Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas won't be able to give out Super Bowl tickets to two of his biggest fans. Both his mother and grandmother are in prison, his mother in the midst of serving a 20-year sentence and his grandmother a life sentence for cocaine distribution. (You can read more about Thomas' story in this fascinating 2012 New York Post feature.)
But Thomas will hit the field in Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday night knowing that they will be watching him play in the biggest game of his life from their prison in Tallahassee, Florida.
“My momma, she just told me, ‘I told you you would make it.’ We haven’t really talked about it much but I talked to my grandma and she said the same thing,” Thomas said Monday, via Pro Football Talk.
“She got emotional and all, but they just said, ‘You were going to make it.’ They get to watch every game that comes on TV there and they’ve got the t-shirts. All of the ladies have the t-shirts and watch me, so that’s special.”
The two women were arrested on March 15, 1999 when their house was raided by police in Georgia. Thomas witnessed the event but has maintained a strong bond with them since, and he had a ritual at one point of talking to his mother before every game.
“They drive me more to know that they’re there and they’re watching me,” Thomas said. “I try to go out there and play my best because they’re going to talk about it to the people in the jailhouse.”
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