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Demaryius Thomas literally grew up in a crack house

Many professional athletes come from tough backgrounds and have difficult upbringings. Many had broken families, divorced parents, relatives in jail, or even parents who sold drugs or were addicts. There are so many examples of athletes overcoming difficult childhoods that it feels almost cliche to point out another story. But what Demaryius Thomas dealt with is one of the toughest situations I’ve heard. It captured my attention enough where I wanted to share it here.

ESPN profiled the Denver Broncos wide receiver on E:60 and shared the story of his childhood. One of the central points of the feature was that Thomas’ mother has never seen him play a football game. That seems weird considering he is a star wide receiver in the NFL and was pretty darn good at Georgia Tech.

Thomas’ mother hasn’t watched him play not because she is disinterested, but because she is serving a lengthy prison sentence for her part in a crack cocaine operation.

Demaryius’ mother, Katina Smith, had him when she was 16. His father, Bobby Thomas, was 19 when he was born, and the dad was hardly around because he had just enlisted in the military and was off on different assignments. When Demaryius was three, his mother was arrested and went to prison for 18 months for drug trafficking. That meant Demaryius spent a lot of time with his grandmother while his mother was gone and after she came back. And according to Demaryius, his grandmother ran a crack house. Literally.

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Demaryius Thomas: Peyton Manning hype is bigger than Tim Tebow hype was

The only similarity between the 2011 Denver Broncos and this year’s squad is that both are playoff teams. After an 8-8 regular season last year, only the most dedicated of Tim Tebow fans actually believed Denver had a shot at making it to the Super Bowl. This season, the 11-3 Broncos have won nine straight and are heading for a first round bye. Unlike Tebow, Peyton Manning makes them a legitimate championship contender.

Most of us can agree that the Broncos are a more dangerous team with Manning under center, but nothing compares to the hype that is known as Tebowmania, right? According to Demaryius Thomas, Manning has created more buzz.

“It’s not quite the same,” Thomas explained after Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens when asked about last year’s team. “We’ve got Peyton Manning, so of course it’s different. The Peyton-Mania is a little bigger than Tebow’s.”

Tebowmania may have led to Playboy Models doing stuff like this, but Manning is a future Hall of Famer. He’s one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game and has already won a championship. Despite missing all of last season with a neck injury, Manning has thrown for over 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns this season. He has himself right back in the MVP discussion, where he has been throughout his entire career.

The hype surrounding Tebow has more to do with the “magic” factor. The fact that a player like Tebow was able to lead Denver to the playoffs and even win a playoff game was amazing. With Manning, no one will be amazed if the Broncos mow through the AFC on their way to the Super Bowl. When you look at it that way, it’s not hard to believe Manning has created more buzz than Tebow in certain ways.

Photo credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Demaryius Thomas dressed as a replacement ref for Halloween (Picture)

Anyone who pays attention to sports had to know that replacement referee costumes would be popular this Halloween. However, you would have to be pretty bold to be an NFL star and go down that road, but Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas clearly had no problem doing that recently.

As you can see from the photo above that Peter Burns shared with us on Twitter, Thomas went with the standard referee outfit and sunglasses but also threw a sign right on his chest to make sure the joke landed. A blind referee is a popular costume every year, but a replacement ref is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We couldn’t find the photo on Thomas’ Twitter page, so it seems possible that he deleted it.

While it was a ballsy move from Thomas, we’ll still have to rank his costume behind these fantastic Bobby Petrino outfits and Alex Morgan’s McKayla Maroney costume.

All of a sudden Demaryius Thomas wishes Tim Tebow stayed in Denver

When you take into consideration that Tim Tebow is not known for his passing skills, Demaryius Thomas had a pretty solid season with the Broncos last year. He and Tebow developed tremendous chemistry down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs. Over the last seven games of the year (including playoffs), Thomas averaged five receptions and 106 yards per game. Not bad for a guy relying on a quarterback who many insist can’t throw.

Then, along came Peyton Manning. Since Denver signed Manning and traded Tebow, Thomas has been wrapped up in the excitement. Formerly one of Tebow’s biggest defenders, Thomas has said over the offseason that he is not sad to see Tim Tebow leave and that he will have to learn an entire route tree now. He recently changed his tune a bit.

“Me and Tim, if you look at our stats, we had a great year together,” Thomas said on the NFL Network. “And I wish he would have stayed around so maybe he could have learned some things from Peyton. But it’s over with now, and we’ve got Peyton on our side, so I’m just looking forward to the season.”

Perhaps Demaryius went back and crunched the numbers and realized that he was getting plenty of balls and making plenty of big plays in the second half of the 2011 season. He would certainly still rather have Manning than Tebow, but maybe Thomas now understands that some of his comments have downplayed his and Tebow’s accomplishments for no reason. Manning spreads the ball around, but he also develops a few unexpected favorite targets. If Thomas isn’t one of them, his tune could change in a hurry.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Demaryius Thomas believes Tim Tebow wants to take Mark Sanchez’s job

As the offseason continues to progress, everyone will eventually understand that Tim Tebow is not in New York with the intention of being a second-string quarterback. Tebow is a competitor, and the Jets knew that when they acquired him. At the moment, Rex Ryan says he plans to use Tebow in a number of different ways as a complement to Mark Sanchez. Those who know Tebow are confident that he will head into training camp with a goal of making Sanchez the compliment to him. Former teammate Demaryius Thomas alluded to that during a recent interview with 790 The Zone in Atlanta.

“I ain’t going to say it was a good move (for the Jets), but I really don’t know,” Thomas said. “I feel like Tim can get better, but it is going to take some time because he’s gotta read the defenses and throwing patterns, but I feel like he thinks he can go out there and take Sanchez’s spot. I ain’t going to talk bad about Sanchez, but he’s not one of the best quarterbacks in the game, so I feel good about Tim going out there.”

Shortly after the trade was completed, reports surfaced that indicated Tebow chose the Jets over the Jaguars because he believes he can beat out Sanchez for the starting job. Former players like Amani Toomer have also said they don’t believe Sanchez will last an entire season with Tebow waiting behind him on the depth chart.

The more people talk about it, the more I get the impression that this is the season that will make or break Sanchez’s career.

Demaryius Thomas defends Tim Tebow: ‘There’s no such thing as luck’

Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas, who scored the winning touchdown to bury the Steelers in overtime in the playoffs, tweeted his support of Tim Tebow Tuesday.

“I’m tired of ppl talking about my QB.. If u ask me there’s no such thing as luck.. It’s hard work and determination.. That’s all…”

Thomas defended Tebow after the Broncos quarterback was criticized by Brady Quinn.

Quinn, who was Denver’s backup quarterback last season, suggested Tebow sought out TV cameras. He was bitter Tebow skipped him on the depth chart got the chance to start because of excessive fan support.

Quinn later backed off the comments and said they were from three months ago. If they really were from November (particularly at the beginning of the month) then I completely understand why Quinn may have made the statements at the time. Remember, Tebow was hammered for his poor performance against Detroit. Maybe Quinn was treated unfairly if that is the case. Judging by Demaryius’ comments, Brady will have a difficult time explaining himself in Denver’s locker room.

H/T Sports by Brooks Live