The career of one of the best shut down cornerbacks to ever play the game can be defined as exuberant. His professional football career began the same day as his professional baseball career. From the day he was drafted-rocking shades and a jerry curl in his Fort Myers, Florida home-until the day he retired, Deion ‘Primetime’ Sanders made sure his name would be remembered forever through the art of dance.
Sanders was a stand out star in three sports: football, basketball and baseball during his time at Florida State. As a two time All-American dual threat at both the corner and wide receiver positions, Sanders earned the Jim Thorpe Award in 1988, which is awarded to the nation’s top corner every year.
Sanders entered the NFL as the 5th pick in the 1988 draft with vast potential and boasted an already rather impressive resume. Throughout his NFL career, Sanders performed so well under pressure that the world was ready for ‘Primetime,’ the nickname he earned from a high school friend was finally being recognized on the world stage.
His patented touchdown dance moves have been imitated by countless NFL players since the 90′s, but never duplicated. Against the St. Louis Rams, Steve Smith found himself in a feud with corner Janoris Jenkins. In the 3rd quarter, Smith burned Jenkins, pointed to him and began to do Deion’s dance.
As you can see, Smith stopped the dance and put his hands out as to say incomplete. Following the game Smith said that he needed to realize that “He is no Primetime, even though he thinks he is.” Smith is not the only modern player to recognize Primetime and his dance, and he certainly won’t be the last to do so. In his first ever game in Atlanta, rookie quarterback Cam Newton honored Deion’s dance as well back in 2011.
What made Primetime’s dance so imposing was the guarantee that he would start dancing well before he reached the endzone. With only a couple of exceptions, Deion would be high-stepping usually before he would hit the opponent’s 20 yard line on his way to zipping into the endzone with his 4.2 combine speed. In just one play, the nickname ‘Primetime’ can be epitomized.
In this particular video, Deion-as per usual-was engaged in a quarrel with an opposing player. Playing against Atlanta, the team that drafted him, Sanders got heated with former teammate Andre Rison. The following play, Deion picked off quarterback Jeff George and took the pick 93 yards to the endzone while talking trash and mocking the Atlanta Falcons along their sideline.
Entering the game, media increased the hype by turning the focus of the game primarily on Deion’s first return to the Georgia Dome since joining the 49ers, and Deion did not disappoint. Primetime did not back down when it was time for lights, camera and action-he simply shined the brightest.
Primetime was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2011, where he placed his patented bandana on top of his HOF bust’s head. Deion rocked a pair of gold shoes to his induction in order to align with his new gold jacket that represents his newest team, the HOF.
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