Monday, December 11, 2017

A 55-Year-Old Just Carried The Ball In A Division I Football Game

What do I plan on doing during my 50s? Well, stave off a mid-life crisis, start to look at retirement property in Arizona, and refusing to pay for my son's second attempt at a college undergrad. Even in my wildest dreams, I have never considered strapping on some shoulder pads and a helmet to let physically primed young men use me as a geriatric tackle dummy.

Then again, I'm not South Carolina State's 55-year-old senior running back, Joe Thomas Sr.

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Joe Thomas Sr. is a 55-year-old senior.

By senior I don't mean senior citizen, I mean he's a senior at South Carolina State University where he studies engineering and plays football for the Bulldogs.

On Saturday, November 19, Thomas Sr. broke an NCAA record.

He became the oldest player to ever play in a Division I football game. That's right, for the first time in his career, Thomas Sr. was asked to step in at running back. He was immediately given a handoff and rushed for three yards.

Here is something crazy — Joe used to be partially deaf as a child.

Until he was 17 and found a doctor who could flush out his ears, Joe's hearing was significantly impaired. Despite that, he never let that stop him from becoming a great defensive lineman in high school.

"It was the happiest day of my life," Thomas told reporters after the game.

No kidding. He was playing against kids 30 years his junior! That's assinine. Crazy.

Joe's family has football in their blood. Find out about it on the next page.

He may have only played one down for NCSU, but it was so much more than that.

On TV and in highlight reels for years to come, we'll only see the one three-yard run Joe Thomas Sr. made at 55. What we'll never see is the thousands of hours Joe has put in on the gridiron and in the gym. We'll never see how impeccable a middle-aged man's diet has to be in order to keep his body primed for battle. We'll never see all the injuries he had to play through or all the cuts, scrapes, bruises, and bones that had to get wrapped, massaged, iced, and rested to achieve this milestone.

Joe Thomas Sr. originally enrolled at NCSU to attend classes with his son, Joe Thomas Jr.

They enrolled at the college together and, in an incredibly "why not?" moment, Sr. decided to try out for the football team, too. That's one way of making sure your son goes to his classes and doesn't skip practices. Dang.

Jr. now plays for the Green Bay Packers as a linebacker.

This season, Jr. has 34 tackles and one interception in just his second season as a pro.

And can you guess how the idea to enroll and play football even started for Sr.?

His business went under after the recession in 2008/09. Yeah, his business had to fail in order for him to experience the happiest day in his life. That goes to show you that if you don't let adversity break you, it'll mold you. Remember that.


Author: verified_user