    Barry Sanders' 10 year career: 15,269 yds, 5 yd avg, 99 tds

    Emmitt Smith's first 10 years: 13,963, 4.3 yd avg, 136 tds

    Emmitt played with one of the best teams in the league for most of his career. Barry played with one of the worst.

    Edit: For a comparison some of the other best running backs first 10 years.

    Payton - 13309, 4.4, 79
    Brown (9 years) - 12312, 5.2, 106
    OJ - 10776, 4.6, 58
    Dickerson - 13168, 4.4, 90
    Dorsett - 11580, 4.2, 71

    Now you tell me who's the best?
     
  14. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Of all the running backs you mentioned, only Barry Sanders will NOT go to the Hall of Fame...not ever. Your statistics only show that at the 10 year mark, Barry Sanders had slightly more yards, a median yards per carry average w/ the other backs you mention, and less touchdowns than Emmitt Smith. Barry Sanders, as good as he was, will NEVER go down in history as "THE BEST". That argument might have been made had he not quit. With all that Emmitt has accomplished, admire him or not, I find it a bit appalling that anyone would question Emmitt's love for the game and his desire to eclipse Walter's record.
     
  15. CarlS

    CarlS Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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  17. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts he's voted in on the first ballot.

    No resentment here, he was the best player on my beloved but usually mediocre (as opposed to "one of the worst"-they were a playoff team quite a few times during his career) Lions for years. His departure was terribly ill-timed, but that's one major gaffe in an otherwise stellar, classy career. His tendency to lose yardage did tend to kill drives, turning the ball over to the other team's offense (which would then feast on the Lions' often porous defense) However, he probably was the most exciting player of his era.

    Re: Goal line situations. Sanders was not a short yardage back. He didn't run for power, didn't do the goal line leap thing and lost yardage too often. I can see where a coach, right or wrong, wouldn't want to throw the franchise into the dogpile in that situation. I've seen celebrated defensive stars in the NFL commit some reprehensible fouls in the open field-who knows what went on at the bottom of the pile when they finally caught him.

    All things considered, though, if I had to choose one Lions back (from the past 30-some years I've been watching) for a must-win game, I would choose Billy Sims. He was faster than Barry, ran with more power, and was unstoppable when he went airborne at the goal line.

    Closing thought-neither Billy nor Barry was the greatest athlete I ever saw wearing #20 in the ol' Honolulu blue and silver. That distinction belongs to one of Marvin Gaye's backup singers.
     
  18. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    The sad thing is that no one will ever know. Maybe Sanders would've led his team to the Superbowl, or maybe he would've suffered a compound fracture in his leg and been forced to retire early....we'll never know. Voters will remember this and will likely keep him out of Canton for this....unless the O.J. Simpson jury has anything to do w/ the voting.[​IMG]
     
  19. CarlS

    CarlS Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    From the sound of things, I don't think Sanders gives a flying hoot right now. But I think he'll regret his decision later on.
     

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