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April 19, 2007

Joe Thomas, Future NFL Player and Role Model

Posted in: heroes

Joe_thomasThese days it is hard to imagine an NFL player with class and loyalty. This year we are going to have 2 in the draft, Calvin Johnson out of Georgia Tech who worked at a Subway and is as good a kid as one could imagine. He is from our town and all who know the young man rave about his character.

But the guy I want to talk about today is Joe Thomas. The NFL Commissioner is begging him to come to New York for the Draft to be on television and play the draft day game that gives the player and league so much publicity. He is going to be drafted in the top 10 and the NFL desperately wants him there.

But Joe Thomas isn’t going, it seems the he and his dad have a yearly fishing day on the same day as the NFL draft. That is so much more important to him than the glitz and glamor of New York that he is staying put. We talk so often about character that when we see it is seems surprising.

For a son to make that kind of commitment to his family shows what a fine man he will be. God bless him…

Despite a personal e-mail from commissioner Roger Goodell, Thomas rejected the NFL’s repeated written and verbal invitations to attend the draft-week festivities in New York. Thomas wants to maintain a years-old tradition in which he spends draft day fishing for coho salmon on Lake Michigan with his dad.

The league repeatedly has reached out to Thomas — who recently signed a lucrative endorsement deal with Under Armour and will be profiled in an upcoming Sports Illustrated issue — but it has met the same type of resistance as a defensive end going against him. Thomas hasn’t budged. Nor will he.

Thomas doesn’t believe a trip to New York will do anything to enhance his draft status; he could go as high as No. 2 to Detroit or as low as No. 5 to Arizona.

And so, while Thomas is fishing, the NFL will move on with the rest of its decorated draft class. Expected to attend the draft-week and draft-day festivities in New York are LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson and Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams — each player projected to go in the top 10.  via NFL.com

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