On January 23, 2000, star Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas was injured in an automobile accident on his way to Kansas City International Airport. He died on February 8, 2000.
Today, on the 24th anniversary of his death, Chiefs players are preparing for Super Bowl LVIII against the San Francisco 49ers. In his honor, we will call it Super Bowl 58 — as we remember one of the greatest players in Chiefs history.
“I hadn’t thought about the 58 with Derrick Thomas,” said Kansas City head coach Andy Reid on Thursday, “but what a great player he was. When I was at Green Bay, we had a chance to come back and play the Chiefs. And I think he set an NFL sack record that day. I remember Don Beebe running a shallow cross — and he hit Don Beebe so hard, he landed in the quarterback’s lap. He was a great one.”
Rest in peace, Derrick.
Editor’s note: Arrowhead Pride founder Joel Thorman originally created this photo layout. We have run it several times — most recently on the 20th anniversary of Thomas’ death, when we added the final photo from the championship parade following Super Bowl LIV.
Derrick Thomas came out of Alabama in 1989
Drafted 4th overall by the Chiefs, DT immediately lit it up
He was adored by fans because he was so generous with his time
And he was just so damn cool
It wasn't long before he went Pro Bowling
The best part was you could put him wherever you wanted
And he would get to the QB
He loved sacking QBs
Really, really good QBs, too
Sometimes more than once
And sometimes guys that are still famous — Jim Harbaugh
You never wanted to see him coming around the edge
Or bursting through the line
Because he might just end up taking the ball from you
Or drop you in the end zone
There was always the one that would get away
But whatever — he sacked him anyway
And kept sacking him — for a decade
The accident came — and a few weeks later, he was gone
But we didn't forget him
Neither did the rest of the world
And 2019’s Super Bowl champion pass rushers are making sure of it
For the ones who came before us. pic.twitter.com/BTHsqtNZgs— Frank Clark (@TheRealFrankC_) February 5, 2020
We invite you to share your favorite memory of Derrick Thomas in our comment section.