At age 31, he was coming off a season in which he rushed for nearly 1,500 yards, one season removed from a 2,000-yard MVP campaign. barry sanders He abruptly retired from the NFL and the Detroit Lions just before training camp in 1999. Even if that happened sooner than expected, it’s safe to say that if he had played a few more years, he could have become the best leading rusher in NFL history.
It’s easy to think that Sanders was simply tired of losing. His retirement announcement was also unique: he sent a fax. Wichita Eagle for newspapers to publish. It was simple, to the point, and had a notable punchline.
“The reason I am retiring is simple: my desire to stay out of the game is greater than my desire to stay in the game.”
Since his retirement, the full explanation of how and why he retired will never be known, with his relationship with the Lions broken and now repaired. That is about to change.
Sanders posted a trailer on Twitter Friday announcing that he will be working with Amazon on a documentary titled “Bye Bye Barry.” The show will be streamed on Nov. 21, two days before the Lions play the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving.
Check out the trailer.
Sanders successfully promoted the documentary in his own post.
“The great mystery of why I left will be solved once and for all.”
At the time of his retirement, Sanders had 15,269 career rushing yards and was 1,457 yards away from passing the late Walter Payton as the NFL’s all-time rushing record. He currently ranks fourth on the all-time rushing list behind Emmitt Smith, Payton and Frank Gore.
A statue honoring Sanders will be unveiled outside Ford Field on Saturday before the Lions’ 2023 home opener against the Seattle Seahawks.The ceremony will be streamed On the Lions YouTube page.