There wasn’t a NFL player on Earth who was more beloved and loathed than Deion Sanders. When he was with the Falcons everyone wanted to high step and show boat and return punts. Then, he goes to the 49ers and Cowboys, two of the more hated franchises in the league and people can’t stand his glitz and flash. Deep down, though, he’s not like Terrell Owens or Chad Ochocinco or Desean Jackson. He’s on another level. His physical skills are unparalleled. Sure, he couldn’t tackle for sh*t, but he was fun to watch. As a tribute for his birthday today (August 9th), we’ve curated his best highlight reels, photos, and little known facts. Check ’em out below.
LITTLE KNOWN FACTS
- In high school, he was a letterman in basketball.
- At FSU, he helped lead the track and field team to a conference championship.
- His 100 yard interception return for a touchdown broke Fred Biletnikoff’s record by one yard.
- Was drafted by the Kansas City Royals out of North Fort Myers High School (but didn’t sign) then was selected again while in college by the New York Yankees
- Once played the first game of a baseball doubleheader, ran a leg of a 4×100 relay, then returned to play another baseball game.
- On October 11, 1992, Sanders played in a Falcons game at Miami and then flew to Pittsburgh, hoping to play in the Braves’ League Championship Series game against the Pirates that evening and become the first athlete to play in two professional leagues in the same day. Sanders ultimately did not, however, appear in the baseball game that night
- College Football News named Sanders #8 in its list of 100 Greatest College Football Players of All-Time.
- The Sporting News named Sanders #37 in their Top 100 Football Players of the Century released in 1999.
- ESPN named Sanders #74 in its list of the 100 Great Athletes of the Century released in 1999.
- one of only two players in NFL history (Bill Dudley being the other) to score a touchdown six different ways (interception return, punt return, kickoff return, receiving, rushing, and a fumble recovery).
- In January 2004, Sanders was hired as an assistant coach to the Dallas Fury, a women’s professional basketball team in the National Women’s Basketball League.
- In April 2006, Sanders became an owner of the Austin Wranglers, an Arena Football League team
- Sanders also tried to adopt a high school running back, Noel Devine, who was one of the top recruits in 2007