If you had the opportunity to watch each and every play of Barry Sanders‘ amazing career with the Detroit Lions, there is a pretty good chance that you believe he is the best running back who ever played in the NFL.
Whenever Sanders got the ball, the fans at the Pontiac Silverdome rose to their feet because they did not want to miss what could end up being a highlight play.
But, believe it or not, there are actually people out there, who actually watch football for a living, who do not think Barry Sanders is the best running back to ever lace up his cleats.
Barry Sanders gets snubbed in latest ‘GOAT' rankings
In fact, ESPN has released their “NFL's best players ever at every offensive position” rankings and out of 50 voters, only 14 voted for Barry Sanders as the NFL's best running back of all time.
- Barry Sanders (14 votes): Lions reporter Eric Woodyard leaned toward Detroit's famed running back, suggesting voters should “just type in Barry Sanders highlights on YouTube, sit back and enjoy.” NFL writer Seth Wickersham argued for Sanders, too, saying, “There has never been another player who could be 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage, retreating, surrounded by five defenders closing fast, blockers on the ground and rendered useless, and not only be capable of finding an escape out of it and scoring a touchdown but doing it so often that fans came to expect it.”
Instead, it was former Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown who was voted as the NFL's best running back of all time as he received 23 of 50 votes.
“In nine NFL seasons, Brown led the league in rushing eight times, scrimmage yards six times and total TDs five times, winning MVP in 33% of his career seasons. In an era in which everyone ran the ball more than they threw, defenses still couldn't slow down Brown.” — Michael Proia, Stats & Information
In case you were wondering, here is how the final vote came in:
- Jim Brown 23 votes
- Barry Sanders 14 votes
- Walter Payton 6 votes
- Emmitt Smith 3 votes
- Marshall Faulk 2 votes
- Eric Dickerson 1 vote
- LaDainian Tomlinson 1 vote
Nation, do you agree with us that Barry Sanders got snubbed? If so, have you ever watched him play?!?!