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Saturday, February 5, 2011
Deion skips reporters to coach football

By Calvin Watkins

When the Hall of Fame voting was going on, Deion Sanders was coaching one of his youth football teams, The Truth, against a team coached by rap star Snoop Dogg.

It was a day-long event that Sanders didn't want to leave.

But when he got the call from the Hall of Fame committee he had to leave one of the games and drive to a Dallas hotel to talk with NFL Network, who he works for.

After the announcement show was over, other inductees spoke with reporters who were present.

Sanders did not.

He spoke with one reporter in the green room then jogged out of the hotel to get back to his youth football game as reporters chased him down.

There is a reason why Sanders felt compelled to return for the rest of the games.

"Deion is a pretty private guy," former teammate Michael Irvin said. "I've always said that most of us can bring forth great promise out of our great pain. Deion didn't have a father. His father wasn’t there. He becomes a father for so many not just his [own kids] but for so many. When you ask me the importance of what he does, I'm telling you it's deeper than you know."

Sanders' biological and step father were in and out of his life growing up in Fort Myers, Fla., and that made a deep impact in his life.

"He doesn’t want those kids to go through some of the things he went through with a father not being there," Irvin said. "I tell him all the time, share that. People will understand it more if you share that. So I hope he doesn't mind that I did."

Sanders was joined at the announcement by his wife, mom, son among others.