Greatest Thanksgiving Day NFL Player: Barry Sanders

Happy Thanksgiving!

To commemorate this great day, full of Turkey Bowls, great meals, some ok-to-mediocre NFL games on this holiday, here is a tribute to the one, the only, Barry Sanders.

barry sanders

Barry Sanders was a legend when I was growing up, with his moves that embarrassed defender after defender. His number 20 is a revered number in Detroit and a fan favorite for Lions fans. After he retired in 1998, after an outstanding 10-year pro career, there was little hope in Detroit. That was because of current ESPN NFL/college football analyst Matt Millen’s terrible work as their general manager.

Among his inglorious draft picks, Millen drafted quarterback Joey Harrington of Oregon, a first round bust, and wide receiver Charles Rogers, the no.2 overall pick from Michigan State. Harrington is now a college football analyst for Fox Sports 1 and Rogers is in jail for not reporting to a court hearing for drug screenings, having struggled with drug problems during his life in and out of football. This timeline is just sad (click HERE).

Here’s one highlight video:

His career numbers? Jaw-dropping, considering he could have had more if he played a couple more years (per

3,062 15,269 99

He even has a rap song after him, rapped by D.C. native Wale (pronounced Wah-lay). Warning: NSFW language (some cussing):

What is Barry up to now? Just chillin’ back in Detroit, helping local residents in charity efforts and appearing on television from time to time. Here’s one appearance on Fox Sports 1’s Crowd Goes Wild show:

And, his son Barry Sanders Jr. is playing for the Stanford Cardinal football team. He is still learning the college game and hasn’t started yet, but here’s one SICK move he pulled during a game this season:

Unfortunately, it seems that he is divorcing his wife of 11 years. We hope it turns out better than some of the nastier divorces we have seen.

But, I tip my hat to Barry Sanders. I definitely miss seeing you on the TV every Thanksgiving.


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About Spencer Irvine

Fun loving, D.C. area sports fan, which means I'm frustrated and still can't get a grip on what a win truly means (or a championship for that matter).

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