Saturday night was the epilogue for Derrick Thomas’ outstanding career. As we stood waiting for the event to begin, it was easy to recognize that this was going to be the who’s who of the 90’s Chiefs. First there was Carl Peterson in his sartorial splendor and Marty Schottenheimer looking much older and frailer than his Chief days. Gunther Cunningham was there as well as Neil Smith, Martin Bayless, Marcus Allen, and Willie Roaf to name a few.
As I listened to Carl’s speech, I recognized what a special life had touched so many people. Besides his obvious skills and talents, Derrick was our leader, and one which both the franchise and the city it played in could rally around. He was the missing piece that lead us out of dreadful 70’s/80’s era and into the 90’s and defensive dominance. I doubt there has ever been a more inspiring player in Kansas City or elsewhere, one who could get 80,000 people to go beserk and intimidate the opposition.
By his entering the Hall of Fame, we have brought closure to his life and the great teams he lead. Somewhere Derrick is smiling and thinking maybe we could of had a couple more fly-overs.
Thank you, Derrick. God bless.