Did CBS Sports get the Detroit Lions franchise five right?

Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images /
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Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions
Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions have a rich history of great players. Was CBS right about the franchise five?

The Detroit Lions history over the last six decades has been comical at best. Yet even in the sea of frustration that the Honolulu Blue and Silver have created, there are a few sparkling gems.

Perhaps the most sparkling was former Lions running back, and current Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders. The man whose running style still defies the imagination and creates a buzz whenever he is mentioned.

Even two decades after he retired the name of Barry Sanders is spoken of with reverence in the Motor City, as well as anywhere else that the game is appreciated. Even those misguided Cowboys fans who somehow mistakenly believe that Emmitt Smith was a better runner, still stand in awe at what Barry could do on the field.

When Barry roamed the Silverdome, he was not only highly regarded by the fans, but his peers alike who admired him as a person as much as an athlete. Yet even the biggest and strongest defenders lived in fear of Barry.

Not the traditional type of fear that might come from a power back like Earl Campbell running over them, but the fear they would appear on Barry’s next poster diving at air while Barry made them look like a fool as he juked them out of their shoes.

Just ask Hall of Fame cornerback Rod Woodson who blew out his knee in the 1995 season opener being juked by Barry. Woodson was one of the best pure athletes to ever play the game, yet even with his many gifts, Barry made him look inept and sent him to the sidelines with a non-contact injury.

Yes, despite the pitiful history of the Detroit Lions since their last championship in 1957, this franchise has had some outstanding players. This past Tuesday cbssports.com named the Lions ‘franchise five’. The five best or most influential players or coaches in team history. The question is; did they get it right?