The much-anticipated Barry Sanders' documentary "Bye, Bye Barry" is now available on Amazon Prime. The reasons behind the Detroit Lions' Hall of Fame running back's early and sudden retirement are revealed, as was promised.
An easy reason Sanders retired with just one playoff win and no Super Bowls is that he never had a high-end quarterback. There's certainly merit to that conversation. with the recent revelations about Joe Montana and Warren Moon as their careers were winding down. (Sanders confirmed the Montana story, and Wayne Fontes adds in the documentary he wanted Moon).
The Lions ultimately signed Scott Mitchell in 1994 free agency. He spent five seasons with the Lions, with a couple notably productive campaigns. A couple Lions' celebrity fans, Jeff Daniels and Eminem, are interviewed in the documentary suggesting Sanders would have brought a Super Bowl to Detroit if he had better quarterback play around him.
Mitchell has not taken kindly to that sentiment.
Former Lions Scott Mitchell goes on social media rant over portrayal in Barry Sanders documentary
Via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Mitchell went on Facebook to rant against his portrayal in the documentary.
Mitchell started out heaping praise Sanders. Then he went all-in the other direction.
"However, I am so tired of hearing how I was the reason that Barry Sanders never won a Super Bowl," Mitchell continued. "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."
Then Mitchell went in on Fontes, the former Lions' head coach.
"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 continued, pointing the finger toward Sanders while also suggesting the franchise's lack of patience was a factor in not winning a Super Bowl.
"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."
Mitchell's second season in Detroit (1995) was one of the best for a quarterback in Lions' history (4,338 yards, 32 touchdowns, 12 interceptions). And Sanders' playoff record was not great, with -1, 40 and 65 yards in the playoff losses Mitchell noted.
Whatever other factors were in play for his not winning a Super Bowl, there's absolutely no doubt Sanders never got to play with a great quarterback. Mitchell may not want to hear that, especially called out in the public forum it now has been, but it's undeniable.