Deion Sanders Tells Tom Brady About The Role Muhammad Ali Had In Shaping Who Deion Is

Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders wearing sunglasses

Getty Image / RJ Sangosti / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post

The old saying goes ‘never meet your heroes’ because that meeting can go wrong in so many ways. They can be disappointing, you can embarrass yourself, they might not be nice or live up to expectations, and an infinite number of other unpleasant scenarios could play out, or they could live up to the hype like when Deion Sanders met Muhammad Ali.

Shedeur and Deion Sanders joined Tom Brady on the Let’s Go! podcast this week. They discussed Deion’s son and Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders driving a Rolls Royce Cullinan with a base price of $374,000.

Tom Brady quickly snapped into Dad Mode™ when Deion asked him if Shedeur should be driving a car that expensive, saying “I think he needs to get his (butt) in the film room and spend as much time in there as possible… Less time in the car and more time in the film room.”

The Time Deion Sanders Met Muhammad Ali

To most up-and-coming and current athletes in America right now, Deion Sanders is that dude. He was one of the greatest Florida State Seminoles of all time before embarking on an NFL Hall of Fame career (2 Super Bowls) all while finding time to play professional baseball and help his team reach the World Series in 1992.

And that was just Chapter 1 for Deion. He’s now leading the Colorado Buffaloes to a 3-0 season start in his first season in Boulder. His son, Shedeur Sanders, already has more passing yards through 3 games than any Colorado QB had all of last season. He is that dude. But when Deion Sanders was young, Muhammad Ali was that dude to him.

On the Let’s Go podcast, Tom Brady’s co-host Jim Gray asked Deion Sanders “how much Muhammad Ali do you have in you?” What he’s really asking here is ‘how much of the showmanship in your life comes from watching Muhammad Ali when you were young?’ Gray added “you make it so much fun but you’re serious when you have to be.”

Deion Sanders goes on to tell a story about meeting his hero, Muhammad Ali. Saying “I have one picture in my weight room back in Texas. It says ‘all I did was stand for what I believe.’ And that was from Muhammad Ali.”

Sanders goes on to say he got the opportunity to meet Muhammad Ali ‘and congregate with him once’ at an event in Arizona. Deion says “I downplayed it but that was like… Shoot, Ali was IT to me. He was everything to me. And it’s so funny that you meet your hero… and he waived me into his room at this big suite and he says ‘you, (you’re) a Godly man, right? Come on in here.'”

Deion Sanders said Muhammad Ali had a massive stack of papers all consisting of the inconsistencies of The Bible. And Ali then quizzed Deion on those inconsistencies and how he reconciles with those inconsistencies.

Deion said “well, if I describe you, you have on khaki pants. Somebody (else) would say you have on tan pants. Somebody (else) would say you have on comfortable relaxed pants. We’re saying the same thing but we’re just saying it differently.”

Ali responded “alright, alright, you got me on that one, but what about this?” To which Deion responded “They say the Holy Spirit is this, this, and this. It’s like ice melting… Like a piece of ice that’s really water but if you put steam to it (then) it evaporates. That’s how it is.”

Deion said the conversation went like this for a while, back and forth. But getting to sit with his hero, Muhammad Ali, and talk about the Bible and things of that nature was “a beautiful thing” according to Deion who added “I grew up on Ali and he was my guy. Not just on the field but off the field he played a tremendous role in society. So he was my guy.”

Based on a Getty Image search, I believe this meeting between Deion Sanders and Muhammad Ali came at The Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona back in March 2003 for ‘Celebrity Fight Night IX with Muhammad Ali.’

After beating Colorado State in overtime, Sheduer Sanders said he went into ‘Brady Mode.’ Tom also praised Shedeur’s performance after week 1 on the Let’s Go! podcast and Shedeur has (had?) an NIL deal with Tom Brady’s brand so this was a pretty special episode from start to finish.

The full Let’s Go! podcast episode with Tom Brady, Shedeur and Deion Sanders can be streamed above on Spotify.