Lions fans are sure to enjoy the new documentary Bye Bye Barry about the career and retirement of Barry Sanders, but one former Lions player didn’t care for it.
Former Lions quarterback Scott Mitchell believes he was unfairly singled out for criticism, particularly in interviews from a couple of celebrity Lions fans who said Sanders would have brought Detroit a Super Bowl title if not for poor quarterback play.
“I am so tired of hearing how I was the reason that Barry Sanders never won a Super Bowl,” Mitchell wrote on Facebook, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. “I’m so tired of hearing how I was not a good QB. My only response is F___K YOU ALL!!!!! That includes Eminem [and] Jeff Daniels.”
Former Lions head coach Wayne Fontes says in the documentary that the Lions had an opportunity to acquire Hall of Fame quarterbacks Warren Moon and Joe Montana late in their careers and that signing them could have been the difference. Mitchell wasn’t happy with Fontes’ comments.
“I can’t even began to tell you what a disappointment it is to [hear] my own coach, Wayne Fontes, who went out in free agency and actively [pursued] me to the point of begging me to come to Detroit, say that he wanted Joe Montana or Warren Moon, and that the only thing that was missing from the team winning the Super Bowl was a quarterback,” Mitchell wrote. “A little support from the coach might have gone a long way. Wayne never had my back!”
Mitchell also says Sanders himself bears some of the blame for the Lions’ string of first-round playoff exits in the 1990s.
“Bottom line, Barry Sanders had everything in Detroit,” Mitchell wrote. “Everyone loved him. Everything was built for Barry to succeed. In his 10-year career he won one playoff game and the only reason he didn’t win more was everyone else was the problem? How many yards did Barry have in the playoffs in ’94, ’95, ’97? I’ll give you a hint not very many. We all are to blame for not winning a [Super Bowl] in Detroit even Barry Sanders.”
For the record, Sanders ran for -1 yard in the Lions’ 1994 playoff loss, 40 yards in the Lions’ 1995 playoff loss and 65 yards in the Lions’ 1997 playoff loss. It’s valid to say Sanders did not have a great playoff track record, though it’s also correct to say that Sanders never got to play with a great quarterback. Whether Mitchell wants to hear that or not.
First appeared on www.nbcsports.com