Oct 2, 1994; Tampa, FL, USA; FILE PHOTO; Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders (20) in action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tampa Stadium. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders is the latest athlete who will be using a sports documentary to share his side of a story.

This story will center on Sanders’ shocking decision to retire at the peak of his career before the beginning of the 1999 season. At the time, Sanders was just 1,457 yards shy of surpassing Walter Payton for the all-time NFL rushing record and had just turned 31 years old. He had just ran for 1,491 yards the year before and was only two years removed from rushing for 2,000 yards.

Sanders has teamed together with Amazon Studios and Prime Video for what he has called “the definitive movie on my life” that will answer once and for all “the great mystery of why I walked away.”

The documentary is called “Bye Bye Barry” and will be available for streaming on November 21st, two days before the Lions host their traditional Thanksgiving Day game.

Sanders’ stunning retirement shook the sports world as he walked away from the Lions while he still had plenty left in the tank. There were no debates about number of carries and shelf life for running backs or whether the position is undervalued back in Sanders’ day. He played all 16 games in seven of his ten seasons including his last five years with Detroit and was one of the faces of the league.

What’s peculiar here though is that Sanders already shared a little bit surrounding his retirement in 2003 when he wrote his autobiography, “Now You See Him … His Story in His Own Words” (which ironically enough was also released during Thanksgiving week). According to an AP story at the time, Sanders shared that he retired because he was frustrated over the Lions’ constant losing, “Former All-Pro running back Barry Sanders says he quit the NFL because he was exhausted and frustrated that the Detroit Lions’ front office did not seem willing to build a winning team.”

Is there more to the story than that? It really hasn’t been questioned beyond that for the last two decades, but clearly Sanders feels as though there’s more to offer in documentary form.

Sanders has never been eager to step into the spotlight, either in his playing days or his post-playing career. In comparison to some of his contemporaries, Sanders kept one of the lowest profiles imaginable for a true superstar. So the promise of him sharing the full story behind his retirement will be worth watching, if there’s actually something more there. Unlike some of the other recent athlete documentaries that have been little more than vanity projects, at least this will serve some kind of purpose. At least we hope.