Former Titan shares memories with Rotarians
Posted: Monday, January 31, 2011 9:04 pm
By: Kenneth Coker, Messenger Sports Reporter
By KENNETH COKER
Though he was on the sideline for the Tennessee Titans’ “Music City Miracle,” Chris Sanders insisted the storied play wasn’t anywhere close to being the most divine moment in his life.
However, Sanders — who played for the Titans/Oilers’ franchise from 1995-2001 — does compare the most memorable play he witnessed during his eight-year NFL career with his personal life.
At Friday’s Union City Rotary Club meeting, the Ohio State product — who broke Olympic legend Jesse Owens’ school long jump record at the institution — first told of how he recalled looking up at the clock during the playoff game against the Buffalo Bills just prior to the famed play and how it helped to connect his life’s dots years later.
“I remember standing on the sidelines and wishing there was some way we could win the game and get to the Super Bowl,” Sanders said of the moments before the Bills’ kicked off. “I looked at the clock and there were 16 seconds left. It seemed hopeless. First, they kicked off to (Lorenzo) Neal, who never caught (a kickoff). He might as well have had two elbows (for hands). He gives it (Frank) Wycheck, who had the worst arm in the league.
“But then I see (Kevin) Dyson carry it in and I realize that if there’s just 16 seconds left, a miracle can happen.”
Flash forward a few years and Sanders was reminded of what can happen while there’s still time in the game of life.
“I came to a point about seven or eight years ago where I wanted to quit,” Sanders told. “I was hopeless. I had gone through a divorce and I was at a point where I wanted to end my life.
“Even in that hopeless moment, God stepped out of eternity and told me there was still time on the clock. It’s hard to be a husband. It’s hard to be a father, but when I get down, I’m reminded of one of my favorite movie of all time — “Rocky.” His cornerman yelled at him that there was one more round after he was knocked down a couple times. That’s what God reminded me of. My life has a few rounds remaining.”
Sanders also talked a little NFL shop while he was at the Rotary Club’s meeting and the hot topic of the day, obviously, was Jeff Fisher’s departure from the Titans after 16 seasons.
“I think he’s a great coach,” said Sanders, who is now the wide receivers and track coach at Montgomery Bell Academy. “I was surprised the way it was done and wonder why it wasn’t done three weeks ago. I think something happened behind closed doors.
“All the higher-ups wanted Fisher a few weeks back and now he’s gone. Something had to give.”
Sanders also gave his opinion of where he believes Vince Young will end up, stating that Houston or Minnesota are the best suitors in his mind.
“He would fill the stadium every week in Houston,” said Sanders, who was in town to speak at a weekend men’s conference of the Beulah, Dyer and Gibson County Baptist associations hosted by Union City’s Second Baptist Church.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 1.31.11