Happy 52nd Birthday, Barry Sanders!
Today (July 16th) is Barry Sanders' 52nd birthday. First of all, how is that possible? Wasn't it just last week that he retired?
The Hall of Fame running back (pictured above) played his entire 10 year NFL career with your gridiron heroes, the Detroit Lions, from 1989-1998. And had he not retired because he was sick of losing with this rotten franchise (as Mad Dog likes to say), he certainly would've broken Walter Payton's then-all-time career rushing record of 16,726 yards. The great Emmitt Smith holds the all-time record with 18,355 yards.
Sanders rushed for 15,269 yards in 10 years with the Lions (fourth on the all-time list now). And he was one of the few guys I've ever watched in any sport where when he was on TV, I'm watching him just to see what he's going to do next. What guy is he going to juke at the line of scrimmage? How many guys is he going to juke on his way to the greatest three-yard run you've ever seen (there's a litany of those)?
Barry ran for 99 touchdowns and scored 109 (10 receiving TD's) during his career. And he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2004. And oh yeah, he won the Heisman Trophy as a junior at Oklahoma State in 1988.
I was fortunate to see him play in person twice in 1994. I went down to the Silverdome to watch the Lions play the Chicago Bears in October, and then against Green Bay in December. In both games (which the Lions won), he had runs that were just mind-blowing. When he got the ball and he got in the open field, I've never heard a crowd that loud EVER!!!! He was the reason you went to see the Lions in the '90s.
You can find Barry's greatest runs all over the internet. Millennials, it's worth your time to watch. This guy was something special!