Barry Sanders Essay Research Paper My article — страница 3

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for a great ?89 season. Barry Sanders." When center Kevin Glover came home one day last February, a box the size of a small refrigerator was sitting in the driveway near his garage. In it was a big-screen TV and a thank-you note from Sanders. "It?s not expected, but he does it," Glover says. The TV "is something I?m going to cherish. When I retire, I plan on getting a plaque for it that will say, ?A gift from Barry Sanders.? " All of this giving, all of this helping, and Sanders still turns down most of the endorsement offers that come his way, deals that could bring him an additional $4 million to $5 million a year, Sc! haffer says. "You can put $1 million in front of him that he turns down, but he?ll say yes to the Michigan state seat-belt patrol

campaign," Schaffer says. "A lot of football players have tremendous egos. They like to see themselves on TV. Not Barry." Sanders doesn?t decline everything, though. He has endorsement deals with more than a half-dozen companies, including many of the prized ones?Nike, McDonald?s, Cadillac, 7-Eleven, and, soon to be announced, Little Caesars. "He needs to let himself take off," Perriman says. "He should be the Michael Jordan of football. He could be that. Playing eight years, he knows he?s not going to be playing forever. I tell him, ?You better get what you deserve and what you can while you can.? He needs to be as large in commercials as he is a player." But Sanders won?t. He is doing more, but he won?t do it all. "I wish there were

another way of doing it," Sanders says of endorsements. "I?m definitely more comfortable with the game being bigger than the person." That has been Sanders? philosophy since the fourth grade. That year, in his first football game ever, the first time he touched the ball, he scored on a 70-yard sweep. The next Saturday, his coach tried him out on kickoffs. He ran the first one back for a touchdown. His father was there. "It was 1977 and I was sitting in my ?63 Pontiac listening to Texas beat Oklahoma, 13-6," William Sanders says. "Must have run for three or four touchdowns that day." In his first few years with the Lions, much was made about Sanders? upbringing, about the stern father and quiet mother, par! ents who had their own distinct ways of

raising their children. "Growing up, the kids would get together and just kind of ask the question, ?How in the world did these two get together?? " Barry says with a laugh. Barry was especially close to his mother?and still is. Shirley Sanders had children spanning three decades, beginning with Diane, born in 1959, and ending with Krista, the youngest of the eight girls, born in 1974. Shirley delivered Barry, No. 7 on the family?s roster, on July 16, 1968. His mother speaks in a soft voice and is bashful around strangers. "I love it when he comes home," she says. "We sit and talk for hours. I miss him. I feel for him sometimes?all the attention he gets and doesn?t want." When her husband pipes up and offers one of his gruff opinions ("I don?t

like boys to be close to their mothers because it makes sissies out of them," he says), Shirley smiles and rolls her eyes. Last month at the Sanders home in Wichita, Shirley spent part of the eveni! ng in her kitchen listening to Christian music while her husband sat on his leather recliner watching a basketball game. Indiana was beating up Princeton. Shirley says she missed many of Barry?s football games when he was growing up, mainly because Friday night was reserved for choir practice at Paradise Baptist Church. Religion is a central theme of the Sanders family. One of the proudest moments in her life came when Barry sent $200,000 of his $2.1-million signing bonus to Paradise his rookie year. While Shirley is quiet and unassuming, her husband is anything but. William

Sanders listens to Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura, smokesWhite Owl cigars and rarely leaves home without his Cleveland Browns jacket. His favorite college remains Oklahomabecause he listened to the Sooners broadcasts on the radio when he was growing up. He points out that he has collected only two autographs for himself through the years?Troy Aikman (because he played two seasons at Oklahoma) and Bernie Kosar! (Cleveland). In 1994, William Sanders brought a football to Dallas, where the Cowboys were playing the Lions. When the teams were warming up, he was introduced to Emmitt Smith. Sanders asked if Smith could do him a favor and sign his football for a friend. "He said he?d get me after the game," William Sanders says, angry as he tells the story. As it turns out, the