Devin Hester may have broken Deion Sanders’ record for most punt returns for a touchdown Thursday night, but there’s no rivalry at all between the two men.
Quite the opposite, actually. Hester refers to the Hall of Famer as his mentor; Sanders calls the longtime Chicago Bear who now plays for Atlanta his baby.
Hester tucked his hand behind his ear and highstepped into the end zone, Deion-style, during his record-breaking 56-yard return during the second quarter against Tampa Bay -- all under Sanders’ No. 21 jersey banner at the Georgia Dome with Prime Time himself in attendance as part of the CBS broadcast crew.
After the Falcons’ 56-14 blowout win, during which Hester also scored on a 20-yard run, the receiver/return specialist joined Sanders and company on the air.
It was a complete love fest between Hester and Sanders -- NFL style, of course. There were plenty of tears, embraces and professions of love, but with the word “man” sprinkled in at least a dozen times (plus one “dude” just to keep us on our toes), and all against the backdrop of a rowdy crowd chanting Hester’s name and being, well, rowdy.
Still, a pretty touching scene between two of the all-time greats.
“I love you, dude,” Sanders said to Hester. “And I’m so proud of you, man, I’m so proud of you. You know that.”
Hester told Sanders: “You’ve always been there for me, man, and I just, I look up to you, man. I really do, man. I really do. I really do.”