New Barry Sanders doc has brought out the love — and some hate


Barry Sanders: A Detroit Legend and Eminem’s Idol

Barry Sanders is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever step onto a football field. His electrifying runs and unmatched agility left fans in awe. So, when Sanders abruptly retired following the 1998 season, it left everyone stunned. One individual who calls Sanders the GOAT RB is Grammy award-winning rapper Eminem. Growing up around Detroit during the Sanders era of dominance in the NFL, Slim Shady’s fandom was on full display in his song “Bye Bye Barry” on Prime Video. The Hall of Fame running back was so moved that he took to social media to express his gratitude.

Eminem, like many hip-hop artists, entered the music industry with a competitive fire, much like athletes. He gained prominence as a battle rapper in the mid-1990s, around the same time Sanders was captivating the NFL. The debate about who was better, Sanders or Emmitt Smith, was a hot topic at the time. But nobody could deny the excitement and anticipation that came with watching Sanders play. Similarly, once Eminem hit the mainstream and proved he wasn’t just a gimmick like Vanilla Ice, his talent couldn’t be denied.

Both Sanders and Eminem were underdogs in Detroit, striving to put the city on the map. Despite the Lions not being a winning franchise during Sanders’ career, he won the hearts of football fans everywhere. No matter who you rooted for, everyone wanted to witness the spectacular plays Sanders unleashed against his opponents each week. Eminem saw a lot of Sanders as he climbed the rap ladder, being fortunate enough to live in Detroit. While basketball is the sport most closely associated with hip hop, Eminem’s admiration for Sanders shows that rap artists aren’t only drawn to hoopers.

Sanders responding to Slim via social media is a moment for the ages, considering the rarity of hearing from Sanders outside of his Heisman House commercials. The possibility of a collaboration between Eminem and Barry Sanders has fans buzzing, as it would be an awesomely awkward musical collaboration.

While many are excited about the new Sanders documentary, one of his former teammates, Scott Mitchell, is not on board. Mitchell, a former Lions quarterback, expressed his frustration on Facebook, claiming that he was tired of being blamed for Sanders’ lack of a Super Bowl win. Mitchell’s four years playing with Sanders didn’t result in a lifelong friendship off the field, and it seems he holds some resentment. It’s worth noting that Mitchell wasn’t the only Lions quarterback of Sanders’ career, but he is the one most people remember handing him the ball. Perhaps Mitchell just needs a hug this holiday season.

Barry Sanders’ impact on the game and his influence on fans, including Eminem, is undeniable. His legacy as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history lives on, and his connection with the people of Detroit will never fade. As we eagerly await a potential collaboration between Sanders and Eminem, we can continue to appreciate the impact both of these legends have had on their respective fields.

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