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Coach Deion Sanders, also known as "Prime," faced significant skepticism when he took on the role of rebuilding the Colorado Buffaloes football team. Many doubted his ability to succeed, dismissing his past accomplishments at Jackson State and even as a Hall of Fame football player in the NFL and questioning his plans for the future.
However, after a momentous victory over TCU on the road in Texas, Coach Prime had the opportunity to silence his critics and make a bold statement. We looked back at the journey of Coach Prime, highlighting the challenges he faced, the obstacles he overcame, and the impact he has made in a short period.
From the moment Coach Prime stepped onto the field, negativity surrounded him. People questioned whether he had what it takes to lead a struggling team to success. Many critics marked him off before he even started. Despite the skepticism, Coach Prime remained focused and determined to prove his worth. He understood that actions speak louder than words and set out to rebuild the football team with his unique vision.
Not only was he a very public person who literally said “Just watch”, he stepped out and also shared his faith and his ongoing struggles with his health. Never complaining, just fighting through it. To bring about change, Coach Prime had to make tough decisions. He had to replace the 87 individuals from the team who didn't believe in his methods. Those kids, their friends, alumni and the press jumped on the bandwagon in a major way. The portal was literally empty. It was a free for all of judgement and derision. As bad as it was it also allowed him to create space for those who shared his passion and exhibited dedication to improvement. By prioritizing attitude and commitment over sheer talent, Coach Prime aimed to foster a culture of belief and unity.
Following the big win over TCU, Coach Prime took the opportunity during a press conference to address the doubters. He revealed that he had kept receipts, documenting every negative comment made about him or the team. While some may have forgotten their remarks, Coach Prime was determined to remind them, highlighting their biases and lack of evidence.
This display of resilience and confidence left an indelible mark on the reporters and critics, showing them that their words would not be easily forgotten. We stepped away from that gossip early because we saw the positive impact his arrival had already generated especially when he chose north Longmont as home for him and his family.
As a writer, I have the privilege of covering Coach Prime's journey. While there was little evidence to support his success at the time, I chose to focus on his character and the potential for greatness. Rather than succumbing to the popular narrative, I recognized the importance of not judging someone based solely on their past achievements but rather looking at their ability to inspire and lead others effectively. Whether it’s sports, politics or even the way we are all going through life it might be time to change the focus to “Catch someone doing things right” instead of the cancel culture narrative out there now.
The victory over TCU is an indication of the transformative impact Coach Prime is having on the team. The respect and humility displayed by the players, attributing their success to their faith and other players and the collective effort, reinforces the positive culture instilled by their coach.
Coach Prime brings a fresh perspective to the game, challenging conventional norms and inspiring his players to become better athletes and individuals. Coach Prime's triumph over doubt and adversity serves as a testament to his determination and unwavering belief in his abilities. Despite early skepticism, he has built a foundation for success by putting character and commitment at the forefront. As the team continues to progress, it is clear that a new era under Coach Prime's leadership has begun. The future holds great promise, not only for the football program but also for the individuals who have embraced his vision. Coach Prime is leaving a lasting impression, showing the world what can be achieved when passion, resilience, and belief come together on the field.
The “media” is teeing up the “I told ya so” narrative for when he does make a mistake but I hope all of us realize it’s just to sell newspapers and that the real mission is being accomplished which is creating the next generation of leaders for our great country.