Hall of Fame Announcement

Last night at the 2023 NFL honors, the pro football Hall of Fame class was announced every year, but this night was special for one reason, former Miami Dolphins linebacker Zack Thomas finally got the call. The call to the Hall of Fame, that is.

After multiple years of not being able to get into the Hall of Fame despite retiring in 2006, Zach Thomas finally got his due and is now a part of the pro football Hall of Fame class of 2023.

This man is associated with Dolphins legend as many feared Going up against him due to his rough and tough attitude when approaching defenders and blocking for his teammates. He may have been a scary sight to behold to opponents on the field, but allow me to tell you a personal story of who Zach Thomas is.

Zach Thomas was the definition of a consummate professional. He always treated the media with respect and admiration. Where I come into the story is different from what you might expect. In 2007, his last year with the Miami Dolphins, I had the pleasure of meeting Zach Thomas.

For some context: I was born very prematurely. Due to this, I suffered a brain bleed at ten days old, which led to my being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. As you can imagine, this affected my fine motor skills rendering me unable to play sports for most of my life. So being able to go to a Dolphin game and meet my favorite players was something that I never thought possible.

Back to my Zach Thomas story, we had met in his last year with the Dolphins in 2007, it was after the game, and we were lucky enough to be able to see them come out of the field and into the tunnel. It was there that Zach Thomas stopped and approached me. I was taken aback by how tall this man was.

He then asked me my name, and I told him my name was Charlie and that I was a huge fan of the Dolphins, having grown up in Miami my entire life. He then gave me a signed game ball and his game-worn gloves. It was a few interactions like this that gave me a sense of how Zach Thomas is as a person: compassionate and caring.

In closing, I would like to say a word to Zach Thomas himself (if, by chance, he reads this article.) Congratulations on your Hall of Fame induction, Mr. Thomas, all of us dolphin fans are very proud to have one of us enshrined in Canton.