If there’s ever been a human marketing machine, Deion Sanders is one.
I believe Neon Deion, aka Coach Prime, could sell milk to a cow and hard-boiled eggs to a chicken.
My alma mater, the University of Georgia, might have back-to-back national championship rings, and the Dawgs are ranked No. 1, but Coach Prime’s Colorado Buffaloes have hogged the publicity so far this season.
Deion has a polarizing personality. Either you like him, or you’d rather never see or hear him again.
I like Deion’s high energy, swashbuckling spirit. It is what it is.
Oh, I could do without the overload of bling and his wearing sunglasses after sundown.
But Coach Prime is an unvarnished version of a phenomenal two-sport professional athlete. He’s an NFL Hall of Famer who has leveraged every ounce of his personality to fame and fortune. If Rolls-Royce made a pickup truck, it wouldn’t hold the millions he has made or will make.
More power to him. And to his five children, who will cash in on the Sanders name, too. Colorado’s quarterback, Shedeur Sanders, is reportedly making $5 million this year, thanks to the Name Image and Likeness (NIL) jackpot for amateur athletes.
But this isn’t about the gaudy amount of money that is drawn to the Sanders-name magnet.
It’s about entertainment for me. What Deion is apt to say or do is a breakaway from mudslinging politics and the daily avalanche of negativity in the news.
Here’s what ESPN’s Olivia Harlan Dekker (a UGA grad and daughter of broadcasting icon Kevin Harland) had to say when she witnessed Neon Deion light up a convention audience. Dekker said, “He was electric in this room. He had people hanging on every word and clapping after every sentence. Everything that he says sounds like a bumper sticker, or it should be sewn on a pillow.”
So, what did Coach Prime have to say after the Oregon Ducks clipped the wings of the high-flying Buffaloes, 42-6? He told the world that Colorado got “a good, old-fashioned butt-kicking.” And he told his trampled herd of cleated bison, “Get your butt up and let’s go. We ain’t got time to have a pity party. Ain’t nobody walking around the locker room with napkins and tissues.”
I am entertained by Deion Sanders’ stories.
Here’s one I heard years ago:
Deion was negotiating with Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys.
Jerry said, “Ok, Deion, what’s it going to be, $7 million or $8 million?”
“Coach,” the superstar said, “I’ll take them both.”
As the story goes, the Cowboys paid Deion $15 million.
If that’s not the truth, it should be.
I repeat: Coach Prime, as he is called today, is a human marketing machine.
He could sell milk to a cow.
And hard-boiled eggs to a chicken.