clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Remembering Chiefs’ superstar Derrick Thomas before Super Bowl 58

On the anniversary of his death — and as Kansas City prepares for Super Bowl 58 — we remember Derrick Thomas.

Miami Dolphins vs Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Tim DeFrisco/Allsport/Getty Images

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

Getty Images

Drafted 4th overall by the Chiefs, DT immediately lit it up

Getty Images

He was adored by fans because he was so generous with his time

Getty Images

And he was just so damn cool

It wasn't long before he went Pro Bowling

Getty Images

The best part was you could put him wherever you wanted

And he would get to the QB

Getty Images

He loved sacking QBs

Getty Images

Really, really good QBs, too

Getty Images

Sometimes more than once

Getty Images

And sometimes guys that are still famous — Jim Harbaugh

Getty Images

You never wanted to see him coming around the edge

Getty Images

Or bursting through the line

Getty Images

Because he might just end up taking the ball from you

Getty Images

Or drop you in the end zone

Getty Images

There was always the one that would get away

Getty Images

But whatever — he sacked him anyway

Getty Images

And kept sacking him — for a decade

Getty Images

The accident came — and a few weeks later, he was gone

Getty Images

But we didn't forget him

Getty Images

Neither did the rest of the world

Getty Images

And 2019’s Super Bowl champion pass rushers are making sure of it


We invite you to share your favorite memory of Derrick Thomas in our comment section.

It's Game Time.

It's time for a title defense in Chiefs Kingdom. Sign up for Arrowhead Pride Premier and we’ll deliver 3 newsletters leading up to the Super Bowl packed with exclusive coverage and analysis from Las Vegas you won’t find anywhere else. For a limited time, use the code SUPERBOWL30 to save 30% plus a free trial