Deion Sanders Hopes The NFL Doesn’t Come Back, Claims There’s A Lot The Public Doesn’t Know About Dez Bryant
Deion Sanders became the first player ever inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Atlanta Falcons back in February and he sure did things his way during his sixteen year career. Whether it was playing baseball part-time or trying to make musical ‘greatness’ with absurd songs like this one or what he calls wearing his uniform like a ‘stripper wears a thong’, the man who dubbed himself ‘Prime Time,’ always made some noise when he spoke. Neon Deion pushed the rules of the NFL to the limit and feels he is the reason why the gloves and socks protocol changed in the NFL because he was always one step ahead.
Sanders spends his time now building schools, mentoring and working for the NFL Network and from the sound of it in the following interview with WCNN he’s not depressed at all about the NFL lockout. Prime Time is humbled about reaching the Hall of Fame and wanted to make good on promise he made to Taylor Smith after he left the Falcons in free agency to go play with the 49ers. He also goes into detail about his concern for emerging wide receiver Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, who he’s had a falling out with over the last year. Deion Sanders joined WCNN with The Rude Awakening to discuss his 2011 Hall of Fame induction, growing tired of talking about the NFL labor situation, his concerns with the NFL lockout putting a hold on his Hall of Fame induction, being the first Atlanta Falcon elected into the Hall of Fame and his concerns about Dez Bryant.
Congratulations on the Hall of Fame induction. Tell us what it was like getting that phone call that you were inducted?
“I don’t want you to take this wrong, but honestly man I’m a little different. Aside from public persona I’m really low key when it comes to stuff like that. I’m more excited about the possibility and the willingness knowing that my kids, not my personal kids, my kids from my youth organization, they’re taking the trip [Hall of Fame induction day] with me. We have several bus loads of kids including parents. We’re going to go down there and we’re going to play games. We’re going to play games in Canton [Ohio] on Thursday and Friday as well, but for them to join me in those festivities…that’s the blessing part for me.”
You getting tired of talking about the labor situation on the NFL Network?
“Well it’s kind of hard for me to get motivated and the smile and give you the great quote on people arguing about $9 billion dollars that we know about. We’re not even going to mention the $2 or $3 [billion dollars] that we don’t know about that was brought up at the table somewhere. It’s kind of hard man. It really is. I’m sure they [owners and players] will get it right because no one cares about July. Everybody cares about August and September. That’s when it’s time to get serious and I’m sure it’s going to get serious by then.”
Are you concerned that your induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction could be impacted if this lockout goes further into the summer?
“I’m kind of hoping they don’t come back because we’re going to be that game and you kids are going to be at the game on Saturday. If we don’t come back, when I say ‘we’ I am an employee of the NFL…if we don’t come back and end the strike we are going to be the game, so I’m kind of torn in between.”
It’s kind of hard to believe that you are going be the first Atlanta Falcon elected into the Hall of Fame?
“Yeah with all the great Falcons and the great players that played this game in those Atlanta Falcons uniforms it really is and I’m thankful. I’m reminded by Taylor Smith, the former owner, who once told after he let go of me in free agency with a smile on his face ‘If it [Hall of Fame induction] ever happens please remembers us. Just remember us.’ I said ‘I will. I definitely will.’ I never forgot. This is the genesis of my career. This is where it all started. I would never lose sight of that. I never wanted to leave, but I had to leave. I was never offered a contract. I’m happy that I am back and I am elated. The bust is going to have curls because you make the bust the way you wanted, so I’m going to have hair. The hair clip for me and they didn’t make black hair like I wanted. I’m going to get my hair on the bust that they have for the Hall of Fame, so I will have hair.”
What happened with your mentoring of Dez Bryant? Are you still concerned about Dez Bryant?
“Everybody is. I think the Dallas Cowboys are more concerned than I am. I’m not losing any sleep by any means. It’s hard to talk to a person when they have millions man because there is so much noise in their life. Everybody around them is employed and they have ‘yes men.’ You gotta start hiring a ‘no man.’ Somebody who is going to tell you no and somebody who is going to tell you the truth and a lot of these guys don’t and when it comes to him with a lot of things I had to cut my umbilical cord with him because a lot of things people do not know about. I’m trying to open schools and get these kids prepared for the future and I can’t have that on my record saying that: How am I going to send my kids to your school and this is what you are turning out over here? No I am not turning that out over there. I have nothing to do with that and I had to cut that cord because you can’t keep doing the same old things that you’ve always done. You are going to get the same old things you’ve always got, so that’s why I had to separate myself. I love him. I see him from time-to-time. I pray for him, but as a unit we had to separate.”