On a day of tributes honoring the life and legacy of Demaryius Thomas, Denver’s 38-10 victory over the Detroit Lions gave the Broncos legend something to truly smile about.
It has been an atypical year when it’s come to gameday dedications. First there were the Ring of Fame celebrations, Mike Shanahan day in October, followed by Peyton Manning Day in November. Then, sadly, this last Sunday became Demaryius Thomas memorial day.
The Denver Broncos did a terrific job in honoring their former wide receiver.
At the base of the charging horses fountain that leads up to the main entrance of Mile High, the Broncos erected a thoughtful memorial for fans, players, former players, to pay their respects to the man who passed and the legacy that will live on.
When the game began, the Broncos lined up with only 10-men on the field, leaving the X-receiver position open in honor of Demaryius. The officials threw their flags and blew their whistles to indicate the delay of game penalty they were calling to the whole-stadium chant of “D-T.” It was the meaningful absence that had me tearing up just watching it. It’s such a small gesture that means so much.
Hats off to the Lions organization for declining the delay of game penalty.
There were video tributes, helmet stickers, field markers. and many other meaningful remembrances of both Demaryius the man and the player. Should there have been any doubt in what a tribute this game was to Denver’s former receiver, Justin Simmons, brought focus back to 88 by placing a recently intercepted ball onto the the portion of the field painted with Thomas’ number.
It was Demaryius Day in Denver and it’s a tragedy that he wasn’t there in-person to see it. The Broncos did a masterful job of creating spaces for mourning fans both near and far that afforded the opportunity to feel like everyone who enjoyed watching Thomas play was a part of the celebration. It also helped that part of that tribute was a crushing defeat of Detroit Lions by the Broncos.
Demaryius would have wanted it that way. We’ll miss you DT, but we’ll never forget you.
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