INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Bob Sanders is a Super Bowl Champion who's known for his physical play and big hits. But when he and his parents sat down for an exclusive interview with 24-Hour News 8, it became obvious that there's much more to the Colts safety than hard hits. It's probably not something you expect to hear from a reigning defensive player of the year but Bob Sanders admits he's a mamma's boy and he's proud of it. "Anytime I get a chance to be with my parents...truly a blessing," said Bob. "They are my parents and I respect them but we are like friends. We talk about anything" Bob Sanders' father, Marion, and mother, Jean, have eight kids. The Sanders knew from a very young age that Bob was special. "Back flips, front flips any kind of flips you wanted him to do he could do it. I've always wanted, always dreamed of doing what my son Bob was able to do," said Marion. That athletic ability got Bob a football scholarship to Iowa but he almost didn't make it as a Hawkeye. "Definitely times when I doubted myself. I remember when I first went to college I flew to college to start football camp. A lot of people don't know this, but I really didn't want to be there. I wanted to quit, I just was going through a little phase...never been a way from my parents...an instant 12-hour drive away," said Bob.
In Indianapolis, Marion and Jean's son is a hero. But in their hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania he's a legend and not just because what he does on the football field. "He loves kids, helping children," said Jean. "It's something I've always dreamt about, helping kids, being interactive with kids," said Bob. Another little known fact about Bob is his real name. "I want to be called Demond. It really didn't happen no matter how much I tried to get people to call me Demond. Maybe when I'm done playing football I'll get my real name back," said Bob. Bob was born Demond Sanders but his mom had too many nicknames for her youngest son and one eventually stuck. "I use to call him 'boy-boy'. He was my boy-boy. So after he got older, maybe three, four, he's getting too old to be called boy-boy. What am I going to call him now? So, I'll call him Bob. That's how we started calling him Bob," said Jean.
"I called him Bob from Day One. I would never call him Demond because that's not a fit name for him. As far as I'm concerned always call him Bob," said Marion. There you have it. If Dad says it's "Bob" it's Bob and number 21 doesn't argue.
"As long as I make these two people happy, I feel good. Nothing else is to me, right now, more important then making my parents proud, said Bob. Tuesday night at 11, Bob will talk about his injury-plagued career and why he plays and practices full force all the time.