Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Football's Best, on the Run Thomas Lacks Fame of Super Bowl Rival

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Football's Best, on the Run Thomas Lacks Fame of Super Bowl Rival

Article excerpt

He would love to catch a pass from David Letterman. Have Dennis Hopper smell his shoes. Sell Big Macs for you know who.

But no. Poor Thurman Thomas.

He goes to the Hard Rock Cafe on Wednesday night with Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Hardly anyone notices Thomas - four times the National Football League leader in total yards from scrimmage.

"If you didn't know me, you'd think I was somebody who worked at UPS," Thomas said.

He works for the Buffalo Bills. But like UPS - he delivers for you.

"You go through your career and you've been consistent at what you've done," Thomas said. "Everybody's saying, `You're a star player, you're a great player. But why aren't you on television more than those other players are?'

"I guess you look at that and say, `Maybe I'm not such a star player or superstar.' "

Sure you are Thurman. You're the world's greatest all-purpose back. You were NFL MVP in 1991. You led the American Football Conference in rushing this season with 1,315 yards. You ran roughshod over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game with 186 yards and three touchdowns.

Yet for all those accomplishments, Thomas doesn't even register a blip on the sports celebrity meter.

"I haven't been on Arsenio, Jay Leno or David Letterman like (Dallas') Emmitt Smith," Thomas said. "I could be very funny. I'm pretty much the prankster on this football team."

What would he do to entertain Letterman?

"Maybe a Top 10 list on why the Bills haven't won the Super Bowl," he said.

Or maybe the Top 10 reasons why Thomas has the reputation of being a surly, self-centered individual.

"Some people might look at me and the things that everyone has written about me - about how I can get in mood swings and how I can be angry sometimes," he said. "Everybody can be angry sometimes. Everybody can be moody. Why all off a sudden I have this bad label is very disturbing, because I'm not that type of person."

Oh yeah?

"Thurman Thomas is the moodiest person you will ever meet," Bills center Kent Hull said. "I think little things eat at him."

Thomas begs to differ.

"Nobody wants to write about me donating money back to Oklahoma State University, giving out five scholarships in the city of Buffalo, being an honorary coach in the Special Olympics for the last three or four years," Thomas said. …

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