Sports Stars


Derrick Thomas

A true hero. That is how Missouri Senator Bill Kenney described Derrick Thomas to the rest of the Missouri Legislature as he broke the news of Thomas' death. Kenney, a former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, said, "He will be missed by football fans around the nation, but we will miss him in Kansas City for his attitude and his efforts he put forth in our community." The Missouri House and Senate each paused for a moment of silence in Derrick Thomas' honor.

Thomas lost his life after suffering a heart attack as a result of an auto accident that occurred two weeks prior to his death. He seemed to be on his way toward recovering from the accident that killed his friend Michael Tellis, although he probably would have faced some sort of paralysis. The tragic events left many people in a state of shock and disbelief.

Derrick Thomas began his career with the Chiefs in 1989 when he was drafted out of Alabama University. The Chiefs new they had something special when he recorded 10 sacks as a rookie and followed it up with 20 the next year. He had an instinctive ability to get to the quarterback and he could single-handedly disrupt an offense by destroying the quarterback's confidence.

In 1990, his second year in the league, Thomas recorded a record seven sacks in one game against the Seattle Seahawks. The game was held on Veterans Day and Derrick had dedicated his play to his father, an Air Force pilot who was killed in Vietnam in a military operation ironically named Operation Linebacker II.

Derrick's career spanned 11 years with only six games missed due to injury. He had career totals of 128 sacks and 524 tackles. He is also ninth on the all-time sacks list and he even recorded four safeties during his career.

Derrick Thomas ranks right up there with all the great linebackers and pass rushers in NFL history and should be an easy choice for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He put the fear into the opposition the same way a Lawrence Taylor or Dick Butkus did in their day. He was also a player and humanitarian that the people of Kansas city could be proud of and he is one that is greatly missed not only for his football abilities, but for all the things he has contributed and done for the community.





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