Barry Sanders explains how he will react when his statue is unveiled at Ford Field

Barry Sanders, the former Detroit Lions running back, is considered by many to be one of the greatest football players of all time. Throughout his ten-year NFL career, he amassed 15,269 rushing yards, 99 rushing touchdowns, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his ten seasons. Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest to ever play the game. During the 2022 season, the Lions announced that a statue of Sanders will be unveiled at Ford Field. In a recent interview, Sanders said he does not expect to get emotional during the unveiling.

Barry Sanders Statue

Barry Sanders says he does not expect to get emotional

Despite Sanders' saying he probably won't get emotional at the unveiling, the event is still significant for both him and the Lions. The statue serves as a permanent tribute to Sanders' impact on the game of football and all of the fans that had the chance to see him play. When asked about the unveiling, Sanders stated that he does not expect to get emotional, saying “I don't know,” Sanders told at the NFL Honors show Thursday night at the Super Bowl. “I wouldn't expect that I would, but you never know. My family and people are just thrilled and excited and they can't wait.”

Why it Matters for Barry Sanders and the Detroit Lions

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The unveiling of the statue is a recognition of Sanders' contributions to the sport and the city. Throughout his career, Sanders defied expectations, setting records and winning accolades, all while playing with a humble grace that endeared him to fans around the world. For the Detroit Lions and their fans, the statue is a symbol of pride and a reminder of the impact that Sanders had on the franchise and the NFL as a whole.

Barry Sanders Statue ford field

Barry by the Numbers

Here are some of the stats that Barry posted before announcing his retirement. Just imagine what some of these stats would be had Sanders not retired while he still had plenty of gas left in the tank.

  • 15,269 rushing yards
  • 99 rushing touchdowns
  • 10 Pro Bowl selections
  • 1991 NFL Rookie of the Year
  • 1997 NFL Most Valuable Player
  • Led the NFL in rushing yards four times
  • Rushed for over 1,500 yards in six seasons
  • Rushed for over 2,000 yards in 1997, a feat accomplished by only seven other players in NFL history
  • Has the third-highest rushing yards per game average in NFL history
  • Was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
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