Tonight is the last episode of the debut season of Running Wild With Bear Grylls on NBC and he takes NFL legend, Deion Sanders, on the adventure of his lifetime in the wilds of Utah, where he is tested to his limits! It is the very first camping trip NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has ever been on. Sanders definitely has the strength and physical endurance for the challenges that Bear Grylls will undoubtedly have in store for him; but, will he be out of his element so much, that he decides to quit?
At the beginning of Running Wild With Bear Grylls, Bear Grylls says that when he was growing up, “all the kids knew the name of Deion Sanders.” Then, he added, “He is not just a celebrity, he is an incredible athelete.”
Deion Sanders is waiting for Grylls to show up, and when Grylls arrives by helicopter, Deion says “It’s about to get real.”
Bear Grylls asks him if he has ever been on a helicopter before and Deion tells him yes.
“Okay; it’s kind of the same, only different,” Bear says. The “different” part is that they will be standing on the skids of the helicopter as it flies to their destination in Utah. When they arrive, Deion unclips Bear and Grylls jumps off; then, Deion does the same for himself.
“Our plan,” Bear says, “is that we have an exit point about 12 miles away from here.”
Bear gives him a knife and tells him that there might be mountain lions and snakes around. Deion is not at all happy to hear the word “snakes.”
“So what about camping in the back yard?”
“We lived in the inner city. I didn’t camp in the backyard,” Deion says.
When they start heading down a cliff, Bear tells the camera “The wilderness is unpredictable. Things slide out from underneath you.”
They make their way through canyons and narrow places in between rock formations and come to where there is some water they wade through.
Bear is a bit out of breath. “If you’re struggling, what do you think that I’m going to do?” Deion asks him.
As they begin to rappel downward, Grylls makes it to the bottom of a cliff before Deion and encourages Sanders on. “That’s good; that’s good!” Grylls says. “You’re doing great!”
At the bottom, there is some water that has collected, forming a shallow natural pond-like area that they both wade through. “What’s in the water, man?” Deion asks him.
“I gotta be straight with you — there may be snakes in it,” Grylls says. Deion runs to get out of the water as quickly as he can.
“I think I just spotted dinner,” Bear then tells Deion.
“Oh, no! Oh, no!” Deion answers and starts running in the opposite direction. Then, Running Wild With Bear Grylls went to its first commercial break.
“You better stop playing man!” Deion yells.
“That’s dinner! Give me your knife! Listen, it’s just a king snake. I need your knife,” he cut off the head and started chasing Deion with the headless snake.
“Who does that, man? Who chases another man in the wild with a snake?” Deion asks Grylls.
Grylls skinned the snake and Deion told him “You keep the knife; I don’t want it back.”
Deion tells Grylls about growing up in the Projects, dreaming that all he wanted to do “was rescue my momma.”
He says that his mom cleaned up at a local hospital, “like a janitor,” but he told his friends that she was a nurse. One of them found out what she really did, and he said it was stupid, but he felt bad that his mom was someone who cleans up after other people. He says that he tried to do whatever he could so that his mom would not have to work a day more, and eventually, he did just that.
Bear rappelled down the side of a cliff and said “Now, it’s your turn You’re looking great!”
“That’s a lie. I know when I’m being lied to,” Deion says.
“I just rappelled down a 60 foot cliff,” Deion tells the camera. “It might have been more. By the time I get done talking about it, it will be more.” That was just the first part of their journey down the mountainside. The episode then went to another commercial break.
“I think he’s lost it. I think the man has lost his mind,” Deion says, when Grylls tells him they are going to rappel some more and he is going to be Deion’s “brake man.”
“C’mon, Deion! Lean out! The more you lean out, the easier it’ll be! The man, the legend!” he adds when Deion gets to the bottom.
“I know a lot of people who would back away from that. It takes courage.”
“Where do you usually sleep?”
“In a bed a can rool over about five times.”
When they find a suitable place to camp, he shows Deion how to start a fire. They take off their pants to let them dry.
“Snake kebob,” Bear says. He offers Deion some, but Deion does not want to eat any of it.
“Behind the mask, I’m really different from my public persona,” he tells Bear. It’s not the person I am.”
Bear asks him about what he did after the Super Bowl victory he was in, and Deion says that he was the first one on the bus and the first one to bed. It was around the time of his first divorce. He had suicidal thoughts and drove his car off a cliff but it did not flip over like he thought it would.
After that low point in his life, he gave himself over to God and he eventually won custody over all of his kids. “I wanted to be the perfect father,” He tells Bear. “I know all of their clothes sizes, their shoes sizes. I know how to braid my daughter’s hair. If it’s all about you, then you’ve lost.”
Deion is worried about going to sleep, that some animal might try to attack them in the middle of the night. He says “I’m going to kill anything that sneaks up on me,”
“Goodnight, Deion,” Grylls tells him. “Watch out for the mountain lions.” Then, the show went to yet another commercial break.
“Hey, Deion. How did you sleep, my man?” Bear asks Deion in the morning.
“I didn’t sleep,” Deion answers Grylls. “You farted seven times in the middle of the night. How do I know? I was awake.”
“I’m warning you, Deion,” Grylls tells Sanders about what is yet ahead of them. “It’s all uphill from now on. Our extraction point will be on the top of a mesa.”
“Man, Bear wants to climb this mesa. It’s dangerous, man,” Deion says.
“Have you ever climbed a mountain? No? Then, this will be your baptism by fire,” Grylls tells Deion.
They get to the base of the mesa. It looks pretty formidable. Bear tells the camera “There’s no place to go but up.”
They are going to climb up the mesa using old pieces of metal that miners used in the past. “Bear wants me to climb hundreds of feet in the air,” Deion tells the camera. “I’m not comfortable with that, man. If something happens to me, who’s going to take care of my babies?”
“You’re taking things too far,” Deion says. “I’m not comfortable walking on the side of a mountain.” The mesa does look like it is an almost sheer climb to the top. Though Grylls is there to ensure that Deion will be as safe as possible, Sanders is very reluctant about going any further on their adventure, even though the end of it is so close.
“This is crazy, man,” Deion says. “I trust you, but I don’t trust me.”
“It is a mountain, not only physically, but for him right now, mentally,” Bear tells the camera.
“I’m not ready. I have to be ready inside,” Deion tells him. Then, he starts praying in tongues.
“Lord, you didn’t bring me all the way out here to end this,” Deion says. He continues going on up the mesa, still praying in tongues.
“It’s the most horrifying thing going up a mountain like that. You can’t look down, you can’t look up. You have to just look straight ahead. Sometimes in life, you have to move laterally to get ahead. I never really thought about it like that.”
“Amazing, Deion! Well on you! It doesn’t have to be pretty; you’re just doing it!” Bear says.
“We all have fears,” Grylls says to the camera. “No one is impervious to fear. If Deion lined me up in front of 12 big American football players, I would be scared.” Then, they get to a place on the mesa where Grylls tells him “I call this a leap of faith.”
“Oh, my God!” Deion says. Then, Running Wild With Bear Grylls went to another commercial break.
Back from the break, Bear tells Deion “We best be careful — all of this is loose. If I miss this jump, you save my life, okay? Enough slack in the rope to do this jump? One, two — three!” Grylls says and makes the jump across a deep chasm.
“I don’t know. This isn’t cool, man,” Dion says.
“God’s honest truth, I can see the top. Show me your leap. I call this the leap of faith,” Grylls tells him. It’s a long way down if he misses the jump. Bear counts for him, “One, two, three….” and Deion makes the jump.
“I can see the fire in his belly now,” Bear tells the camera. “Nothing’s going to stop him. Legend, legend.” Then, to Deion, once they both were on the top of the mesa waiting for the helicopter, he says “Now, let’s enjoy the view.”
“One of the things I love about going in the wild are that there are areas in all of us that are broken. We’re all like broken vessels; we’re all a bit broken,” Grylls says –well, he also said a quote about “broken vessels,” but this is paraphrased.
“He’s a man of focus, a family man, a man of faith. For that, he’s definitely earned my respect,” Bear says at the end of the episode.
This episode marks the end of the debut season of Running Wild With Bear Grylls and Deion Sanders proved to be every bit as tough off of the football field as he was on it. Though Deion seemed about to quit a couple of times during the episode, he persevered and made it to the top of the mesa and the extraction point. He showed his softer side and revealed who the man behind the football helmet is tonight, also. Deion is a pretty funny guy, as well, and a bit of that part of him came out in tonight’s episode. It was a great way to wrap up the first season of Running wild With Bear Grylls!
Written By Douglas Cobb
Running Wild With Bear Grylls Deion Sanders Video