When we reported the news a couple of days ago that a Detroit Lions fan was beaten unconscious in Philadelphia after the game, it was met by genuine concern by everyone around the sports world. One of the lesser known facts about the situation, was the fact that the victim was wearing a Barry Sanders jersey when it all went down.
Sanders himself heard about the incident and is actually sending the victim a signed jersey. Paul (the victim), spoke on what that meant to him.
“I was actually completely, completely in shock, totally,” Paul said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I always thought really highly of Barry as a player, but this makes me kind of think of him as a player and a person in a whole new kind of level. I thought it was pretty cool, and I think I’m a Lions fan because of Barry.”
Paul’s best moment as a Lions fan, not surprisingly, also revolves around the legendary running back.
“My number one memory – and I guess it’s kind of a lot of people’s memory – I was at the Lions-Jets game when he broke 2,000 yards,” Paul said. “That game was so emotionally up and down. I remember it was a Lions game for them to clinch the playoffs against the Jets. It was a game where Reggie Brown broke his neck, and the crowd being so down from that moment, to thank God him … at least surviving, recovering from that injury.
“And then Barry Sanders breaking 2,000 yards that game,” Paul continued. “The way that that game ended … just seeing Barry being carried off the field by his teammates, it was great.”
Great to see something positive come out of a horrible situation and respect to Barry Sanders for the kind act.
He was always recognized for the class with which he played the game during his Lions days, but it’s clear that class stretches far beyond the realm of just football.