CANTON, Ohio — It was a special night for many at the 2009 Hall of Fame induction ceremony. But what it meant to Derrion Thomas, who was able to take the stage as a family representative for the induction of his father, late Chiefs LB Derrick Thomas, went a little beyond words.
“I don’t really know how to put it into words,” the soft-spoken Derrion said offstage. “It’s an honor to receive this for my dad and how much it meant to him.”
Derrion, at 19 the oldest of Thomas’ seven children, was just 9 when his father passed away in 2000. He said what he does learn about his father through the exposure to former teammates, coaches and friends on nights like tonight is mostly on the football side. The stories he hears about the personal side of his father — such as the touching tribute delivered by former Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson tonight — only confirm what he believes he already knew.
Derrion will attend Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College and play football next season.
– Frank Tadych