Today is a day more special to the history of the Buffalo Bills than any other day in recent years. Thurman Thomas, the engine of a historic NFL offense and one of the greatest football teams of the early 1990s, will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this evening in Canton, Ohio.
We, as Bills fans, all know that Thurman's accomplishments are impressive, varied and make him one of the greatest football players of all-time. In 12 years, he ran for over 1,000 yards in eight straight seasons, established himself as the most explosive offensive weapon in the AFC and earned five trips to the Pro Bowl. His versatility as a rusher and a receiver were the key to making the famous "K-Gun" offense tick. His best runs were explosively poetic, and often left defenders tripping gracefully over their own two feet.
The best part: Thurman accomplished all of this after dropping all the way to the second round of the 1988 draft. Take that, doubters. Want a do-over?
But Thurman's enshrinement is about more than his on-field accomplishments. It's about honoring a team that was, simply put, by far the greatest team in the AFC in the 1990s. It's about the fans of Thurman and the Buffalo Bills - the greatest fans in football. It's about Thurman's teammates and coaches - the guys who let him be the master that he was.
It's about the stirring memories that Thurman created in a young boy living in Pennsylvania during his glory years. A young boy who shared his father's crazed passion for football and latched onto Thurman Thomas as his first favorite player. Sure, the team had Bruce Smith, Andre Reed and Jim Kelly (who I even dressed up as for Halloween once), but it was Thurman that captured my attention. It's hard for someone that young to understand just how great a player is when you're watching him; the best part about Thurman is that even to this day, I cannot fully fathom just how great he was. But I do know this: Thurman's runs are a sort of bond between a father and a son - a bond that continues to this day. I am positive that this is not the only instance of that miracle.
So thank you, Thurman. Thank you for being my first favorite player; thank you for being the catalyst of the best Bills teams of all-time; thank you for all of your incredible accomplishments; thank you for the memories. You deserve this. We'll be there tonight with you, Thurman, for the final, greatest honor to your incredible career.
What did Thurman Thomas mean to you as a Bills fan? Let's honor Thurman properly by leaving some comments on his incredible career and what it means to you as a Bills fan.