Barry Sanders Quotes

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Barry Sanders

Sanders in 2010
No. 20
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1968-07-16) July 16, 1968 (age 48)
Place of birth: Wichita, Kansas
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: Wichita (KS) North
College: Oklahoma State
NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history

Detroit Lions (1989–1998)

Career highlights and awards

10× Pro Bowl (1989–1998)
6× First-team All-Pro (1989–1991, 1994, 1995, 1997)
4× Second-team All-Pro (1992, 1993, 1996, 1998)
NFL Most Valuable Player (1997)
2× NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1994, 1997)
2× Bert Bell Award (1991, 1997)
4× NFL rushing yards leader (1990, 1994, 1996, 1997)
NFL rushing touchdowns leader (1991)
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1989)
NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
Detroit Lions No. 20 retired
Chic Harley Award (1988)
Heisman Trophy (1988)
Maxwell Award (1988)
Walter Camp Award (1988)
Unanimous All-American (1988)

Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 15,269
Average: 5.0
Rushing touchdowns: 99
Player stats at

I sat behind Thurman Thomas for my first couple of years, then my first year starting I won the Heisman. After I won the Heisman, that's when things changed as far as going to the NFL.
Barry Sanders
I'm not better than anyone else. I'm not supposed to be on a pedestal. I've always stayed away from that.
Barry Sanders
Nothing ever turns out the way people expect it to.
If I could start with anybody, I would initially draft Tom Brady. Then I would go get Ray Lewis, and then maybe an offensive lineman, or somebody like Adrian Peterson.
Barry Sanders
Happiness does not come from football awards. It's terrible to correlate happiness with football. Happiness comes from a good job, being able to feed your wife and kids. I don't dream football, I dream the American dream – two cars in a garage, be a happy father.
Barry Sanders
My mother was a huge influence on me. She was a living example of what a Christian should be. Her conviction, her discipline. She would rather see other people happy than herself.
Barry Sanders
I wish my teammates, coaches and the entire Lions organization all the best.
Barry Sanders
I don't want to get too detailed into it, but when you're a good high school running back, you can almost be whatever type of runner you want to be. If you're a good size and a good athlete, you can be whatever type of runner you want.
Barry Sanders
Christianity affects your whole life. I feel I'm more competitive, a better player, but off the field is where there is always a battle.
Barry Sanders
Shortly after the end of last season, I felt that I probably would not return for the 1999-2000 season. I also felt that I should take as much time as possible to sort through my feelings and make sure that my feelings were backed with conviction.
Barry Sanders
The Heisman is the biggest award I've ever won.
It was a wonderful experience to play in the NFL, and I have no regrets. I truly will miss playing for the Lions. I consider the Lions' players, coaches, staff, management and fans my family. I leave on good terms with everyone in the organization.
Barry Sanders
You can look at everything from pre-Heisman to post-Heisman, and I think that's why it ranks up at the top, because before then, I didn't even think I was good enough to be a professional ballplayer.
Barry Sanders
I quit because I didn't feel like the Detroit Lions had a chance to win. It just killed my enjoyment of the game.
Barry Sanders
You know, I'm fairly intelligent, but I don't think my grades reflected that.
Barry Sanders
The game is the ultimate significance to me because it is so important to a lot of people. It has left a mark on our culture to be voted as one of the best to ever play.
Barry Sanders
I want to thank all of the fans and media who made playing in the NFL such a wonderful experience. I have had the pleasure of meeting many of them.
Barry Sanders
In all the time that people have known me, has anyone ever heard me talk about the importance of rushing records or finishing with the most touchdowns? So if that's never been important to me, then why would that be a motivation to keep playing?
Barry Sanders
As a kid, I played my share of football in the street or in a vacant lot.
I like retirement.
Life doesn't stop with football.
Let's just win it and go home.
I don't know the right way to retire.
I'm from Kansas, so there were a lot of vacant lots and open fields to tackle each other in so we could avoid tackling each other on the street. But running on the street and trying not to get taken down on the concrete, that will make you fast, that's for sure.
Barry Sanders
Anyone who has played the game professionally, you're always taught that the ball is the most important, most precious thing, so when the ball hits the ground, it's always a mad scramble. It's amazing how many times there is a fumble, and the person who recovers it initially doesn't walk away with the ball.
Barry Sanders
Individual goals never meant that much to me. The Heisman is no exception.
I really love peace and quiet.
My desire to exit the game is greater than my desire to remain in it. I have searched my heart through and through and feel comfortable with this decision.
Barry Sanders
As a kid, I played my share of football in the street or in a vacant lot. When we were playing in the street, it was more touch football, so we didn't hit each other into cars.
Barry Sanders
Running back was always my favorite position.
It's hard to win in the NFL. You have to maintain a very delicate balance putting together the right team to be able to win and have any amount of success.
Barry Sanders
I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do in school, but I definitely didn't have adequate time to reach my full potential as a student.
Barry Sanders