Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Number 58

In what has been a gloomy season for us Chiefs fans, it seems fitting that this weekend's game against Denver will bring closure to some of us. The Chiefs are set to retire #58, the jersey number of the late great Derrick Thomas. Derrick Thomas is probably my all time favorite player from the Chiefs organization. I was lucky to have seen him play a few times, and the combination of him at LB and Neil Smith at DE terrorized offenses for years. He had this quick water like ability to infiltrate offensive lines and get to the quarterback. When he wasn't making sacks he was dropping back in pass coverage or making tackles on the fly, and not too many offensive players were able to escape his grasp. As a kid I idolized Chiefs free safety Gary Barbaro, a player not too many people probably remember. I loved watching the Chiefs defense whenever I could catch them on TV (Which, as a kid was hardly ever) and I specifically remember Barbaro intercepting a Jim Zorn pass in the end zone against the Seahawks, and returning it 102 yards for a Chiefs TD. I idolized him ever since... Up until the days when I was able to watch the defensive powress of Derrick Thomas... Like the game in 1990 when he set the NFL record of 7 QB sacks in one game... Ironically, also against the Seahawks. Derrick Thomas died in a car accident on January 23, 2000, three days after the birth of my daughter. It was great to see him get into the NFL Hall of Fame in August, and it's definitely fitting to have his jersey number retired. I miss you Derrick, you were one of a kind. Your memory will always be enshrined.