Once again, it should be noted that I am a Barry Sanders fan.
And as such, I’ve been privy to the endless debates, often between Detroit and Dallas fans: Who’s the best back of the 90s, Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith?
These debates often digress into the realm of disrespect, where both players’ accomplishments are diminished or bashed.
“Yeah, but Barry never won a ring."
“Yeah, but Emmitt played behind the greatest offensive line ever.”
“Yeah, but Barry turned his back on the record.”
“Yeah, but Emmitt played on only for the record.”
The truth is, Smith is about to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, and the day should belong to him.
It’s nice to imagine a place where the greats of the past are honored and given their due simply because they were great. Instead of focusing on what a player didn’t do, they can be appreciated for all of the wonderful things they DID do.
Forget the comparisons—forget the debates.
So, as a Sanders fan, I say this..
Congratulations, Emmitt Smith.
You are a legend. You deserve EVERYTHING that you have earned.
You never were the fastest—just fast enough. Not the quickest—just quick enough.
And you've put up some numbers that no other back's have ever done. To top it off, you played with heart, determination and passion.
Those are the things that no one can ever deny.
And those are the things that should always define the greatness of Emmitt Smith.