The Lions are honoring Barry Sanders with a statue outside Ford Field | Rare Techy
DETROIT – One of the greatest players in NFL history is receiving his flowers in a big way. An 8-foot bronze statue of Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders will be unveiled outside Ford Field ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
He becomes the first player in franchise history to be immortalized outside the arena.
“I can’t believe the jokes have already started among the teammates about the height of the statue. Can you believe it?” Sanders was joking. “A big thank you to the Detroit Lions and the entire Ford family. I’m truly honored and humbled by this, but I must say I’m truly blessed to be playing here in front of these great fans in this great city. since 1989.”
Here’s the official halftime announcement about the Barry Sanders statue heading to Ford Field ahead of the 2023 season. pic.twitter.com/IpQbHxZ1Dq
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) 30 October 2022
The news was announced during the halftime ceremony of Sunday’s Lions home game against the Miami Dolphins by his former teammate Chris Spielman, who is now special assistant to the franchise’s president/CEO and chairman.
“Lions fans have never been more beloved, never more deserving of a monument here at Ford Field,” Spielman said. “On behalf of Barry, the Ford family and the Detroit Lions organization, I am pleased to announce that we will unveil an 8-foot bronze statue here at Ford Field prior to the 2023 season.”
Lions fans roared, then chanted “Barry! Barry!” as Sanders stood on the field alongside many of the franchise’s alumni. Sanders still holds numerous franchise rushing records and has the most rushing yards in NFL history (15,269). He won the NFL MVP award in 1997 and was named to the All-Pro first team six times during his legendary career with Detroit, which spanned 1989-1998.
His alma mater, Oklahoma State University, also has a 9-foot-tall statue of Sanders that was unveiled last year.
“I know the official celebration won’t be until next fall, but I’m looking forward to this special moment with all these fans and my teammates and the Lions people,” Sanders said. “I am so humbled and honored by this. Thank you so much.”