Deion Sanders honored at halftime

By Chris Vivlamore 

The Georgia Dome is still Deion Sanders’ house.

 

Deion Sander's Ring of Honor helmet from last season. He's getting his Hall of Fame ring today. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Deion Sander's Ring of Honor helmet from last season. He's getting his Hall of Fame ring today. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

“It is that,” the newly inducted member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame said before Sunday’s Falcons-Panthers game.

Sanders has received his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime ceremony. He was inducted in Canton in August.

Sanders said he will always consider Atlanta home after the Falcons selected the cornerback with the fifth overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft out of Florida State.

“It was the first time in my life I had ever been chosen and I’m thankful for it,” Sanders said.

The outspoken Sanders played five seasons for the Falcons where he was a three-time Pro Bowl starter. His career began when he returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown in his first NFL game, against the Los Angeles Rams at Fulton County Stadium. He would sign as a free agent with San Francisco and won Super Bowls with the 49ers and Dallas. Sanders was an eight-time Pro Bowler and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1994. He also played professional baseball, including a stint in Atlanta with the Braves.

“Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz said it best,” Sanders said. “She said ‘There is no place like home.’ This is home. I never wanted to leave this and I think that goes documented. This is really the place that allowed me to be me – ignorant, brash, a rich adolescent. But they accepted me and allowed me to grow and mature. … It’s full circle coming back.

“I was mature then, but you guys wanted Prime Time. You didn’t want no Deion. That was the problem.”

Sanders established 12 team records with the Falcons. He scored 10 touchdowns on five returns, three interceptions and two receptions.

Sanders’ Hall of Fame bust was also at the Georgia Dome Sunday.

“I don’t know what the Hall of Fame dictates, whether it dictates that you are a great player,” Sanders said. “I don’t know that. I don’t think a committee or a board or a collection of people really can quantify that you are a great player. I felt that way anyway, without their vote, without the right, without the jacket. I’m happy. I’m elated. But I told you guys I was great before you caught on.”

Sanders was asked about the Falcons’ offensive struggles early this season.

“When the offensive line isn’t as effective as it could be that’s going to happen,”

he said. “Matt Ryan is getting his butt kicked. But I love this kid. He gets right back up, he doesn’t complain, he doesn’t point the finger. I love it man. He is a leader and he deserves that [captain’s] C on his chest. He’s going to have a long, bright and luxurious career.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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32 comments Add your comment

lowdownjj

October 16th, 2011
1:09 pm

I wish we still had Neon Deon in coverage

Waffle House or Bust

October 16th, 2011
2:23 pm

Didn’t we already do this for him?

Jimmy

October 16th, 2011
2:33 pm

I love Deon and hated when he left.
Welcome home man.

Me and Julio down in d school yard!

October 16th, 2011
4:15 pm

Think he can still play the nickle?

Michael M.

October 16th, 2011
4:16 pm

Sanders will alwaybe loved in Atlanta ……………………….How about those Falcons !
I am in Shock here, thats the Team from last year out there on the Field Today ! Can they keep this Going ………….guess we shall see next week at The Lions Den !
Liked the chicken dance on the last interception to close the Deal !
Chew on this Trolls ! Haaaaa !

Michael M.

October 16th, 2011
4:43 pm

49ers just upset the Lions Perfect Season……………knew that smackdown of the Bucs was no fluke last week ! This means that Atlanta dont have to go up there to face a Perfect Lion Winning Season !
Who was that on the Falcons that intercepted the ball at the end of game ?
He needs to get a copyright on his chicken dance it was too funny !

Van Brocklin

October 16th, 2011
5:01 pm

1989 and Prime Time.

gcs

October 16th, 2011
5:24 pm

Enough with the parades for this self-centered jerk who turned his back on our team and our city. He will always consider himself a Cowboy – NOT a Falcon.

Why don’t we honor more deserving legends like Jeff Van Note, Mike Kenn, William Andrews, etc.?

.

Thrasher Fan

October 16th, 2011
6:29 pm

@gcs He actually calls himself a Falcons more than you’d think.

and he was receiving his Hall of Fame ring and could’ve picked any city to receive it in and he chose Atlanta.

JB

October 16th, 2011
6:35 pm

GCS is a negative nelly! I had the honor of meeting him today and he was wonderful!

I might be a little self centered if someone offered me 35 million…..

Alphonso Dowell

October 16th, 2011
6:53 pm

Hay what going on Deion are Mr Prime Time I know you do not remeber me but I was at Club 21 every Friday Night,But god have been very good to you man I like the way you came up so with all of that,God is good all the time.Like Mc Hammer said You Can Touch That.We love you man so come on back Home to the ATL.

St Simons - we're on Island time

October 16th, 2011
6:54 pm

man, that was a beatdown. They looked like a pro football team.
And $cam’s lip was quiverin, that was worth the price right there

Michael M.

October 16th, 2011
7:48 pm

First time I saw Cam be upset and hobble around was in Todays game ! Guess Abraham and friends were a little too much for him.

steven A.

October 16th, 2011
7:58 pm

who DAT? YIKES! Major loss for the Saints. Teams are catching on to Drew Brees. They need REGGIE
in the worst way. Who dat say they gonna beat dem aints?

SawThat1nce

October 16th, 2011
8:00 pm

Is overrated one word or two words? I think it is one word.
Anyway, that’s what Deion Sanders is, overrated.

Michael M.

October 16th, 2011
8:03 pm

Aints fans too busy weepin so they not up to the Challege tonight…lmao

Michael M.

October 16th, 2011
8:09 pm

Oh if they win, they on here just a braggin about how great their team is but if they get slapped around they hide for a few days……………poor pitiful Aints Fansssss. You want Mommy to wipe the tears and hold the hanky so you can blow your dirty noses ?

tmc

October 16th, 2011
8:56 pm

The man makes me want to hurl… and then when i hear him talk about how “this is home” and all that garbage, it makes me wonder why no one brings up Deion’s own words when he left this team:
In his press conference in SF, Deion Sanders ripped the entire Falcons organization, the Smith’s and the city of Atlanta to no end.
Now, granted it wasn’t Arthur Blank… but the Smith’s and fans gave Deion everything he wanted. And the first chance he got, all that “christian” could do was tell everyone how thankful he was to out of Atlanta and away from that team (the falcons).

You’re a phony, Deion! and you make me sick to my stomach.

Arthur Blank, stop praising this guy and let the first true Atlanta Falcon Hall of Famer be honored admirably. And not a guy who played 5 seasons here, couldn’t wait to leave here, criticize everything about this team and organization when he left here. You will be better off for it.

If you don’t agree with comments, go find the transcripts from Deion’s press conference in San Francisco. I heard it with my own ears.

JayCool 4DABirds

October 16th, 2011
9:19 pm

@Waffle House or Bust, I’m with you enough of Deion already. First the ring of honor, now the hall of fame ring, please get over him already.

Falcon228

October 16th, 2011
9:36 pm

I’ll never get enough of Prime. From his first TD on a punt return, an interception against the Seahawks to close out the old Fulton County Stadium days to the screen against the Cowboys to preserve a victory in an upset. No, I’ll never get enough of Prime.

t_height

October 16th, 2011
9:46 pm

Deion A Bust? Get out of here!! He played his tell off through the contract he was given. If the Smiths felt he was so special like Dallas and San Fran did, they would have put the money up as well. I’m a die heart Falcon Fan but i must admit that Prime Time made the right decision. He has won superbowl title with two other teams. If some of you idiots read his life story you would understand why he left for the money plus he and Rison couldn’t play on the same team together. For you idiots stating that The falcons should be honoring some of the other great players, well first some of the well deserved players need to be inducted into the Hall. I’m praying that Jesse gets in soon.

Primetime

October 16th, 2011
10:02 pm

By the way am I the only one not enamored with Deion. Great when he was here but left for more money and championship rings. Joined front runner teams and got his rings. Rubbed it in atlantas face when he played in dome as opposing player. 1/2 of highlights today were in other uniforms and final highlight was f him scoring against falcons in Atlanta. And we are honoring him. Cmon.

ClassicFalcons

October 16th, 2011
10:57 pm

Deion is a FALCON you Pricks! Wouldn’t Know Greatness if You Seen It! Show the man some respect! Arthur Blank would of never let Primetime Go! 49ers signed him to a one year contract because Taylor Smith wouldn’t show him the money! Cowboys did, richest contract for a CB in history! GTFOH with this Deion ain’t a Falcon!!!!! He played for the Braves and Falcons at a High Level! SHOW SOME RESPECTS You Negative, Racist Pricks!

Jim in Augusta

October 16th, 2011
10:57 pm

I am a big Sanders fan. Deion was great while he was here, and I loved watching him; however, the guy pranced down the sideline as a 49er and rubbed the Falcons’ noses in the dirt…now he is in the ring of honor…something just is not right about it. You’ve got to have most of your years in a place and have your best years there also to be in any “ring of honor.” He does not belong in it. Tuggle, Van Note, Andrews, Kenn, Bartkowski…now those guys were Falxons.

TBALL

October 16th, 2011
11:50 pm

@gcs You could not be more wrong. I hope you were just playing, but if not keep doing your job. HATEING!!!

Primetime

October 17th, 2011
7:59 am

Check the championship rings. He didn’t get falcons typed on them. He deserves to be in hall of fame and was great when he was with falcons. Comments would be same if we were honoring brooking after he flapped his arms as a cowboy and brooking was falcons almost his entire career not just first few years. But I guess such comments are racist. Not too bright.

D man

October 17th, 2011
9:50 am

Welcome back Deion. Wish you had stayed the whole time but glad to see you back. You were the best cornerback I have ever seen play the game and fun to watch. Wow!!!

J Holley

October 17th, 2011
11:19 am

@tmc, your comments were on time, but I remember those days also. The Falcons were a joke, and except for some really good Bartkowski teams, this city didnt have that one ‘undeniably guaranteed’ player. Deon gave it a shot here, dont begrudge a man a chance to be great.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

October 17th, 2011
11:27 am

classicfalcon….u just dropped 2 there level.
Deion was the best cover corner ever…HOF, 2 time Super Bowl winner.
He was electrifying, yes, he bought attention to himself, but he was great for the game, I’d watch him on a 0-16 team. Did he say some stuff that mayde he shouldn’t have said? Sure did, but who hasn’t?

I usually just read but....

October 17th, 2011
1:09 pm

Peion Deion trashed the city, it’s fans and the Falcons. He’s trash. He does look to be correctly dressed in the ” fairy costume “.

Falcon James

October 17th, 2011
2:13 pm

I thinks we should give Deion the 56 million we paid Dunta and sees him play.

markie mark

October 17th, 2011
2:22 pm

Deion is undeniably the greatest corner in NFL history…whoever said he was a great baseball player doesnt know baseball. Deion was drafted by Atlanta, and repaid them with 5 great years. The Smith’s ran a cheap organization and I do not blame Deion for leaving; that being said, the way he acted when he came back to play in the dome still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I respect him, but I will never think of him as one of “ours” due to that fact.