Joe Thomas Sr. took a hand-off and carried the football for a three-yard gain in the first quarter of Saturday’s game between South Carolina State and Savannah State. On the surface, nothing appeared out of the ordinary, but for Thomas Sr., it was a history-making moment.
The reason? Well, Thomas is 55 years old. Yes, you are reading that correctly. The father of current Green Bay Packers linebacker Joe Thomas Jr. has been practicing with South Carolina State for a handful of seasons, but Saturday was the day that he was able to get into a game. He absolutely looked the part in sifting through the opposing defense during his first carry. For good measure, the 55-year-old reportedly became the oldest player to appear in a game at this level, and that helps to shape the already amazing story.
The full story of Thomas Sr.’s life and football career can be found here, but this seemingly anonymous rushing play was the culmination of a lengthy journey that ended in an unlikely and inspiring way. For the great majority of college football fans, taking an interest in a game between South Carolina State and Savannah State in late November might seem crazy, but the best story in the sport took place within the confines of that event on Saturday.