As a new class of inductees enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 8, there is little doubt that eyes again will turn to Sanders, who could be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 2011.
In his first five seasons in the NFL, the Falcons' cornerback flashed glimpses of the player who retired as an eight-time Pro Bowl selection.
He finished his career as one of the more feared pass defenders and more versatile athletes in sports, boasting a part-time baseball career that spanned nine years.
He remains the only man to have played in a Super Bowl and a World Series (with the Braves). With the Dallas Cowboys in 1996, he became the NFL's first regular starter on offense and defense in 34 years.
Since retiring in 2005, Sanders has worked for the NFL Network, appearing on "GameDay Morning," "GameDay Highlights" and "NFL Total Access."
He has also founded Prime Time Association, a nonprofit organization aimed at reaching youth through sports and education.
In his travels with his PTA team, Sanders will make a stop at the Falcons' facility Tuesday.
Answers have been edited for length.
Q: What do you think about the fact that next year you could be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee?
A: Could be, I definitely could be, and that would be great. But what I can say is that I never played the game to be inducted into any Hall of Fame. I played the game because I wanted to be the best, not for an induction. All I wanted to do was be the best.
The game was greater than me. There was one accomplishment I wanted to achieve. I wanted to succeed so my mother wouldn't have to work. I saw how much she suffered, and whenever I was tired, that's what I thought about. That's what was important to me.
Q: Still, as talk revolves around great accomplishments, is there a part of your legacy that you are most proud of?
A: Honestly? My legacy as a father. Just being the father I've become to my kids. It's what I learned from my own mom and passed on to my kids.
She suffered to make sure my sister and I were the best-dressed at our schools. Her love and compassion for not only us, but to take care of our friends, my sister's friends. That's shaped me into the father I am. That's what I'm proudest of.
Q: In between all your accomplishments in football, is there an on-field accomplishment that sticks out in your mind?
A: Nope. I've been booed in sports. I've never been booed as a dad.
Q: You seem to always been involved with a new venture or project. What have you been focusing as of late?
A: PTA is it. This is my heart. All day I'm trying to give kids a way up and a way out. We began this program in 2008, and on a typical day, I get up at 6 a.m., work out, wake up the kids at 6:30 and have breakfast. I drive 45 minutes, and I'm there until 5.
Commentating has also kept me in the game. I love being able to articulate what the players are thinking and just being a mouthpiece for audiences. I think I do a good job.
My two youngest boys play football, so I'm at work on Sundays and I coach them on Saturdays. It's football all weekend.
I'm doing exactly what I want, and I'm right where I want to be. I love what I'm doing, between commentating and working, and I really couldn't ask for more.
Q: For nostalgia's sake, do you remember a favorite touchdown celebration?
A: No, not really. I just loved the touchdowns.