Demaryius Thomas' biggest fans will cheer from prison Lindsay H. Jones, USA TODAY Sports 12:35 p.m. EST January 28, 2014Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) caught seven passes for 134 yards and a touchdown in the AFC Championship Game.(Photo: Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports)Demaryius Thomas' mother and grandmother were convicted and sentence to prison when he was 12JERSEY CITY — Countless Denver Broncos fans will don Demaryius Thomas' orange No. 88 jersey on Super Bowl Sunday. In a women's prison in Tallahassee, Fla., Katina Smith will make her own.Just as she has on so many other NFL Sundays (and a few Mondays, too) over the last four years, Smith will use tape to put her son's number on the back of her khaki-colored shirt.Thomas' most devoted fan base might be inside the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, a minimum-security women's facility where his mother and grandmother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, have been incarcerated since 2000. Both were convicted of charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.Smith, 41, is scheduled to be released in June 2017. Minnie Thomas, who had two prior convictions for selling drugs, received a life sentence. Neither has ever seen Demaryius play a football game in person — not in Pop Warner, not in high school and not with the Denver Broncos, for whom he has become a star receiver and two-time Pro Bowler."That drives me more, to know that they're in there and they're watching me," Thomas said Monday. "I try to go out and play my best, because I know they're going to talk about it to all the people in the jailhouse."Thomas speaks by phone to his mother and grandmother after every game, and it was no different after the Broncos' 26-16 victory in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. Thomas caught a touchdown pass in the win — his second of the playoffs.Smith was boastful, telling Thomas how confident she had been in him. Minnie Thomas, like always, was the emotional one."It was just happy," Thomas said.Thomas was 11 when his mother and grandmother were arrested and 12 when they were convicted. With his father serving in the Army, including time stationed in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Thomas went to live with his Aunt Shirley and her husband, James Brown, a preacher in tiny Montrose, Ga. The Browns raised him, sent him to church, enrolled him in sports, cheered for him as he starred at Georgia Tech and have supported him through his career in Denver.But what happened to his mother and grandmother also shaped him — and that's what Smith wanted. In an interview with The Denver Post in 2010, shortly after her son was selected in the first round of the draft, she said she hoped her travails would lead her son to live a better life."I tell him to be the only example he needs of what can happen and the need to obey the laws of the land, down to wearing your seat belt," Smith said. "Just look at me and my mom."Thomas will visit his mother and grandmother after the season, and surely they will recount Thomas' role in a record-setting passing game. His 14 TD receptions led all wide receivers.When the Super Bowl kicks off Sunday, he is the receiver most likely to draw the man coverage of Seattle's top cornerback, brash-talking Richard Sherman. But unlike with Sherman's now-famous showdown with San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree in the NFC Championship Game, there has been nothing but mutual respect between the corner and receiver this week.Sherman this week called Thomas a top-five receiver; Thomas said he welcomed the challenge of facing a guy he considers to be among the NFL's elite corners — even if he has no plans to engage in any sort of battle of words with Sherman on the field."I'm not going to say, 'Shut him up,' but I'm going to go out and try to make some plays so I don't have anybody coming up to me saying I got shut down by Sherman," Thomas said.Indeed, he knows he can't let down his fan club in Tallahassee."They get to watch every game," Thomas added. "They've got the T-shirts. All of the ladies have the T-shirts and watch me, so that's special."Aaron Hernandez not allowed to watch Super Bowl in jailBy Will Brinson | NFL Writer CBS SportsJan 29th 2014 11:12 pm ETHernandez is not allowed to watch football in jail. (USATSI) This should go without saying, I think, but Aaron Hernandez is not allowed to watch football in jail.So sayeth Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson to TMZ when they asked if the former Patriots tight end was allowed to watch his old team, or any team for that matter."While Mr. Hernandez and many other inmates would like to watch football, it is just not part of our policy here," Hodgson said. "So that will not be happening."Is this either normal or abnormal? I'm not particularly familiar with the happenings in prison so I don't have a clue what prisoners can and cannot do.My assumption is that if you're in prison you either a) did something really wrong or b) allegedly did something really wrong. Given that assumption it seems a bit silly to give out free Internet and Sunday Ticket and other amenities that many non-imprisoned people wish they had.Not that I don't want CBS ratings to climb and dot com clicks to go through the roof. I do. But if you're going to incarcerate a bunch of people don't make it any more fun, you know? Force them all to watch "Dr. Phil" or something
This is bullshit. TVs should not be in jails. They should be forced to sit in a cell all dayy and think about the crimes they did. If I was homeless I would get myself into trouble to go to jail these days. TVs, free food, shelter.
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