There's More to Deion Sanders Than Anyone Ever Imagined (VIDEO)

Deion Sanders hall of fame speechI'm a sucker for sports stories. The tale of the troubled or poor or skinny or picked on kid who overcomes that to use physical strengths to propel himself or herself into stardom with a legion of fans rooting for him or her the whole way. Sure we have the tales of sports stars who have done wrong. But then there are the ones who have done right. The cornerback "Prime Time" Deion Sanders is one of them. He played for five different football teams, and even moonlighted as a baseball player for the Yankees, Braves, Reds, and Giants. He is a flashy kind of guy. He said crazy things and did wild dances of celebrations that often ticked people off. And at last night's Hall of Fame ceremony he even gave Snoop Dogg a shout out and decorated his trophy bust with his trademark bandanna which may have caused a few eye rolls.

But what's most intriguing about Sanders is that he has done all of it -- every scene-stealing moment -- for his mother. And his speech was incredible.

Advertisement

*Cue the tears*

What is it about a massive football player pouring his heart out that gets me every time? I look at my own son, a skinny toddler and often bulldozed by his sister, and hope he appreciates life in the same way, maybe not as a football player but in whatever he chooses to do. 

Deion said that when he was just 7-years-old, he promised his mother that she will be proud of him someday because he will become one of the best football players in NFL history and make them rich enough so she will never have to work again.

He saw what she went through to put food on their table, the sacrifices she made to put a roof over their heads. His mom was a janitor, and the kids would make fun of her. Tease Deion about it. I think we can all agree how hurtful that can be for a kid. Deion's father was a drug addict. His step-father was an alcoholic. The future could have been tragic for him. But he kept his promise to his mom. A promise so much larger than I will brush my teeth tonight. Or I will eat my veggies. Deion's accomplishments aren't just a testament to his strength, but to his mother's. It was his mother's love, her strength, her determination, and how she raised Deion that made him the man he is.

Our job as mom is so much bigger than us.

Deion is a man who knows how to succeed on the football field and off. A man who knew that all his showy antics would add up to big endorsement deals. And he took the criticism he got and shrugged it all off. Because his dreams and his promise was bigger than anyone knew.

"The problem with some dreams is that the dream is only about you," he said during his induction speech. "If your dream ain't bigger than you, then there's a problem with your dream."

He delivered on his promise to his mom, and he delivers on the promises he makes for his wife and five kids. His five kids each wore a jersey from the different football teams he played for -- Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Baltimore Ravens.

Deion even rode in a bus 21 hours from Dallas to Canton, Ohio, for the Hall of Fame induction. A bus in a seven-bus caravan full of kids who he mentors in his youth organization T.R.U.T.H., along with their parents and coaches. He plans to open a charter school.

Inspiring. And that inspiration starts with us, the parents.

Are you a fan of Deion Sanders? As a parent, when you see stories like this where the kid grows up and honors his family in the way Sanders did, how does that make you feel?

Read More >

football