DALLAS -- Deion Sanders is one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play professional football, and he stamped his ticket to Canton on Saturday evening when he was welcomed into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his first ballot. He arrived at the media center wearing a "Prime" jogging suit.
Sanders retold the story about how he decided at age 7 that he would find a way to be a rich man. He wanted his mother, Connie Hicks, to be able to leave her job as a janitor.
"I will retire my mama," said Sanders on Saturday, thinking back to his youth. "And she hasn't worked since '89."
He said the children's book, "The Little Engine That Could" had a profound impact on his life.
"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can," said Sanders in a dramatic tone.
He talked about his passion for helping kids and said their "call" must be larger than themselves.
Sanders seemed genuinely moved to be flanked on the stage by Marshall Faulk, Shannon Sharpe, Michael Irvin and Rod Woodson. This is a man who knew he was destined for the Hall from the time he first stepped on the field with the Falcons. In addition to being a shutdown cornerback, he was a dangerous punt returner and could also line up at wide receiver. Everyone knew Sanders would make it on his first ballot.
He was a once-in-a-lifetime player who cashed in his constant self-promotion. He's someone who's always craved the spotlight, and he was in it once again Saturday evening.