Earlier this week, former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders said on Twitter that he was going to be "suiting up to play ball" on July 27, 2011. Throughout the week he has dropped hints about what exactly this "return" is all about. One of the hints is that the event will be held in New York City, and another is that only one coach could bring him back.
From the beginning it was obvious Sanders wasn't returning to professional football or anything like that, so I figured this was related to a charity football game. That's about as far as my guess went, though. The rest was a mystery to me until Pride of Detroit user BBlades left a comment linking to something called the Madden NFL 12 Pigskin Pro-Am. The event is set to take place on the afternoon of July 27 in New York City, and Barry Sanders is listed as one of the former players set to participate in it.
The NFL and EA have teamed up to create a unique and exciting program to celebrate EA’s release of NFL Madden 12. The Event will feature 2 teams of 10 participants playing a modified flag football game on a special field in Bryant Park, New York City. Each team will consist of 5 NFL alumni and 5 celebrities.
The Event will run similar to a typical NFL game with a pregame, 4 quarters and a halftime show. There will be unique twists to the game with special scoring opportunities. The event will be taped and is scheduled to air on NBC on August 27th at 7:00 pm est.
I'm assuming Sanders' tweet about how only one coach could bring him back was referring to John Madden. This event is tied in to the Madden NFL video game series, and Sanders is being brought back on the field for it to play with guys like Jerry Rice, Dan Marino, Tim Brown, Deion Sanders and Herschel Walker.
Well done, BBlades.