Athletic College Football Staff BOULDER, Colo. – Visibly exhausted, technically beaten but never down, Deion Sanders sits on a black leather folding chair, his left leg soaked in a dark blue bag filled to the calf with ice water. “Alas, Lord Jesus!” he says.
His son, Deion Jr., the social media documentary about the most exciting story in sports, asks him if his foot — which has caused the Pro Football Hall of Famer numerous health problems over the past two years, including two amputated toes – it hurts “It’s cold, dog,” Sanders says, smiling back and resting his face on his right hand. “Well,” Deion Jr. replies, “it’s better than getting hurt.” In an unmarked room at Colorado’s Champions Center, Deion Sanders can finally breathe. The cameras – although always on – eventually turn off. The shadows also disappeared. The celebrities who lined the sidelines during the Buffaloes’ 48-41 loss on Saturday to USC at No. 8, heads home on their private jets, leaving Boulder on a cloudless Saturday afternoon. The pause in the black folding chair lasts only seconds before Sanders raises his head and roots. His daughters, Deiondra, 31, and Shelomi, who followed their father to Colorado and are point guards on the women’s basketball team, make Sanders momentarily forget the cold water and intense loss. There is no sign of pain on his face, only appreciation.
The Colorado Buffaloes are now 3-2, falling in distinctly different ways against top-10 conference opponents in rounds. Shedeur Sanders (left) along with Deion Sanders threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns and one interception in a loss to USC. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Sanders’ constant statement is “Catch me if you can.” How many other programs can accommodate recruits and players who want to move onto the courts with Lil Wayne running the team before the game? Or do you just want The Rock to show up and fire them? According to Sanders, the show received an “absurdly” number of requests, but it takes more than surface-level star ratings to play Sanders.
The Athletic followed Colorado’s program in Eugene and Boulder from Saturday to Saturday, fueled by endless video content produced by Sanders’ team to look behind the scenes as he led the Buffs to the top of national intrigue, even when the losses. injured pitch speed 1. DAY At Autzen Stadium, under a low cloud familiar to Eugene, Deion Sanders makes a routine lap around the field.
He walks slowly along with two imposing security guards and a horde of reporters filming with cameras or smartphones. Sanders knows he has always been seen. “60 Minutes” visited Boulder to investigate what is called the “primary effect.” No other head coach appears in more nationally televised commercials. His family and players are YouTube stars. Shedeur, who generated Heisman buzz, wears a $70,000 custom Royal Oak diamond watch that he held up to Nebraska players’ faces before the game to distract them from the Buffs logo. Now the student section salutes with raised wrists. Most of September belonged to the Buffs and basically to Sanders. A stunning win at TCU, a home opener against the rival Huskers, an epic comeback against Colorado State — a 3-0 start cultivated a cult following for a program that had become irrelevant.
Sanders’ team broke attendance records, eclipsed the might of the SEC and became a staple of America’s daily sports talk. During warmups, Sanders wears black Nike gloves as he helps players go through drills. A minute later a familiar face hugs him. One he hadn’t seen in years. Sanders stops and bows as Nike owner Phil Knight approaches him before they embrace. In July, Sanders left Under Armor and returned to Nike after years of strained relations over disagreements over Sanders’ compensation during his playing days.
“I’m so proud of you, man,” Knight whispers in Sanders’ ear as they hug. “It’s so great to have you back. I was proud of you as a player and a person. I can’t believe how proud I am of you as a coach. You’re just doing great.” With Oregon dominating from the opening minutes, ABC shows that Oregon coach Dan Lanning was fired before the game. “They fight for snaps. We’re going to fight for wins,” he says with the ESPN camera pointed straight at him. The Ducks led 35-0 at halftime. Colorado doesn’t throw at Oregon’s 35-yard line until 4:17. Sanders calls it. “good, old-fashioned bullshit” and takes over.
Teams try to beat me,” Sanders says. “They’re not trying to beat our team. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it is. That’s what I signed up for.” DAY 2 Gospel music blasts from the speakers in Colorado’s team conference room as Sanders arrives to address his team Sunday morning. “Let it work,” Sanders says as he steps to the front of the room. A huge photo of a faded and scratched Colorado helmet looms on the screen behind him. He dares the team not to look away from Saturday’s disaster. Learn more about it. He urges players to be “critically honest” about what happened to them. He doesn’t want to see the difference in their approach or effort if they beat Oregon by 36 instead of enduring another loss. “I don’t think a good ass-kicking should get you back on the road,” he says.
“I believe you can get yourself back on track, win or lose.” The world is watching, he tells them. He is right. At Sunday’s meeting, Sanders pulls out his phone and reads a text message. “I have to play this week. We have to get everything we can to get back on the field. I won’t take no for an answer.” He asks his team who they think sent it. They’re OK: Two-way star Travis Hunter, who missed