Sanders primed for Super Bowl Stage presence: On media day, to no one's surprise, the Cowboys' Deion Sanders steals the show.

January 24, 1996|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

TEMPE, Ariz. -- "Ready. Everybody ready. Everybody ready. Ready," Deion Sanders shouted as he started his session with the media yesterday in the stands at Sun Devil Stadium.

He then paused and said, "I'm b-a-a-a-c-k."

Sanders was back at the Super Bowl -- an appropriate stage for the man who calls himself "Prime Time."

"It's the biggest sporting event in the world," he said.

It surpasses the World Series in his eyes because the NFL doesn't play four to seven games.

"This is a one-time shot, man," he said. "This is cool."

It wasn't surprising that Sanders drew the biggest crowd for media day.

"You guys want me to say something outrageous so you can run with it. You guys can run with stuff that you're going to say I said. I'm ready to deal with that," he said.

Sanders, though, understands why he attracts a crowd even when he's not outrageous.

"You guys never know what I'm going to say, never know what I'm going to do and you always want to be there just in case it's one of those real good ones," he said.

He disappointed reporters by denying he's the Joe Namath of the 1990s, or that he guaranteed a Super Bowl win when he pointed out after the NFC title game the recent history of the Super Bowl (11 straight NFC victories).

"I don't guarantee those things man. That is a dumb question. I'm supposed to fall for that one? History states that this game has been one-sided, and I hope it stays with tradition," he said.

Sanders conceded the Cowboys are a team the fans love to hate.

"We're good and we know we're good and we let you know we're good," he said.

The reporters did their best to get Sanders to be outrageous.

He was asked if he turned down a part in the movie "Showgirls."

"That I turned down the lead role in 'Showgirls?' That's a vicious rumor," he said.

Not that Sanders doesn't imagine himself as an actor.

"I'm like a Wesley Snipes and Denzel [Washington] all in one package. You don't realize, man, I've acted all my life. I'm acting now. This is part of the act. No. I'm just joking with you. This is real now," he said.

With Sanders, it's hard to tell when the act ends and reality begins.

"I don't handle failure well. I hate that word. I hate two words in my life: failure and broke. I don't like those words," he said.

Asked how he'd like to be remembered, he said:

"As a good father, not as a football player, not as an athlete, but as a good father."

He said that he doesn't know if he'll continue to play baseball and that he hopes to finish his playing career with the Cowboys.

But enough serious talk. He also said he'd like to eventually become general manager of the Atlanta Falcons when he finishes his playing career.

"It'd be fun negotiating and playing for me," he said.

When asked what he'd do if the fans complained to GM Sanders about players dancing in the end zone, he said complaints would only come from people from the old school.

"I think people want to be excited. Man, go to opera if you don't want to see people having a good time," he said.

Could the Cowboys have made the Super Bowl without him? "Probably so," he said.

So were the Cowboys right to pay him a $13 million signing bonus to lure him from San Francisco?

"I said probably so. The key word in that sentence was probably," he said.

Sanders said he didn't want to be a role model.

"You should mold your own child. You shouldn't put that burden on myself with talk about being a role model. I don't want your kid to be like me. I want your kid to be better than me," he said.

Sanders insisted he can walk away from the limelight.

"It won't be hard for me to leave the game. A lot of guys, it's very difficult because they love the fame and the fortune and everything. That's not hard for me," he said.

Was that part of the act or reality?

With Sanders, you never know.

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