Earlier this week, Colorado State Rams coach Jay Norvell went on his own coach’s radio show and took some shots at Colorado Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders ahead of the sides’ matchup Saturday. Norvell specifically took issue with Sanders wearing a hat and sunglasses in interviews, saying “When I talk to grown-ups, I take my hat and my glasses off.”
Well, Sanders fired back in strong terms Thursday on social media. And on Friday, he leaned into that more still in an appearance on ESPN’s First Take (live from Boulder as part of the network’s extensive coverage ahead of that game, which will be broadcast on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET Saturday night), handing out pairs of his own line of Blenders sunglasses to Stephen A. Smith, Shannon Sharpe, and Molly Qerim (while a banner ran on screen promoting them, no less):
With First Take in Boulder, Deion Sanders started his appearance by passing out pairs of his Blenders sunglasses. That was a not-so-subtle jab at Jay Norvell's comments of "When I talk to grown-ups, I take my hat and my glasses off. That’s what my mother taught me." pic.twitter.com/ld4m7RnY22
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 15, 2023
“I got gifts!” Sanders also distributed those sunglasses to Colorado players Friday. And there, he said Norvell’s comments “just helped me with business”:
This week, CSU coach Jay Norvell said that he "takes his glasses and hat off" when talking to adults.
Deion Sanders has his own line of sunglasses with Blenders — and has now given a pair to every Colorado football player.
"They don't realize they just helped me with business.” pic.twitter.com/GwxJXAzwEX
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) September 15, 2023
Norvell’s comments on Sanders drew a lot of criticism even before Sanders weighed in. But Sanders’ response has made them more notable still. And unlike some of his past media battles, there is a clear and actual thing for Sanders to respond to here. (And this certainly helped him promote his sunglasses, giving at least a minimal news hook to him handing them out on First Take: he might have done it anyways, but that would have been more of a straight promotion than a notable reaction. And all the “adults” here seemed fine with conversing while wearing sunglasses.)
And this further adds to the anticipation for a Saturday night game that normally might not be that compelling, with Colorado starting as a 21-point favorite and that line currently favoring them by 23.5 points. But it’s a game that both ESPN and Fox will have their pregame shows at Saturday morning (something it’s particularly rare to see Fox do). And the Norvell-Sanders media fight certainly isn’t lowering its profile.
[Awful Announcing on Twitter]