Louis Riddick was on the call alongside Mark Jones for the Colorado-Colorado State game in Boulder on Saturday. And while the two seemingly had a lot of fun calling what many consider to be the college football game of the season thus far, none of it came as a surprise to Riddick.
When it comes to the 3-0 Colorado Buffaloes, it’s not that Riddick expected this to happen. We’ve rarely seen anything like this in college football before. But Riddick is very comfortable with Deion Sanders, a former teammate and someone he’s stayed in contact with over the years. Riddick understands that Sanders wants to be taken very seriously about what he’s trying to get done in Boulder.
“There’s no showmanship. There’s no Prime Time Deion when he’s in a production meeting,” Riddick told Rich Eisen on Tuesday’s The Rich Eisen Show. “He’s all about business. He’s all about trying to inform you about why he’s involved in coaching. How he’s trying to positively impact kids. How he’s trying to affect change in Colorado and Boulder. What he’s done to build up what really is a darn good staff that has a lot of football intelligence, football experience, football intellect, on it. What he has envisioned for the future, as far as how he thinks he needs to improve this football team. And he was very open and honest about all that.
“He also wanted to talk about how he’s trying to affect the future of prospective Black head coaches in college football and how that’s something that really means a lot to him. And he’s hoping that the way in which he is now going about his business, and the results that he’s getting, opens people’s eyes up to maybe different ways of perceiving people who don’t necessarily fit into a certain box. Everyone should not be forced to kind of conform to certain ideals in terms of how you express yourself and have that be something that really works against you, as far as your overall competency and your ability to get the job done.”
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) September 19, 2023
Riddick mentions that because Sanders is doing something that few college football fans have seen before, people are uncomfortable with that. His unconventional approach to coaching bothers his colleagues and media pundits alike. Eisen wanted to know why people still misconstrue Sanders as “unserious” and why he makes them feel uncomfortable.
“Because it does,” Riddick said, letting out a chuckle. “That’s not the way they expect or want it to ‘look like,’ because that’s not what they’re used to. Because quite honestly, Rich, long after we’re gone and my kids are in my position and their kids’ kids are in their position, there will be these biases that exist towards certain people that do things a certain way that will be passed down, meaning these biases from generation to generation, and I don’t think it’ll ever go away in totality.
“Now, will it lessen maybe as the generations continue to advance and kids become much more open-minded to a way of doing things that maybe the people of our generation are not? And I see that in the generation after us. I have kids…who look at things much differently. Much differently. Who are much more open-minded like they look at Deion and they go, ‘Yeah, I like that! I would love to play for someone like that. I’d love to be around something like that.'”
And people around the country have gravitated towards Deion, whether it’s top-flight recruits or celebrities like Lil Wayne and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
According to Riddick, Sanders’ way of going about things is not like everything else you typically see among the most successful college head coaches, both now and in the past.
“There are just old traditionalists for whatever—well, we know what some of the reasons are—that will never accept his way about going about it, and some that will,” Riddick said. “And there are some eyes that are being opened and people are going to be forced to reconsider, man. They just are.”
Based on Colorado’s start to the season and the TV ratings for their games, Riddick has a point.