Derrick Thomas

Derrick Vincent Thomas (January 1, 1967 – February 8, 2000), nicknamed D.T., was an American football linebacker and defensive end who played for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). Thomas was drafted fourth overall by the Chiefs in the 1989 NFL Draft where he spent the entirety of his 11-year career until his death in 2000. Considered one of the greatest pass rushers of all time,[1] he was named to nine Pro Bowls and holds the record for most sacks in a single game at seven.

After the conclusion of the Chiefs' 1999 season, Thomas was involved in a car accident during the 1999–2000 NFL playoffs that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Days later, he died from a blood clot that developed in his paralyzed legs and traveled to his lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. Thomas was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Derrick Thomas
refer to caption
Thomas with the Chiefs
No. 58
Position:Outside linebacker / defensive end
Personal information
Born:January 1, 1967
Miami, Florida
Died:February 8, 2000 (aged 33)
Miami, Florida
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school:South Miami (Miami, Florida)
College:Alabama
NFL Draft:1989 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles:642
Sacks:126.5
Forced fumbles:41
Interceptions:1
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early life

Born in Miami, Florida, Thomas was raised by his mother. His father, Air Force Captain and B-52 pilot Robert James Thomas, died during a mission in the Vietnam War. Thomas started playing football when he was three years old, and played his high school football at South Miami Senior High School.

College career

Alongside Cornelius Bennett and later Keith McCants at Alabama, Thomas spearheaded one of the best defensive lines in college football and smashed many Crimson Tide defensive records, including sacks in a single season. He was awarded the Butkus Award in 1988 after a season which saw him set an NCAA record 27 sacks along with finishing 10th in Heisman Trophy balloting. He currently holds the single season NCAA FBS sack record with 27 and what was the career sack record with 52 career sacks. He was also selected as a unanimous All-American at the conclusion of the 1988 season, a season which culminated in the Crimson Tide's thrilling 29-28 victory over Army in the 1988 Sun Bowl. In 2000, Thomas was named a Sun Bowl Legend.[2] He was awarded the Sington Soaring Spirit Award by the Lakeshore Foundation. This annual award is named for University of Alabama football legend Fred Sington. Thomas was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.[3]

Professional career

Thomas was selected in the first round of the 1989 NFL Draft, fourth overall, and was signed by the Chiefs. He would remain with the Chiefs for his entire career.[4][5]

Thomas' rookie year earned him the Defensive Rookie of the Year award by the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America and the United Press International AFC Rookie of the Year award. He was the first Chiefs' linebacker to be elected to the Pro Bowl as a rookie since Hall of Fame player Bobby Bell.

Thomas was known for his ability to sack the quarterback and was named a First Team All-Pro two times, Second Team All-Pro four times, and was voted to nine Pro Bowls in his 11-year career.[6] He totaled 126.5 sacks in his career,[7] and as of the start of the 2017 NFL season, holds the single game record of seven quarterback sacks, a feat which occurred against Seattle's Dave Krieg on 1990 Veterans Day[8]. Ironically, it was a sack that Thomas did not get that decided the game: on the final play, Krieg eluded a blitzing Thomas and threw a touchdown pass to Paul Skansi, which gave the Seahawks a 17–16 win. The next player to come close to breaking this record was Thomas himself, recording 6 sacks against the Oakland Raiders in the regular season opener in 1998.[9]

He is one of 32 NFL players to achieve 100 or more sacks, and ranks as the Chiefs' all-time sack leader with 126.5. Thomas is also the seventh all-time tackler in Chiefs' history with 642 career tackles. During his career, he recorded 1 interception and recovered 19 fumbles, returning them for 161 yards and 4 touchdowns. Thomas established Chiefs career records for sacks, safeties, fumble recoveries, and forced fumbles.[10]

Statistics

Season Team G GS TOT SOLO AST SACK SF FF FR YDS TD BK INT YDS AVG TD PD
1989 KC 16 16 75 56 19 10.0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1990 KC 15 15 63 47 16 20.0 0 6 2 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1991 KC 16 15 79 60 19 13.5 0 4 4 23 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
1992 KC 16 16 67 54 13 14.5 0 8 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
1993 KC 16 15 43 32 11 8.0 0 4 1 86 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
1994 KC 16 15 71 67 4 11.0 1 3 3 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
1995 KC 15 15 53 48 5 8.0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
1996 KC 16 14 55 49 6 13.0 0 4 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 5
1997 KC 12 10 34 30 4 9.5 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1998 KC 15 10 42 35 7 12.0 1 2 2 27 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
1999 KC 16 16 60 54 6 7.0 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 20 20.0 0 5
Career 169 157 642 532 110 126.5 3 41 19 161 4 1 1 20 20.0 0 19

Death

On January 23, 2000, Thomas' 1999 Chevrolet Suburban went off Interstate 435 as he and two passengers were driving to Kansas City International Airport during a snowstorm for a flight to St. Louis to watch the NFC Championship Game between the St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Police reports indicated that Thomas, who was driving, was speeding at approximately 70 m.p.h. even though snow and ice were rapidly accumulating on the roadway. Thomas continued weaving erratically through traffic despite the weather.[11] Thomas and one of the passengers were not wearing seat belts and both were thrown from the car; the passenger was killed instantly. The second passenger, who was wearing his safety belt, walked away from the scene uninjured. Thomas was left paralyzed from the chest down. By early February, Thomas was being treated at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. The morning of February 8, 2000, while being transferred from his hospital bed to a wheelchair on his way to therapy, Thomas told his mother he was not feeling well. His eyes then rolled back, recalled Frank Eismont, an orthopedic surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Eismont said Thomas went into cardiorespiratory arrest and died as a result of a pulmonary embolism, a massive blood clot that developed in his legs and traveled to his lungs.[12] Months later, Thomas' family sued General Motors for $73 million in damages stemming from the accident that Thomas caused. In 2004, a jury ruled that the family was not entitled to any money.[13]

Legacy

In 1990, Thomas founded the Derrick Thomas Third and Long Foundation. The foundation's mission is to "sack illiteracy" and change the lives of 9- to 13-year-old urban children facing challenging and life-threatening situations in the Kansas City area.

On January 31, 2009, Thomas was posthumously named among six players selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his fifth year of eligibility.[14] He was officially posthumously inducted in Canton, Ohio on August 8, 2009, after four years as a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting.[15] The Chiefs announced on June 23, 2009, that they would retire #58 in honor of Thomas, and the retirement ceremony took place on December 6, 2009, when the Chiefs played the Denver Broncos.[16]

The Derrick Thomas Academy, a charter school in Kansas City, Missouri, opened in September 2001. It served nearly 1,000 children from kindergarten through eighth grade until it closed in 2013.[17]

The Chiefs named their player of the year award in Thomas' honor.

Sources

  1. ^ "Top 10 pass rushers in NFL history". NFL.com. October 7, 2008. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ National Football Foundation (May 22, 2014). "NFF Proudly Announces Impressive 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class". FootballFoundation.org. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  4. ^ National Football League. "NFL Draft History - 1989". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  5. ^ National Football League. "Derrick Thomas Player Profile". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Pro Football Reference. "Derrick Thomas". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  7. ^ Pro Football Reference. "Derrick Thomas". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  8. ^ Sports Illustrated. "Most NFL Single Game Sacks". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  9. ^ Sports Illustrated. "Most NFL Single Game Sacks". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Kansas City Chiefs. "2017 Kansas Chiefs Media Guide" (PDF). Kansas City Chiefs. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "Chiefs' Thomas dead at 33". CNNSI.com. Associated Press. February 8, 2000. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  12. ^ "Blood Clot Killed Thomas, Doctors Say". CNNSI.com. Associated Press. February 10, 2000. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  13. ^ "Thomas family sought $73M in suit". ESPN.com. August 17, 2004. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  14. ^ Covitz, Randy (January 31, 2008). "Derrick Thomas elected to Hall of Fame. His son accepted the award in the hall of fame for Derrick Thomas". Kansascity.com: The Kansas City Star website. The McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  15. ^ "Hall of Famers: Yearly Finalists". Pro Football Hall of Fame website. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  16. ^ "LB Derrick Thomas Will Have His #58 Retired, Family to Receive HOF Ring at Arrowhead vs. Denver on December 6th". Kansas City Chiefs Website. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  17. ^ Koepp, Paul (July 24, 2013). "Closing of Derrick Thomas Academy leaves legal mess". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved February 12, 2017.

External links

1989 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1989 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 20th season in the National Football League, the 30th overall and the first under head coach Marty Schottenheimer and general manager Carl Peterson. They improved on their 4-11-1 record from 1988 and finished with an 8-7-1 record.

The Chiefs did not qualify for the playoffs in for the third straight year but did send four players to the Pro Bowl.

1989 NFL Draft

The 1989 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 23–24, 1989, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, New York. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.

The draft is noted for having four of the first five players selected – quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Barry Sanders, linebacker Derrick Thomas, and cornerback Deion Sanders – being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Offensive tackle Tony Mandarich, the only top five pick not inducted, is considered a draft bust.

The 1989 NFL Draft also helped set a major precedent, as Barry Sanders was selected with the third overall pick despite an NFL rule stating that collegiate juniors could not declare for the draft.

1990 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1990 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 21st season in the National Football League, the 38th as the Kansas City Chiefs and the 31st overall. they improved from an 8-7-1 record to an 11–5 record and Wild Card spot in the 1991 playoffs. In Marty Schottenheimer's first playoff appearance with the Chiefs, they lost to the Miami Dolphins 17–16 in the Wild Card round. Starting with the home opener, the Chiefs began an NFL-record 18-straight seasons with every home game sold out. The streak was finally broken in the final home game of the 2009 Kansas City Chiefs season versus Cleveland.

1991 All-Pro Team

The 1991 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1991. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League.

1994 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1994 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 25th season in the National Football League, the 32nd as the Kansas City Chiefs and the 35th overall. They failed to improve their 11-5 record from 1993 and finishing with a 9–7 record and Wild Card spot in the 1994–95 playoffs. The Chiefs lost to the Miami Dolphins 27–17 in the Wild Card round. Alongside celebrating the NFL's 75th anniversary season. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana retired following the season.

1995 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1995 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 26th season in the National Football League, the 33rd as the Kansas City Chiefs and the 36th overall. The team improved on their 9-7 from 1994 and finished the regular season with a 13–3 record and the AFC West division championship, However, the Chiefs suffered a detrimental loss in the 1995-96 AFC playoffs when Placekicker Lin Elliott missed three crucial field goals, which gave the Indianapolis Colts an upset win.

1996 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1996 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 27th season in the National Football League, and the 37th overall. Following the Chiefs' devastating loss to the colts in the playoffs the year before, the Chiefs failed to improve their 13-3 record from 1995 and finishing 9–7 record and second-place finish in the AFC West. Despite having the team being predicted as one of the eventual winners of Super Bowl XXXI by Sports Illustrated, the team missed the playoffs for the first time since 1989.

1998 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1998 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 39th season in the National Football League, and the 29th overall.

The season began with the team hoping to avenge the loss in the 1998 playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, but instead the Chiefs failed to succeed in the highly competitive AFC West.

The team finished with a 7–9 record and 4th place in the AFC West. Head coach Marty Schottenheimer announced his resignation following the season after ten seasons with the team and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham assumed coaching duties for 1999.

1999 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1999 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 40th season in the National Football League, and the 30th overall.

The season began with the promotion of Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham to Head coach following the resignation of Marty Schottenheimer after the 7-9 Chiefs' 1998 season losing record.

The team finished with a 9–7 winning record and 2nd place in the AFC West.

In the final game of the season against the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs were denied a trip to the playoffs and an AFC West division title when Raiders kicker Joe Nedney kicked a field-goal in overtime. This game also was the final game future hall of fame linebacker Derrick Thomas played in before his death on February 8, 2000.

2000 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 2000 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 31st season in the National Football League, the 41st overall and the second and final season led by head coach Gunther Cunningham.

The team played the season without 9 time Pro Bowl Linebacker and team captain Derrick Thomas because of his death on February 8 of the same year.

Alabama Crimson Tide football statistical leaders

Alabama Crimson Tide football statistical leaders identify individual statistical leaders of the Alabama Crimson Tide football program in various offensive categories, including passing, rushing, and receptions and defensive categories, including tackles, interceptions and quarterback sacks. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season and career leaders. The Alabama Crimson Tide football program is a college football team that represents the University of Alabama in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Passing leaders applies to various statistical categories held by quarterbacks. After his career with the Crimson Tide that spanned from the 2010 to 2013 seasons, AJ McCarron graduated as Alabama's career leader in passing yardage (9,019), completions (686) and touchdowns (77). Alabama's current starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, holds the record for passing yards in a single season, with 3,966 yards in 2018. Tagovailoa also holds the record for passing touchdowns in a single season, with 43 in 2018. John Parker Wilson holds the record for completions in a single season (255), set during the 2007 season. Scott Hunter holds the record for passing yards in a single game (484), set against Auburn in 1969; Gary Hollingsworth holds the school's record for most completions in a game (32), set against Tennessee and shares the record for touchdowns in a game (5), set against Ole Miss during the 1989 season. Tagovailoa tied the record for touchdowns in a game in the 2018 Iron Bowl against Auburn.Rushing leaders applies to various statistical categories held by offensive players who advance the ball rushing. After his career with the Crimson Tide that spanned from the 1996 to 1999 seasons, Shaun Alexander graduated as Alabama's career leader in rushes (727) and rushing yardage (3,565), though his yardage record was broken by Derrick Henry, who accrued 3,591 rushing yards from 2013 to 2015. Mark Ingram Jr. holds the record for career rushing touchdowns (42), set during his career that spanned from 2008 to 2010; this record has since been tied by Derrick Henry. All three major single-season rushing records were set by Henry in 2015: rushes (395), yards (2,219), and touchdowns (28). Single-game records include Henry for rushes (46) set against Auburn during the 2015 season in which he won the Heisman Trophy; Alexander for yardage (291) set against LSU during the 1996 season; and both Alexander and Santonio Beard for touchdowns (5) set against BYU and Ole Miss during the 1998 and 2002 seasons respectively.Receiving leaders applies to various statistical categories held by offensive players who advance the ball by catching Forward passes. After his career with the Crimson Tide that spanned from the 2004 to 2007 seasons, D. J. Hall graduated as Alabama's career leader in receptions (194) and receiving yardage (2,923). Amari Cooper holds the record for career receiving touchdowns (20), set during his career that spanned from the 2012 to 2014 seasons. Receiving single-season records include Julio Jones with receptions (78) and receiving yards (1,133), and Amari Cooper with touchdown receptions (11) set during the 2010 and 2012 seasons respectively. Single game records for receptions (13) was set against Tennessee during the 2007 season by Hall and against Florida Atlantic during the 2014 season by Cooper; Jones for yardage (221) set against Tennessee during the 2010 season; and Homan, Michael Vaughn and Al Lary for touchdown receptions (3).In addition to offensive records, many who have played for the Crimson Tide have set various defensive records. After his career with the Crimson Tide that spanned from the 1983 to 1986 seasons, Wayne Davis graduated as Alabama's career leader in tackles (327); Woodrow Lowe as the single-season leader with 134 in 1974; DeMeco Ryans set the single-game record with 25 against Arkansas in 2003. After his career at Alabama that spanned from the 1990 to 1993 seasons, Antonio Langham graduated as Alabama's career leader in interceptions (19); Hootie Ingram as the single-season leader with 10 in 1952; and several players tied with the single game record of three. Derrick Thomas holds every Alabama record for quarterback sacks with 52 during his career from the 1985 to 1988 seasons, 27 in 1988 and five in a single game against Texas A&M in 1988.These stats are updated through the end of the 2018 season.

Derrick Thomas (agricultural scientist)

Derrick Thomas (1944 – 13 May 2013) was a British agricultural researcher with special contributions to grassland and forage research in the tropics.

Derrick Thomas Academy

The Derrick Thomas Academy was a tuition-free, public charter school in Kansas City, Missouri. It opened in 2001 and was named for former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas. As of the 2009-2010 school year, the Academy served approximately 1,000 students in Grades PreK-8. It was an EdisonLearning charter school, but parted ways with EdisonLearning in 2011.

Kansas City Chiefs awards

This page details awards won by the Kansas City Chiefs, a professional American football team from the National Football League. The Chiefs have never had a winner of the Coach of the Year award, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year. The Chiefs are tied with the Chicago Bears for the most winners of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award with 5.

The most recent winner of a major NFL award is Patrick Mahomes who won league MVP for the 2018 season, the Chiefs first ever winner of league MVP.

The Chiefs have two awards that are awarded by the team which are voted on by the players and coaches. The Derrick Thomas award is awarded to the team MVP and the Mack Lee Hill award is awarded to the Rookie of the Year.

List of Alabama Crimson Tide players in the College Football Hall of Fame

The Alabama Crimson Tide college football team competes as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and represents the University of Alabama in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The College Football Hall of Fame was established in 1951 to honor the careers of selected student-athletes who have competed in college football as either a player or coach. Since its inaugural class that year, Alabama has had 23 persons elected to the Hall of Fame as either a player or coach of the Crimson Tide.The first Alabama inductees into the Hall of Fame were Don Hutson and Frank Thomas as part of the inaugural class in 1951. The most recent inductee was Derrick Thomas as part of the 2014 class.

List of Kansas City Chiefs records

This article details statistics relating to the Kansas City Chiefs National Football League (NFL) American football team, including career, single season and games records.

Paul Skansi

Paul Anthony Skansi (born January 11, 1961, in Tacoma, Washington) is a former professional American football player who played wide receiver for ten seasons (one for the Pittsburgh Steelers, eight for the Seattle Seahawks, and one for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL). Paul attended Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, Washington where he was a stand out athlete. After watching Skansi play in a high school basketball game, coach Don James of the UW Huskies offered him a football scholarship. Paul was a leading receiver for the University of Washington setting the Husky's record for passes received during his four years of play. He was recently a scout for the San Diego Chargers.

In Seattle, Skansi was known as a dependable third-down receiver. His most successful season was 1989, when he caught 39 passes for 488 yards and five touchdowns. Over his career, he caught 166 passes for 1,950 yards and ten touchdowns. He is widely known for catching the tying 25-yard touchdown pass (Norm Johnson's extra point on the last play won the game) from Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg in the final second of a November 11, 1990 game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The Seahawks won the game, 17-16, Krieg escaped Derrick Thomas' grasp on what would have been his 8th sack in the game (Thomas sacked Krieg an NFL record 7 times as it was).

Thomas Derrick

Thomas Derrick was an English executioner c. 1608.In English history, executioner was not a commonly chosen career path because of the risk of friends and families of the deceased knowing who the executioner was and where to find him. Executioners were sometimes coerced into the role. Derrick in particular had been convicted of rape but was pardoned by the Earl of Essex (clearing him of the death penalty) on the condition that he became an executioner at Tyburn.Derrick executed more than 3,000 people in his career, including his pardoner, the Earl of Essex, in 1601. Derrick devised a beam with a topping lift and pulleys for his hangings, instead of the old-fashioned rope over the beam method.The word derrick became an eponym for the frame from which the hangman's noose was supported and through that usage (by analogy) to modern day cranes.

Wayne Simmons (American football)

Wayne General Simmons (December 15, 1969 - August 23, 2002) was an American football linebacker in the National Football League.

Simmons was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 15th pick of the first round of the 1993 NFL Draft. Simmons played for Green Bay for four and a half years, earning a Super Bowl ring at the end of the 1996 season. Simmons was well known for shutting down opposing tight ends, but in doing this task extremely well he was not able to obtain the attention-grabbing statistics of quarterback sacks. Simmons was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs during the 1997 season when Seth Joyner returned from knee surgery. The Chiefs waived Simmons in 1998 after a 30-7 Monday Night loss to their arch-rival Denver Broncos, in which Simmons and fellow linebacker Derrick Thomas were called for a total of five personal fouls on the Broncos' final touchdown drive. The Buffalo Bills claimed Simmons off waivers on November 19, 1998, and played five games. He was released by the team in February 1999.

Derrick Thomas—awards and honors

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