Falcons to induct Deion Sanders into Ring of Honor

Deion Sanders strutting his stuff during his time with the Falcons. He set to be inducted into the franchise's Ring of Honor.

Deion Sanders strutting his stuff during his time with the Falcons. He set to be inducted into the franchise's Ring of Honor.

FLOWERY BRANCH Deion Sanders, the most entertaining and flamboyant player in team history, will be inducted into the Atlanta Falcons’  Ring of Honor.

Deion Sanders visited the team facilities with his youth football team this summer. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Deion Sanders visited the team facilities with his youth football team this summer. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Sanders, nicknamed “Prime Time” for his style of play, was with the Falcons from 1989 to 1993 after being drafted No. 5 overall out of Florida State.

The Atlanta Falcons today announced that cornerback Deion Sanders is the latest inductee into the team’s prestigious Ring of Honor. Sanders was named the eighth member of this exclusive club by a vote of a local media selection committee.

Sanders said he was trying to convey a positive message with all of bling, but the message got lost.

Sanders said he was trying to convey a positive message with all of bling, but the message got lost.

The induction will take place at halftime of the nationally-televised Thursday night game between the Falcons and Ravens at the Georgia Dome on November 11.

“When I was dreaming as a kid, I couldn’t often times share those dreams because I thought they were so out of the box. Never would people think that a kid from Ft. Myers, Florida, who was small in stature, but big on confidence, would ever have his name recognized in a stadium in the only place he played in which he called home,” Sanders said.  “I want to thank Falcons Owner Arthur Blank and the organization (ironically 21 years later from the year I was drafted) for making my dreams come true.”

Sanders is a first-year eligible candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2011. He is on the preliminary list of 113 modern-era candidates.

During his five seasons with the Falcons he established a new standard for the cover cornerback and was also an electrifying kickoff and punt returner.

Deion Sanders with the 49ers.

Deion Sanders with the 49ers.

He had 24 interceptions over his Atlanta career even though teams elected to stay away from his side of the field.   He averaged more than 20 yards each season on kickoff returns and returned three kickoffs and two punts for touchdown.

In 1994, Sanders signed as a free agent with San Francisco. He would go on to also play for Dallas, Washington and Baltimore during the outset of the free agency era. He played 14 seasons in the NFL and won Super Bowl rings with San Francisco and Dallas.

Sanders was selected to eight Pro Bowls, including in 1992 and 1993 as a member of the Falcons.

Tommy Nobis, Steve Bartkowski, William Andrews and Jessie Tuggle were in the first class of Ring of Honor inductees in 2004.  Mike Kenn, Claude Humphrey and Jeff Van Note are also members of team’s Ring of Honor. Kenn and Humphrey were the last players to be inducted by the team in 2008.

The Falcons Ring of Honor was established to honor retired players who made significant contributions to the franchise during their

Sanders with the Dallas Cowboys.

Sanders with the Dallas Cowboys.

playing careers.

“Deion Sanders is widely regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the 91-year history of the National Football League,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. “He epitomized excellence on the playing field and was a tremendously gifted athlete who possessed great speed. Deion excelled as a defender, kick returner, punt returner and on offense on his way to establishing 12 club records.”

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332 comments Add your comment

pmc

October 22nd, 2010
1:14 pm

Awesome, welcome back to the fold 21.

bird watcher

October 22nd, 2010
1:18 pm

Damage Inc.

October 22nd, 2010
1:26 pm

One of the greats. He could actually back up the trash talking he did.

MOG

October 22nd, 2010
1:30 pm

I hope they show the clip of him grabbing the helmet and punching WR Andre Rison, on his return to Atlanta as a member of the 49ers!!!!!

Johnny Fever

October 22nd, 2010
1:33 pm

one of the quickest guys in football!

Mr Obvious

October 22nd, 2010
1:33 pm

Maybe he can give a clinic on “How to Avoid Tackling”. Great cover guy, ran from contact. Basically, 1/2 a DB with a loud mouth.

Jimmy

October 22nd, 2010
1:34 pm

It he being inducted this Sunday?

teamguy

October 22nd, 2010
1:35 pm

What will happen with his jersey number. .I believe Chris Owens wears number 21.

Dgator

October 22nd, 2010
1:37 pm

Only 4 seasons as a Falcon, how can you possibly induct him into the Ring of Honor? He left because he wanted more money, then disrespected the Falcons by proclaiming the Dome “my house” after he was gone. I loved watching him play but no way does he belong in the Ring of Honor, he only used the Falcons as a stepping stone. If he goes into the Hall of Fame, ask him which team he will go in as and I promise you it wont be as a Falcon.

coachx

October 22nd, 2010
1:40 pm

When do Gerald Riggs and Chuck Smith get in ?
Bob Whitfield was an elite LT for over a decade in Atlanta. He may deserve a place there too.

Jesse Stone

October 22nd, 2010
1:40 pm

Exactly Dgator. He left us to go to a division rival. Was he a great cover corner? Yes. Should this franchise honor him? NO!!!

John

October 22nd, 2010
1:40 pm

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Excuse me if I don’t jump for joy. Deion Sanders was an incomparable cover corner / kick returner; and an equally insufferable human being. God, I hope he’s grown up.

Even when he was one of us, I’d cringe at some of his shameless self-aggrandizing on-field behavior. He proved time and time again that exceptional athletic talent does make one a good person.

Deion Sanders was an immature jerk when he graced Atlanta with his two-sport presence. He was an attention-craving, motor-mouthed, self-obsessed maniac. And not that it should matter, but the guy dressed like a combination of Liberace and Sammy Davis, Jr.

He bolted the Birds at his first opportunity for pastures that assured him a chance at a Super Bowl. Then he scorned the 49′ers for the Cowboys.

His first trip back to the A-T-L, he gets in a slap-fight with Andre Rison, then offers tehe post-game observation that the Georgia Dome is “his house”. Yawn… predictable behavior for Deion. Crass, graceless and totally void of evidence of an ounce of home training.

Deion played more NFL years as a 49′er, Cowboy, Redskin and Raven then he ever did as a Falcon. Why the hell are we inducting this guy into our Ring of Honor? He doesn’t deserve to be in the same company as the current honorees.

Congratulations, though Deion. Like Tim McCarver observed after you doused him with ice water – he was wired up with CBS microphone at the time; “You’re a helluva man, Deion”.

And if you didn’t catch that, Mr. Sanders, Tim was being sarcastic.

SCfalconfan

October 22nd, 2010
1:40 pm

While I agree that Deion was a great football player he simply wasn’t a Falcon long enough to warrant this honor. This “local media selection committee” should be ashamed.

Coop

October 22nd, 2010
1:41 pm

Dissapointing. Inducting a guy into our ring who did his best with other teams and mocked us while doing it… retarded AB.

dog tired

October 22nd, 2010
1:42 pm

does the nfl decide which team you into the hall as or the player ? probably the nfl they control everything else.

Tim McCarver

October 22nd, 2010
1:43 pm

I still have the same hair cut from 1991.

Jesse Stone

October 22nd, 2010
1:44 pm

Was this done by vote? The guy played here for only FIVE YEARS!!!!!Given the choice, HE LEFT ATLANTA. This severely cheapens the Ring of HONOR.

dr.steve brule

October 22nd, 2010
1:47 pm

great, another hunk…who cares!

THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN ATL

October 22nd, 2010
1:48 pm

YOU REDNECKS FAIL TO REMEMBER THAT THE OWNERS TRADED OFF DEION SANDERS,BRETT FAVRE,ANDRE RISON,MATT SHAUB AND MIKE VICK FROM THE FALCANTS!

WELCOME BACK DEION!

Jesse Stone

October 22nd, 2010
1:49 pm

Who comprises the local media selection committee?

allan in texas

October 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

Do your thing Prime Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dr.steve brule

October 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

when i think back to the decade of the 90’s and Falcons football…..for some reason i think Deion first,then the ‘98 season ….i’m all for his induction

Jesse Stone

October 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN ATL

October 22nd, 2010
1:48 pm
YOU REDNECKS FAIL TO REMEMBER THAT THE OWNERS TRADED OFF DEION SANDERS,BRETT FAVRE,ANDRE RISON,MATT SHAUB AND MIKE VICK FROM THE FALCANTS!

WELCOME BACK DEION!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We traded Favre and Schaub. The others left on their own. Who failed to remember?????

Ron N. Mexico

October 22nd, 2010
1:51 pm

So when is MeAngelo Hall going to be put in the ring of honor?

Why dont we go ahead and put MV7 in as well…

Deion was great but no way belongs there. He ran as fast as he could to the highest bidder and away from anyone he had to tackle.

Jesse Stone

October 22nd, 2010
1:52 pm

If you think Deion first, then the ‘98 season and the Dirty Birds, you are a Deion fan and not a Falcon fan. HE SPIT ON US and left us for our rival. Ring of Honor for this guy is an oxyMORON.

Keith Brooking

October 22nd, 2010
1:53 pm

I too mocked your precious Dirty Birds as Cowboy last year – worse than Prime Time ever did although I did NOTHING in the game to back it up. Wonder how many of you will whine about me making it to the Falcons Ring of Honor…..and you know it’s going to happen.

Gritz Blitz

October 22nd, 2010
1:54 pm

I don’t like it. He was a good corner but there was nothing honorable about the way he departed from the team. The fans should have had a voice in this selection as we have had in the past. Die hard fans like myself still have very bitter feelings about the days of Deion.

John

October 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

Hey Curse (an apt name if there was one by the way) Deion left us for San Fran. We didn’t trade him. Hello?

And if finding Deion Sanders, Atlanta sports icon, to be a loathsome human being makes me a redneck, then proud of my red-assed neck I am.

Jesse Stone

October 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

Keith Brooking did not leave Atlanta on his own. Keith Brooking played for this team for six more years than Deion and made more Pro Bowl appearances with this team than Deion did.

ATL Fan

October 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

I thought Deion was a baseball player…

ATL Fan

October 22nd, 2010
1:56 pm

Didn’t he play for the Braves…

Lesa

October 22nd, 2010
1:56 pm

I agree with Jesse Stone, John, and DGator. Deion left the Falcons the first chance he got because he “wanted to get a ring.” He acted like a total jerk when he returned to Atlanta with the 49ers, who were then the Falcons’ most-hated division rival. He went from there to the Dallas Cowboys, my most -hated NFL team because they put us out of the playoffs after the 1980 season (still the most heartbreaking Falcons loss ever for me). When he was playing with the Falcons, he’d miss several of the Falcons games each season, so that he could play for the Braves. I don’t think he belongs in the same conversation as guys like Steve Bartkowski and Jeff Van Note. He was a short-timer here and I know that he won’t choose to go into the Hall of Fame as a Falcon. His selection does indeed cheapen the whole Ring of Honor idea.

ATL Fan

October 22nd, 2010
1:56 pm

He played football too…

Jesse Stone

October 22nd, 2010
1:57 pm

Keith Brooking mocked Atlanta more than Deion did? You must be very young not to remember Deion dancing it up in our endzone and proclaiming this his house. Try again.

ATL Fan

October 22nd, 2010
1:58 pm

I know Brian Jordan played football for the Falcons and baseball for the Braves.

JSS

October 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

Arthur’s just trying to get a Falcons jersey in Canton finally! Ha ha!!! The Falcons treated poor Claude Humphrey like a discarded shoe… How quickly you choose to forget… Without Deion, they’d still be playing in that toilet bowl in Summerhill or Jacksonville… Dang, I might have to change my mind!

ATL Fan

October 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

Wait…It’s coming back to me now. Deion was the guy that like to run…run kickbacks, punt returns and his mouth. Now I remember. Must have been a mental block.

Clyde

October 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

Rison should be next

Keith Brooking

October 22nd, 2010
2:01 pm

But I too spat on you. I mocked you and made you love it. So how long does a player have to play for the Falcons and how many Pro Bowls does he have to make before Falcons fans will forgive him for mocking the team when he faces them on the opposite sideline?

As an NFLer myself. I have no problem with a guy like Deion taking advantage of free agency. It’s his right to do so, so hating him for leaving is a little childish. It’s HIS career. It’s not like he had a 1 hour special to announce it.

Joe Tess Fish House

October 22nd, 2010
2:02 pm

Prime time be the man! This is anoter exmample of the Flacons doing dum thigs when they let him go away. As some 1 pionted out the Falcons give or trade away 2 many god players over the years. I glad the Falcond do this, but I still boo all the dum things from the passed.

Reid Adair

October 22nd, 2010
2:03 pm

A well-deserved honor for “Prime Time.” He provided some excitement at a time when the team overall just wasn’t very good.

I’ll also never forget him dumping a cooler of water on that blowhard Tim McCarver in the clubhouse after a Braves’ post-season game; McCarver had been running his mouth about Sanders playing a football game and a baseball game (although Sanders didn’t start the baseball game) in the same day.

Keith Brooking

October 22nd, 2010
2:04 pm

Nope I remember what Deion did and I feel that what I did was worse. At least Deion could act up because he was DOMINATING your team. But me? I only acted up when my teammates made plays. What a d-bag I am, huh?

ATL Fan

October 22nd, 2010
2:05 pm

So Keith B. are you going to root for Tony Castillas too? I’m beginning to see a pattern. Leave Atl, go to Dallas, and run your mouth.

Michael

October 22nd, 2010
2:06 pm

Heck of an athelete.
Piece o’crap as a human being.

cejay

October 22nd, 2010
2:06 pm

@THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN ATL

Is “redneck” suppose to be a insult of some sort?????????

ATL Fan

October 22nd, 2010
2:07 pm

Reid, I must agree that was Deion’s best play ever. I still can’t stand Tim McCarver.

Keith Brooking

October 22nd, 2010
2:08 pm

If Tony Castillas makes it into the Falcons ROF then I’ll know all my Dirty Bird mocking last year was 10000% justified.

cejay

October 22nd, 2010
2:09 pm

ATL Fan

October 22nd, 2010
2:05 pm
So Keith B. are you going to root for Tony Castillas too? I’m beginning to see a pattern. Leave Atl, go to Dallas, and run your mouth.

——————————
Don’t forget Scott Case, another Dallas head

Pepe

October 22nd, 2010
2:11 pm

This made my day…welcome home Deion.

cejay

October 22nd, 2010
2:12 pm

THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN ATL

October 22nd, 2010
1:48 pm
YOU REDNECKS FAIL TO REMEMBER THAT THE OWNERS TRADED OFF DEION SANDERS,BRETT FAVRE,ANDRE RISON,MATT SHAUB AND MIKE VICK FROM THE FALCANTS!

WELCOME BACK DEION!
———————————–
When you picked up this attitude, did you get your complimentary gold tooth and cornrows ?