As the sports world reels from the death of former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos fans remember one of Thomas’ most memorable catches.
In all of the tributes pouring out from those who knew explosive NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, he is described as a kind soul with a radiant smile. “Light” has been used frequently to describe his essence, which left a profound impression on those he met.
“This is who my friend was. Always smiling.”
As dominant as Demaryius Thomas was as a receiver for the Broncos, it was his warmth and kindness that came to the forefront as those who knew him reacted to the stunning news Thursday that he had passed away: https://t.co/AXTrbA8a8K
— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) December 10, 2021
Demaryius Thomas’ football feats were incredible, but this is the man I’ll remember: The guy who was kind, always smiling, who was Uncle DT to so many kids, and who was always thoughtful and sincere in our professional relationship. pic.twitter.com/F5q1qDLVEw
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) December 10, 2021
In his passing, Broncos fans remember one of Thomas’ signature moments: when he lit up the field with an 80-yard walkoff touchdown. The Broncos and Steelers were tied 23-23 in the AFC Wild Card Round, and the Broncos just needed a touchdown to win it.
Facing a first and ten on the first play of overtime, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow connected with Thomas, who was already 20 yards downfield. Thomas charged downfield with the ball for a 60-yard touchdown, nimbly dodging defenders in an unforgettable display. It’s a moment that Broncos fans continue to cherish to this day.
DeMaryius Thomas will always have the craziest playoff play I’ve ever seen.
His name will be on the Mile High Stadium walls soon. RIP pic.twitter.com/O88s8BYhQJ
— Drew Livingstone (@ProducerDrew_) December 10, 2021
I’ll always remember Demaryius Thomas by this play. Jumped off the top bunk of my bed in my college dorm room when this play happened.
Life is too short.
— “This Guy Greg” (@CallMeGreg4) December 10, 2021
Even Steelers fans honored Thomas for his unbelievable play, which propelled the Broncos to the Super Bowl.
Even how much this play hurts me as a Steelers fan, I always love demaryius thomas and this play was legendary, and he use be one my favorite WR 😿. pic.twitter.com/KaB0E6WJrY
— 4KT Gav (@C0BYWHITE) December 10, 2021
Broncos fans remember Demaryius Thomas in 80-yard walkoff touchdown
At the time, Thomas made NFL history with the longest overtime scoring play.
Correction — Postseason history RT @PostBroncos: Demaryius Thomas’ 80-yd walkoff was the longest overtime scoring play in NFL history.
— Denver Post Broncos (@PostBroncos) January 9, 2012
Thomas, who the Broncos selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, defined his career in that incredible moment. Thomas played with the Broncos until 2018, signing with three more NFL teams until he retired in 2019. While his brief time with the Patriots, Texans and Jets is commemorated by Tom Brady and others, the Super Bowl champion remains a legend in Denver.
“For me, it was like a coming-out party,” Thomas said in 2015. “The first couple of years, I was injured, wasn’t on the field much and I came back and won in overtime, first play, 80 yards. To be able to go out and put up the numbers I did that game and then to go do the same thing the next week with similar numbers, but we didn’t win, it was big. First time in the playoffs, it was big.”
Earlier this summer, Thomas reflected on that moment as one of the Top 3 moments in his illustrious career.
RIP to a great football player, and an even better person.