TODAY’S THIRD AND LONG FOUNDATION “SPOTLIGHT”
The primary mission of the Derrick Thomas/Neil Smith Third and Long Foundation is to support and improve reading and learning abilities of disadvantaged school children in Kansas City, Missouri and its surrounding areas. The Foundation strives to change the lives of 9-13 year old urban children facing challenging and even life-threatening situations. For more information, please visit: http://www.thirdandlong.org/
The Third and Long meant caring for each other and reaching our goals no matter what. It also was a great way to speak out loud and make friends.
- Darrell Sasser, Smith-Hale Middle School
TODAY’S “D.T. MEMORY”
February 15, 2000
Over 6,000 individuals attend a public memorial service for Thomas at Kemper Arena. Among the dignitaries in attendance is then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Four days later, Derrick Vincent Thomas is buried in his hometown of Miami, Florida.
REMEMBERING LB DERRICK THOMAS
The late LB Derrick Thomas was a stalwart member of the Kansas City Chiefs on and off the field for the final 11
years of his life. Thomas was the fourth overall selection in the ‘89 NFL Draft out of the University of Alabama. A
nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Thomas registered a franchise-record 126.5 career sacks. The Miami, Florida native also
holds Chiefs records for career safeties (3), forced fumbles (45) and fumble recoveries (19). Only two players in NFL
history own more safeties or fumble return TDs (4) than Thomas. He ranks sixth in team history with 728 career tackles
(558 solo) and also contributed 34 passes defense, 444 QB pressures and one INT. In recognition of his stellar NFL
career, Thomas will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with the rest of this year’s enshrinement
class on August 8, in Canton, OH.
Still, as vast as Thomas’ legacy was on the field, he also left an indelible mark in the Kansas City Community. Since he formed the Third and Long Foundation in 1990, more than 60 Chiefs players have created individual player foundation and/or charitable programming. Through his foundation, he attacked illiteracy with the same ferocity that he sacked opposing quarterbacks. Among other community activities, he also spearheaded the Chiefs Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive and would personally deliver these holiday baskets to the needy. Former President George H.W. Bush named Thomas as the “832nd point of light” for all his charitable endeavors. Thomas was also recognized as the 1993 NFL Man of the Year and garnered the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award in 1995.
Thomas establishes the NFL single-game sack record with 7.0 sacks vs. Seattle (11/11/90).