The semi-annual Barry Sanders questions. Why and why not come back?: Personally I think that even for him 37 is just too old.
posted by commander cody to football at 12:55 AM - 30 comments
I tnink Barry would have stayed if the team, and the coaching staff were halfway decent. But year after year, both were consistently bad. About the limit of that coaching staff's creativity was to "give the ball to Barry." Sanders was running like crazy, and getting beat up like crazy because he was the coaching staff's offense. Even fans started to wonder why he should stay and get pounded every game when the front office was doing nothing to improve the team or get some halfway decent coaches who might spell Barry and might, just might, vary the offense a bit. Barry saw no future with the Lions except for the weekly yardage and pounding. No question that he was a great runner. But frustration and weekly poundings with no hope for the immediate future eventually took its toll. Burnout comes faster when the future looks shitty and you are the ONLY offensive weapon the coach uses. It doesn't matter how good Barry was; he's still human.
posted by roberts at 05:18 AM on February 02
To me, i think Barry Sanders was the best all purpose running back in football, he never had a line like Emmitt, but he still pounded out the yards, year after year,, Wow do i wish he chose to go to New England, poor Barry got screwed when he went to Detroit, But again, in my eyes he was the best, did all he did with nothing around him, id love to watch him run again.
posted by jlimm1959 at 05:59 AM on February 02
He should have gone to the Pats, or some other team that was at least half-way contending. He was a great all purpose back in his day, one of the best. Thanks, Detroit, for wasting what was left of Barry's career.
posted by coachrh at 06:41 AM on February 02
Had he stayed with the Lions, they would still be where they are now. Barry was a great running back but face it, the Lions were not good before Barry Sanders, they have not been good since Barry Sanders, and they don't look to get any better in the future. On any other team Barry Sanders would probably just now be in the twilight of his career, talking about his upcoming retirement with a Superbowl ring on his finger.
posted by Familyman at 07:11 AM on February 02
How good was Barry? People still say that a running back reminds them of Barry, But.....!! There are just some things this new back canI liked't do like Barry. I liked the fact that he never showboated or did a victory dance. He played with vigor and loved the game. He got out when he wanted and for once just leave him alone. He is successful and respected. So many players enter the NFL and NEVER get the chance to play in the Super Bowl. Does Detroit like to ruin good players?? The have been many from all the teams. Not listing any just think over the years the good ones that were ruined by poor coaching.
posted by coach at 07:37 AM on February 02
I loved emmitt (boys fan) but sanders had some of the most incredible 3yd runs. People talk about reggie bush as the "human joystick", Well Barry sanders was the first one with that tag. Only if he had a line like emmitt did.
posted by chuy at 07:51 AM on February 02
Barry was the human joystick. I grew up watching Walter Payton (who is the best ever, even without the yardage title), and Barry, in my opinion obviously, is right there with Walter. I've never seen anyone move like him. Especially on that crap field they played on. How he didn't tear ligaments in his knees every game is beyond me.
posted by sublime4390116 at 09:14 AM on February 02
For more insight read the Barry interveiw in todays Detroit free press.Unless the lyuns had traded him the best thing was to retire.........
posted by Ricky G at 09:34 AM on February 02
People talk about reggie bush as the "human joystick", Well Barry sanders was the first one with that tag. No, Bush can be the Human Joystick...Barry was the Human Trackball. How often does a rusher get accused of spraying silicon on his jersey, because he was so impossible to tackle? I think my favorite memory of Barry took a whole season to complete..1997, his 2000+ yard season. After 2 games, he had a whopping 53 yards rushing, and everyone was decrying his demise. Fast-forward to week 17, and he finished the season with 2053 yards, getting exactly 2000 in those final 14 games. Simply amazing...
posted by MeatSaber at 09:36 AM on February 02
Barry was the greatest I've ever seen(I never saw Jim Brown or OJ). Losing takes it's toll, the Lions stunk when he was there. He was the only shed of light that organaztion's ever had. He was fun to watch and a class act. He left on his terms he deserves that.
posted by tool2310 at 09:49 AM on February 02
Did anyone ever really tackle Mr Sanders? Not one on one. I agree with sublime, Mr Sanders and Sweetness were graced by the football gods.
posted by mystical symbols at 10:21 AM on February 02
Barry was beautiful to watch, I think every runningback,even Marshall Faulk or LT, wished that they could run like him. He did things that you could imagine but never duplicate. I never saw a runner who could get so low to the ground and still maintain so much balance and power.Barry is a class act who embodies the old school demeanor of a true champion
posted by mcgriff67 at 10:37 AM on February 02
I remember one Thanksgiving game when the director kept showing shots of Sanders from the legs down -- his feet moving, churning, skittering all over the place. I enjoyed every minute of Reggie Bush's Heisman season, and his dexterity approaches Sanders', but does not match it. Any football fan was lucky to have seen Barry Sanders run the football. A truly gifted athlete who walked away at the right time.
posted by Venicemenace at 11:00 AM on February 02
Barry Sanders was the best in his time. Just like Prime Time ( Deion Sanders) was the best lock down corner/ punt/ kick returner of the his time. I mean I used to wear #20 and write Magic on my cleats. Thas how much he influenced my generation. A dude who was poetry in motion. I can never forget the game he single handedly beat MY JETS. That game got the Lions in and kept the Jets out. But I wasn't even close to mad, cause Barry was worth the price of admission.
posted by Robb Dubbs at 11:15 AM on February 02
Barry Sanders is the best back off all time in my opinion. One of his best runs game in a game against the Bears. Bottled up by like 5 guys and out he comes to rumble for a td
posted by ajpurdue at 11:16 AM on February 02
He was the best in my mind, no doubt. Even as a life long Lion fan I would have rather seen him go to another team then retire, just for the pleasure of being able to watch him play.
posted by commander cody at 11:29 AM on February 02
Just to clarify, the Lions didn't stink during Barry's entire career...they won their division in '91, and even made it to the NFC title game that season, only to get rolled over by the eventual SB champ Redskins...
posted by MeatSaber at 11:31 AM on February 02
Forget about yardage totals or td stats the Lions sucked and didn't help him one bit. When it comes to natural running ability, and the ability to make moves and elude tacklers, nobody could touch him. The best ever in that respect by far. Only Gale Sayers came close. If he ever had a good team around him he would have broke every record.
posted by Atheist at 11:36 AM on February 02
My wife & I met Barry Sanders in the L A X airport (Los Angels).I went up to him & asked if I could take a picture with him. He said yes when my wife got the camera out it didn't work.Being the class act that he was , he offered to take one with us when the plane landed in Detroit.We explained that our flight was going to Grand Rapids MI & he offered to send an autographed picture to my home. That was sooo cool of him to do ,but make no mistake ,Barry was an exciting ATHLETE while EMMITT SMITH was and still is "THE BEST RB TO E V E R PLAY THE GAME OF PRO FOOTBALL"
posted by dtriggs2 at 11:49 AM on February 02
everyone know Barry was one of if not the best running back of our time ,but he was also a class act. i had a chance to meet him at the superbowl in san diego a couple of years ago , and he was just a cool guy , he was jumpin in his limo with his date but still topped to shake a hand or to and just be a regular joe. so not only good player but good person .
posted by trrron at 11:55 AM on February 02
Barry was the best back ever. Emmitt could not carry Barry's Jock. Emmitts team did not have any weaknesses. Most of the time the Safety was the first one to touch him......If Barry and Emmitt were to swap teams during their prime, Barry would have retired with over 30,000 yrds.
posted by Dallas at 12:32 PM on February 02
"If Barry and Emmitt were to swap teams during their prime, Barry would have retired with over 30,000 yrds." I totally disagree with this statement....He would have had over 40,000 yards and played a lot more years. With the same luck teamwise he would have broke every yardage record in the books.
posted by Atheist at 12:53 PM on February 02
Why is it that every time barry sanders is brought up it's not good enough to discuss how good he was, fans feel the need to put smith down. He would have had over 40,000 yards and played a lot more years. You know this how? It's easy to just throw numbers out there since there's not chance of proving you wrong. How do you know barry would have kept up at his pace? Someone who depends almost entirely on quickness, maybe he would have lost a step? Maybe he knew that and decided to go out on top? To me, i think Barry Sanders was the best all purpose running back in football No he wasn't. He was great runner. Emmitt was his equal as a receiver. Blocking? Emmitt was better. Short yardage? Sanders was often taken out. Take emmitt away and there have still been many 'all round' backs better than sanders. Sanders was an amazing athlete. I have no problem with people calling him the greatest ever. But some of the rhetoric surrounding what he "could have done" is so over the top to almost be comical. It's kind of like a rock star. Best thing he could do is die. His music will be legendary. Best thing Barry could do is retire. Suddenly people can go crazy with predictions. On the other hand, there's nothing emmitt could do to win over some people. No amount of yards, forget his toughness, it was all because of his line. (no one actually in football would say this). Emmitt could have finished with 40,000 yards and people would say barry would have had 50,000. Flashy and good beats simply good every time. Most of the time the Safety was the first one to touch him. That's a hysterical statement. I'm hoping you were joking.
posted by justgary at 02:09 PM on February 02
Flashy and good beats simply good every time. I couldn't disagree more. I don't believe Barry was flashy at all, just super fucking quick. He made moves that I had never seen before and have yet to see since. That doesn't make him flashy, just blessed with talent. Barry was always a good sportsman even though he played on real shitty teams (as did Payton). We can debate all day over who was the best RB (Sweetness) but everyone has a different feeling about it and will fight to the death to support it. What I do know is, as a football fan, it pains me not to be able to Sanders play anymore. As far as Emmitt not getting enough respect, I may agree with you a bit on that one. Granted, he had one helluva a line, but the fact is he was just awesome. Perhaps Dallas having the moniker "America's Team" plays a part in his lack of respect. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but here in the Midwest Dallas is probably one of the most hated teams.
posted by willthrill72 at 03:15 PM on February 02
I don't believe Barry was flashy at all, just super fucking quick. That wasn't a knock against barry. His style simply works better with highlights, and fans love highlights. Twisting, turning, cutting for 4 yards looks more impressive than 4 yards in a cloud of dust. It's still 4 yards.
posted by justgary at 03:21 PM on February 02
One of the first football games I ever went to was a Nebraska-Oklahoma State game when Sanders played for OSU. I vaguely remember making a sign about how much he sucked. Which, oops. - As for Emmitt: for me, it's only recently that I've started giving him the respect he deserves. I hated the Cowboys with the hottest passion of any of my sport associations during his prime, so I was pretty blind to how good he was.
posted by cobra! at 03:23 PM on February 02
As for Emmitt: for me, it's only recently that I've started giving him the respect he deserves. I hated the Cowboys with the hottest passion of any of my sport associations during his prime, so I was pretty blind to how good he was. It's tough to admit something like that, but I was probably the same way with Smith, Marino and L.T. Being a Bills fan, there were a lot of really good players to hate out there...
posted by grum@work at 03:57 PM on February 02
Barry was the best back ever. Emmitt could not carry Barry's Jock. posted by Dallas at 12:32 PM CST on February 2 Who's jock are you carrying (sniffing)? Why can't you understand that putting Emmitt down doesn't push Barry any higher. What if he had a better line? What if he had a better team? Know what. He didn't, he never will. Is that Emmitt's fault? No. Barry is a class act. He listens to all of you (Detroit fans especially) getting your seat wet asking him to come out of retirement to save the Lions, and he deals with that with class and a smile. Know who else is a class act. Emmitt Smith. So next time you want to rip one over the other and just be mean spirited and nasty, try to muster a little class yourself. I'll sling some names back and forth with you if it helps you get it out of your system, but leave Emmitt out of it. Take a MIDOL it'll help with those cramps.
posted by sumokenobi at 06:18 PM on February 02
I wouldnt come back either if I knew Id be working for Millen. The guy is a moron. Come to Philly Barry!!
posted by GoBirds at 08:41 PM on February 02
Barry left to invent a grill that drains the fat. Just heard it tonight on the teevee.
posted by justgary at 12:18 AM on February 04
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