Buffalo Bills Great Thurman Thomas Jersey Retirement Ceremony
I have been lucky in my life to call numerous Buffalo Bills friends. Among them Jim Kelly (fromw I met everyone else), Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Chris Mohr, Steve Tasker Andre Reed,, Darryl Talley, Cornelius Bennet are some of the greats of the golden age of the Bills.
I have had the pleasure to watch 4 of them inducted into the Hall of Fame (Jim, Thurman, Bruce and Andre) and the further pleasure to see 3 jerseys retired (Kelly, Smith and Thomas).
Several weeks ago we attended the festivities in Buffalo for Thurman Thomas’ jersey retirement. No Buffalo Bill will ever again sport the number 34 on their shirt.
Thurman was the AFC rushing leader in 1990, 1991, and 1993. In the first three seasons of his career. In 1989 and 1990, his combined total yards from scrimmage was 3,742. This was more than 200 yards better than any other player in the NFL. He was voted to the All-Pro team in 1990 and 1991, was selected to 5 straight pro bowls from 1989–1993, and was named the NFL MVP in 1991, after becoming the 11th player in NFL history to finish a season with over 2,000 all-purpose yards. Currently, he is 15th on the NFL all-time list for most rushing yards in a career.
He currently holds the all-time Buffalo Bills rushing record with 11,938 yards and the team record for yards from scrimmage with 16,279 over 12 years. He is also 4th overall in team scoring. He has many other accolades and firsts which are too numerous to mention.
Although I know Thurman as a football player, I also know him as a tremendously compassionate person, husband and father. He has a great sense of humor and humility and truly cares about others. His wife Patti is also one of our best friends and is the fuel in his engine. They make quite a match for each other and I think that was part of their destiny. A truly caring couple who want to make the world a better place. Besides that, they make beautiful children! They have been graced with a lovely family to carry on the name and spirit.
It was so awesome watching Thurman at the ceremony and in true Thurman spirit, he took very little credit for it all. He gave most of the credit to his family, his teammates, the Bills organization and of course the fans.
There were many luminaries and football greats present including some pictured below.
Thurman and Patti Thomas
Terrell Owens Chris Berman
Vince Wilfork (Patriot’s future Hall of Famer) and wife Bianca. Colleen and David Baker (President Football Hall of Fame)
And finally, no trip to Buffalo is ever complete without some love from special teams great Steve Tasker!