Deion Sanders hands out sunglasses on First Take. Deion Sanders hands out sunglasses on First Take. (Awful Announcing on Twitter.)

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):

“I got gifts!” Sanders also distributed those sunglasses to Colorado players Friday. And there, he said Norvell’s comments “just helped me with business”:

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]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.