Charlie Sanders breakouts



THE SANDERS FILE

Full name: Charles Alvin Sanders

Birthdate: Aug. 25, 1946

Birthplace: Richlands, N.C.

High school: James B. Dudley (Greensboro, N.C.)

College: Minnesota

Presenter: William Clay Ford, Detroit Lions owner and chairman

Pro career: 10 seasons, 128 games

Drafted: 3rd round (74th overall) in 1968 by Detroit Lions

Uniform number: 88


SANDERS AND THE PRO BOWL

Charlie Sanders said his goal every year was to make the Pro Bowl. He hit his goal more than any tight end in the Hall of Fame. Pro Bowls for each Hall of Famer:

Player, Years, Pro Bowls

Charlie Sanders, 1968-77, 7

Dave Casper, 1974-84, 5

Mike Ditka, 1961-72, 5

John Mackey, 1963-72, 5

Jackie Smith, 1963-78, 5

Kellen Winslow, 1979-87, 5

Ozzie Newsome, 1978-90, 2


SANDERS NOTEBOOK

- It took only a few seconds for Charlie Sanders to decide who he wanted as his presenter. But he still sweated a lot longer before asking Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford to give him away to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “To be very honest with you, I had no doubt who I wanted to ask,” Sanders said. “But, again, I was afraid he’d say no. When I did ask him, it was very humbling because he says, ‘I’m honored.’ I’m sitting here saying, ‘No, I’m honored.’” The last time Ford Sr. presented a Lion into the Hall of Fame was 1973, when linebacker Joe Schmidt was enshrined. “I’ve known him for almost 40 years,” Sanders said of Ford Sr. “He was just the first person that popped into my mind because I have that much respect for him.”

- Sanders is 61 years old. When he was 7, he was not playing Nintendo growing up on a hog farm in Ridlands, N.C. “We didn’t have television,”Sanders said. “We did chores. We did what we were told.” And his reward when he finished? “We listened to the Lone Ranger on the radio,” Sanders said.

- Sanders didn’t take sports seriously until high school. He played four positions at the University of Minnesota. Sanders did not even think of playing in the NFL before he settled in at tight end as a senior. “I didn’t know anything (about pro football),” he said. “The next thing I know, I’m drafted, I’m going to the (College) All-Star Game and having some success. Norm Van Brocklin (first-year Atlanta Falcons head coach) said he thought ‘that Sanders kid’ was the sleeper of the draft. I caught 21 passes as a senior -- and I was the first tight end drafted.”

- The Lions nearly made one of their biggest mistakes ever with Sanders, and that’s saying a lot. The Hall of Famer almost never made it to Detroit to begin with. Lions General Manager Russ Thomas offered him only $15,000 to sign his rookie contract. The Toronto Argonauts offered $16,000. “We were almost to the Windsor Tunnel when I asked my agent to call the Lions,” Sanders said. “They gave me an extra $500, so I signed.”