One of the most under-appreciated players in all of sports is an offensive lineman. He not only is responsible for protecting the quarterback but also to get the offense to produce as well. When a team’s offense is struggling as a whole, the offensive line takes the blame. Although when a team’s offense is clicking, the praise goes to the skill position players. The line can’t catch a break. Although in Cleveland, our own Joe Thomas is the one we usually praise.
Why would we praise someone who plays one of the most boring positions in all of football? Because Joe Thomas has and probably always will be, a Cleveland Brown. He is the most loyal player to a city who has historically one of the worst teams ever. Joe will be Cleveland’s Hall of Famer and maybe the only one for a while. I’m, of course, excited for the 2017 team and beyond, but if we are being real here, Joe Thomas will be the only definitive Hall of Famer on this team.
I will tip my metaphorical cap to Joe for playing 10,000 snaps for this team. His willingness to stick with this team year in and year out is not talked about enough. Joe has been given several opportunities to leave this football team, but he has never wanted to. Most recently, he was involved in trade talks in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. In 2015, he was very close to going to the Broncos on a trade-deadline day trade. Who knows how bad, and how many more quarterback injuries we would have had if Joe Thomas would not have been protecting the blind side.
So again, Joe, I speak on behalf of Browns fans everywhere in thanking you. You have gone above and beyond, on and off the field, to make this team better. You stuck with this team through thick and thin, the good (although not much) and bad. Your efforts of giving back to the Cleveland community have gone unnoticed. You have meant more to this community than you could have imagined. When a team’s best-selling jersey is of an offensive lineman, you know you’re doing something right.
Joe, you aren’t a flashy name guy like Odell Beckham, Tom Brady, or JJ Watt, but you are Cleveland’s superstar. You are the guy we rally around every Sunday and expect to come out and protect the quarterback’s blind side.
19 quarterbacks, 29 running backs and one continuous bad team. Thank you. Joe. Congrats on 10,000 and go get that win today.
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