A new Prime Video documentary called “Bye Bye Barry” about legendary Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders premiered, featuring Eminem.
Marshall, a long-life, die-hard Lions fan, gave his own very personal and very well-informed perspective on the career of this outstanding football player who cut his successful career short and left the sport.
This new documentary is focused on Barry Sanders’s impact and the undercurrent powers that prevented him from reaching the peak of his potential. It is not the first attempt to do so, and Marshall noted that in a segment aired recently on Thursday Night Football:
I’ve seen every documentary on Barry Sanders that there is to see, and I never walked away feeling like I knew why he walked away. Still, to this day, everybody talks about how he is the greatest running back that ever played the game. And I know that he walked away at a time when he could have broken every single record there ever was and ever will be. So, why did he walk away?
Eminem drew attention to the fact that Barry Sanders was unique not only as a player but as a personality:
It just made him so much more likeable that fact that he was that good, I’ve never seen somebody be that good in something and be so humble.
The thing that made Sanders’s work more difficult was the lack of support, shows the documentary, and Marshall agrees:
I don’t wanna speak down about Emmitt Smith. Emmitt Smith was amazing. But he had a team. If we had a team like the Cowboys had, and we had Barry… Fuck. We would have been unstoppable.
But in the field, there was nothing that could stop Sanders, Em remembers:
Every time he got the ball, it felt like he’s gonna score a touchdown. There would be plays when, like, ten guys would jump on him. He’s down. And then, all of a sudden, he’d shoot out of the pile. What the fuck?! It was literally like watching a video game.
Marshall recalls what the Detroit fans felt when the legendary player retired in 1999:
Tears. Devastation. Like, literal, literal fucking devastation. We had the greatest running back that ever played the game.
While dedicated to Barry Sanders, this documentary shows another side of Marshall, the side we’ve known of for some time but are learning more about lately. Marshall is a dedicated and loyal fan of his home team who loves sharing the joy of watching the game with his family, who is involved emotionally, and who comes alive with a burst of a sports-induced adrenalin.
A good soundtrack for the movie deserves special notice, as Em’s commentary was laid over his own “Cinderella Man”, released on “Recovery” in 2010, a song inspired by a comparison between boxing and rap.