Thursday, April 22, 2010

Best Lions Draft Decision

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

There aren't many athletes that I can't stomach, but the two that stand out are former Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and Deion Sanders.

I'll discuss Marino another time but since the NFL Draft is tonight, the timing couldn't be better to talk about Sanders.

It's easy to point out the numerous draft mistakes the Detroit Lions have made over the years.

But there is one mistake they didn't make.

I'll never forget that before the 1989 Draft when Deion Sanders told the Lions it would be a wise move not to draft him because he didn't feel they'd either have enough money to sign him or wouldn't pay him the salary that he would command.

From that point on, just thinking of Deion Sanders made me sick. Instead, the Atlanta Falcons selected Sanders in the first round and fifth overall.

After his Atlanta stop, Sanders would play for the San Francisco 49'ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens in a career that would last until 2005.

Lets not forget that he also played baseball for four teams which included tenures with the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds on two occasions, and the San Francisco Giants. He was just a mediocre player who finished with a lifetime average of .263 with 558 hits and 186 stolen bases.

If there has ever been a high maintenance athlete, Deion Sanders is it!

Should Sanders ever get selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and I'm there to see it at the Press Conference, I'll take some medication to settle my stomach.

We all know that the Green Bay Packers took Tony Mandarich with the second overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. Mandarich became one of the biggest draft busts in league history.

The player Detroit selected behind Mandarich and ahead of Deion, with the third overall pick was a guy by the name of Barry Sanders, who played his entire career with one organization.

I'd say by selecting the 1988 Heisman Trophy winner that the Lions made out pretty well!

All Barry did was fill the Pontiac Silverdome, rush for 15,269 yards, get selected to 10 Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004 in a class that included John Elway, Carl Eller and Bob Brown.

But back to Deion. When I heard that in a Detroit News article that he hoped the Lions would give Pacman Jones another chance, this seemed strange. I guess Sanders forgot that the Lions are still owned by the Ford family, an organization that he had negative words about in 1989.

Before Sanders made his suggestion to the Detroit News, I might have had a soft spot for Pacman because of his past relationship with Jim Schwartz, who was with the Tennessee Titans when Jones was there.

Now I'm against the idea coming from a clown like Deion! I guess he figures the Ford family can afford Jones at a bargain basement price since he's had numerous chances and has failed them all.

Even Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones gave Pacman an opportunity to resurrect his career and surrounded him with good people but the player failed to straighten himself out. I don't care if he's been free of any legal troubles the past two years. Pacman, 26, hasn't been paid millions to blow his money and go back to his wild lifestyle.

I'm sure that even if Pacman does get back into the league, Commissioner Roger Goodell will put him under a "Zero Tolerance" policy. After dealing with the recent problems of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the last thing the commissioner wants to do is open up his Tylenol and take a couple pills or step up to the microphone at a press conference indicating the player is banned for life.

As for Deion, I refuse to listen to anything that he has to say on the NFL Network because I just simply dislike him!

Whatever he's learned by reading the Bible is all well and good and if makes him a better person then more power to him. But as I've stated in this blog, I can't stand the guy because he's full of hot air thus I have no respect for him!

Years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Barry Bonds when his San Francisco Giants lost to the Florida Marlins in the National League Division Series but chose to pass on that and instead got soaked with the winners at Joe Robbie Stadium.

All I can say Deion is if you ever read this blog, you wouldn't want to hear what I have to say to you. But perhaps you will if I ever attend your Hall of Fame selection.

Your "Prime Time" persona is as fake as it gets and whether you donate lots of money to charity, while that may be an admirable gesture, you also know it's a good tax write off especially in your tax bracket.

But I do know this, the Lions did draft the better Sanders by taking Barry, and the best two sports star I've ever seen is Bo Jackson.

Jackson was an excellent baseball player, great football player and if his NFL & MLB careers weren't cut short due to injuries, he'd get my Hall of Fame vote. Those that watch ESPN Classic can still appreciate Bo Jackson.

Here is another piece of advice for you Deion, if you want to give the Lions draft advice, perhaps you could work alongside of Martin Mayhew and he'll give you your two cents worth and you can voice your opinion. But then again, I have to ask myself, can the Ford's afford you after your football career?

Although the Ford's have never seen their football team reach a Super Bowl, they still have more money then you'll have in plenty of lifetimes.

Your eight Pro Bowls and two Super Bowl rings mean nothing to me. It's your superficial personality that makes me ill. If you can ever prove to me that you can build a championship team in the front office and respect good business people, then I won't nominate you for the Hall of Shame.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.


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