Lions announce Barry Sanders will receive a statue at Ford Field in 2023 | Rare Techy


Barry Sanders was forever immortalized in 2004 when he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The former Lions running back will soon receive a similar honor in the city where he spent all 10 seasons of his memorable career.

The Detroit Lions announced Sunday that Sanders’ legacy will be cemented permanently with a statue at Ford Field in the Motor City through the 2023 season. The announcement was made during halftime of Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. The Lions plan to unveil Sanders’ statue before the start of the 2023 season.

“We are extremely proud to share the news that we are honoring the greatest running back in football history in the city we represent,” Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said via the team’s website. “Generations of fans will learn about Barry and his contributions not only to the Lions, but to football. He is truly in a class of his own, and while we may never see a player as electrifying or elusive again. , Barry’s legacy will live on forever and is palpable right here in Detroit.”

Considered one of the game’s most electric running backs, Sanders topped the 1,000-yard mark in each of 10 seasons from 1989-98.

Sanders’ accolades include AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award (1997), NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1994, 1997), NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1989), First Team All-Pro (1989-91, 1994, 1995, 1997) and was selected to the Pro Bowl in every season of his career. Sanders also led the league in rushing four times (1990, 1994, 1996, 1997) and became the third member of the 2,000-yard club after amassing 2,053 yards in 1997.

“Detroit has been my home since I was drafted by the Lions in 1989. This statue means the city will be my home forever, it’s surreal.” said Sanders, who was named to the 1990s All-Decade Team and the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. “I can’t express enough how grateful I am to the entire Ford family, my teammates, the coaches, the Lions front office, the media and most of all the fans. When I take it all in and reflect on my career, I realize what an honor this is.”

A statue of Sanders will be unveiled in 2021 at Oklahoma State University, where Sanders wowed the college football world from 1986-88. It was there that Sanders earned his first 2,000-yard rushing season in 1988 during his Heisman Trophy-winning campaign.

Detroit was blessed to select Sanders with the 3rd overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft and rightfully commemorates one of the greatest football players the game has ever seen with a bust that will forever cement his legacy.


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