When sports fans think of Deion Sanders, a couple of key phrases come to mind: play-maker, game-changer, Hall Of Famer, Prime Time. Known as one of the most electrifying players to ever set foot in the NFL (and at one point Major League Baseball), “Neon Deion” Sanders has left his mark in the record books for years to come. Now as his football-playing days are over, Sanders aims to leave his mark in a more important place: his community.
Deion’s Family Playbook, Sanders’ reality show on the OWN Network, offers an inside look into both Sanders’s immediate family—including his different relationships with his own five children as well as caring for five more—and his workings with his Dallas-based charter school. But it isn’t too much for the 47-year-old Hall of Famer. In fact, he’s used his athletic background and the allure sports have for the youth to integrate life lessons with his players.
“Giving back to the community has been in me since I was a child,” Sanders says. “Most of the boys in my school come from single mother homes. So if I can have these boys spend up to eight to 10 hours with me, that’s time for some real teaching there. It allows me to potentially know them better than the parents themselves.”
His candid relationships with both his children and his student/athletes shine through in the show, and it also provides a feel to Deion’s Family Playbook that people can relate to. Add his longtime girlfriend (Hollywood producer Tracey Edmonds), his wonderful mother Connie, and the lovely house manager “Aunt” Vette, you have a self-described “ball of chaos that works.”
“It’s so many storylines that we actually have to cut out,” Sanders says. “We have to fit all of this in 44 minutes. It’s hard. But it’s a great problem to have. Our family dynamic is wonderful, and I’m happy it shows on the screen. I can only hope that the people can look at our family and relate to it somehow, some way.
Tune in every Saturday at 9pm for television enjoyment the whole family can enjoy, in pure “Prime Time” fashion.
Cory Townes was born and raised in Philadelphia, and currently lives in Brooklyn. A devout Philly sports fan, Townes is the Social Media Manager for EBONY.com. When he’s not saluting the plug or bringing headbands back in the 2015, you can reach him on Twitter @CoryTownes.