"I watched him grow to become a great ambassador for Kansas City, the Chiefs and the National Football League. He will always be my son. In truth, he will always be our son.'' -Carl Peterson, February 2000
We all knew who it would be, now it's official.
On August 8th former Kansas City Chiefs GM Carl Peterson will present the late Derrick Thomas into the Pro Football Hall of Fame it was announced. Per the Hall of Fame's official site, the family of Thomas asked his former boss and long time friend to do the honors.
The family of Derrick Thomas has asked Carl Peterson, the former President of the Kansas City Chiefs, to serve as presenter for the late linebacker. Peterson, who drafted Thomas in 1989, had a long personal relationship with him.
Peterson was the only GM Derrick Thomas ever knew in his 11 year tenure in Kansas City. DT had a great ride setting an array of team records including career sacks (126.5), sacks in a season (20), sacks in a game (7), fumble recoveries (19), safeties (3) and playoff appearances (10).
He was chosen NFL Man of the Year and was well known throughout the community for his charitable deeds. "He couldn't say no. Derrick was just a good man. He wanted to help everybody," Peterson once said. Thomas himself once said, "I want to help the kids. All of them."
Peterson and Thomas were close off the field. The former GM regularly spoke of Thomas as his son. Thomas reciprocated that by referring to Peterson as his father.
Days after the car accident that would eventually take his life, Peterson relayed a conversation between him and Thomas. "He was in a wheelchair...I said 'Son, you're mobile.' He said, 'Father, I am. I've got wheels.'"
For all the criticism we've given Carl Peterson over the years, I am proud to say that he will present one of the greatest players to ever put on a Chiefs uniform into the Hall of Fame.
Thank you, Derrick Thomas - January 1, 1967 - February 8, 2000