“You Give A Person Their Flowers While They’re Around” | Ford Family Gets It Right, Immortalizes RB Barry Sanders With Statue 

Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders is the greatest player in Detroit Lions franchise history and arguably the greatest running back in NFL history.

The former Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma State enjoyed a great NFL career but abruptly retired prior to the 1999 season.

At the time of his retirement the dynamic Sanders had rushed for 15,269 yards and 99 rushing touchdowns and was gunning to take over the league’s all-time rushing mark from former Chicago Bears and Jackson State legend Walter Payton

To this day, Sanders remains an icon in and around Detroit and still ranks fourth all-time in NFL rushing yards. To honor Sanders the Lions unveiled a statue of the legendary running back over the weekend, making him the first and likely the last player in franchise history to have a statue of themselves in the heart of downtown Detroit.

Sanders, who’s always been a man of few words, was extremely grateful for the franchise immortalizing him in a way that not many athletes of any sport get recognized. 

Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders became the first Detroit Lions player to a statue outside of the stadium.

Sanders Thankful To Receive Flowers While Still Here

Many athletes don’t ever receive the recognition they deserve, and in many cases those that do, don’t get it until they are no longer with us. Sanders expressed his gratitude in his ceremonial speech. 

“You heard the saying that you give a person their flowers while they’re around,” Sanders said during the ceremony. “I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon, I’m just saying that saying … but if this statue could be used with that analogy, then I would have to say this is one heck of a bouquet for me, so thanks a lot, I appreciate it.”

Sanders, says he truly the admired the attention to detail on the statue … beginning with the cutback juke move that became synonymous his running style. 

“Little things like the cut-off gloves that I wore and obviously the very alert eyes,” Sanders said at the ceremony. “I haven’t had a chance to really soak it in, but those were some of the things I noticed and obviously sort of the pose is like I’m in action.”

During the ceremony a video of congratulatory messages from the likes of fellow Hall of Famers Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and Peyton Manning played. Even Mr. Detroit Piston himself, “Gentleman” Joe Dumars, left a message. 

It was a glorious day honoring an absolute legend. 

Sanders Announces Upcoming Documentary 

The 1997 NFL MVP and ten-time All-Pro recently announced a documentary titled “Bye Bye Barry” that’s set to be released in November. In it, Sanders will reportedly give the real reason he ultimately decided to hang up the cleats while still in the prime of his career. 

While given little tidbits about it in the past, Sanders has never really broke it down, so this should be interesting. 

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