Chat with Barry Sanders
Sanders rushed for 1,500 or more yards for an NFL-record 4 straight seasons.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders stops by to chat about the upcoming NFL season, as well as ESPN's "Madden Legends Week Powered by EA Sports Arena" here at ESPN. Madden 13 hit stores at midnight on Tuesday.
Despite retiring at age 30, after just 10 seasons in the league, Sanders, @BarrySanders, rushed for 15,269 yards, which still ranks third all-time. His 99.8 rushing yards per game is second all-time behind Jim Brown.
Send your questions now and join Sanders Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:55 PM)
Barry Sanders should be joining us momentarily! Keep your questions coming!
Barry Sanders (1:00 PM)
Scott Yarborough (Detroit)
Love seeing all the highlights on SC! What's it like to watch highlights of yourself?
Barry Sanders (1:00 PM)
I love it! I love reliving those moments. Of course they only show the good ones so I really enjoy that!
Brian F (San Diego)
Barry, do you think your son has the potential to make the NFL?
Barry Sanders (1:01 PM)
He's doing really well. Had a good summer in summer school. Good two a days. Made some good plays in their big scrimmage. As far as beyond that I don't know. I just hope he enjoys his time at Stanford and has a good full college experience.
Scott Mellon (Detroit)
Do you still miss the game or did that fade pretty quickly after you retired?
Barry Sanders (1:02 PM)
I would say I still miss parts of it. I see myself as always sort of being a part of the game and vice versa. Just for me since I was able to compete on a pretty high level that was a unique experience I will never forget. The game will always be a part of me. No way to explain those butterflies before a game when going against great teams. I will always miss that.
Timo (San Diego)
Confirm/deny... did you retire just so you could have a normal Thanksgiving?
Barry Sanders (1:04 PM)
That's funny! It as always fun playing on Thanksgiving. It was a challenge to play the Sunday before and not be all healed up by Thursday. It was a tough week. But on the other hand, the whole country was watching and it was a part of so many people's Thanksgiving celebrations and you could feel that excitement. You could sense it. In Detroit they have a special halftime show with a big music act and it was always a really special atmosphere, esp. compared to other games.
Mac from Carlisle, PA [via mobile]
Could you explain the steps you had to go through to get into madden 13? Did they reach out to you? Did you have to wear one of those suits with the white dots for computer generation ?
Barry Sanders (1:05 PM)
They did reach out to me. For me it's a thrill to be in the game. The game obviously is the most popular sports game out there so it was a no-brainer for me. I didn't have to wear the motion capture suit. They must have some great engineers or producers.
Do you consider yourself the best running back of all time?
Barry Sanders (1:06 PM)
No. Not at all. There are a lot of great runners out there. Guys that I really admire and looked up to. It would be difficult to pick just one. I think Jim Brown probably dominated the game the most during the time he played. But there are just so many fantastic players.
Does it ever get tiring listening to people tell you how awesome you are all the time? Or does that just never get old?
Barry Sanders (1:07 PM)
It's always a privilage and an honor. I think back to before I was a football player and I never could have imagined it. It's always special.
Adam S. (Charlotte NC)
Most ex-players seem to end up wanting to coach football or talk about football or otherwise we involved in the game somehow. Why did that never appeal to you?
Barry Sanders (1:08 PM)
I don't really know if I can say why. I've been fine with my business ventures and enjoying the game from a distance. That's enough for me. I knew I wasn't going to be a coach or commentator. It just wasn't something that interested me enough to pursue.
Jeremy Dotson (Austin)
What do you think about touchdown dances? Do you wish everyone just handed the ball to the ref, or are celebrations cool? Have you see any you like?
Barry Sanders (1:09 PM)
I think it is kind of interesting to see the different celebrations certain guys have. I think it's always been a part of the game and you don't want to take all of the fun out of it. As long as guys don't go overboard, and sometimes they do, but as long as they don't and the NFL doesn't have a problem with it, I think it's fine.
Brock Amaya (Edmond, OK)
Barry, if you could go back to the day you retired would you make the same decision, or would you keep on playing the game for a few more seasons?
Barry Sanders (1:10 PM)
I believe I would. I believe that 10 year mark I was done with football. I had no regrets and still don't. I would do the same thing.
Trevor Uren (Michigan)
What has been the scariest moment in your career?
Barry Sanders (1:12 PM)
I would say the scariest was my third year when during what seemed to be an average play, Mike Utley my right guard went down with what we thought at the time was just a bad neck injury, but hopeufully he would be able to bounce back from. Then we found out he was paralyzed from the waist down and it was the end of his career. That was one of those moments where you just paused and did a lot of thinking.
Do you think the overall quality of players in the NFL is better now than when you were playing or is it the same? Or worse? What do you make of 5 rookie quarterbacks starting in Week 1?
Barry Sanders (1:15 PM)
The quality of player in today's game is hard to judge. I think the way players grow up in a certain position, high school and college and year round coaching, might prepare them a little better. At the same time, I don't think you have the great teams that you had in previous eras. A lot of colleges run a pro offense now so that helps a player prepare as well.
Barry Sanders (1:16 PM)
Thanks everyone. Wish I could stay longer, but I'm running over to SportsCenter now! Check it out and be sure to get your copy of Madden NFL 13!