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Joe Thomas: Playing for a loser is “drudgery”

Joe Thomas AP

In case you were wondering, money and fame are not always enough.

And in a profession as glamorous as the NFL, some days you have to get up and punch the clock.

That’s why Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is hoping the latest Browns incarnation is successful, so he might know what it’s like to not be watching the playoffs every year.

“It’d be hard,” Thomas said of never getting that chance, via Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com. “I grew up playing football since I was 12 years old. At every level, I’ve been on winning teams. I never experienced a losing season [until] my second year in the NFL.

“Obviously, that would be a huge disappointment, just because it’s no fun playing in the NFL when you’re going 4-12 every year. It’s drudgery. It’s like covering a team that’s 4-12. It sucks.”

Thomas has been one of the bright spots from a franchise that has gone 33-63 during his time there. The team record is awful (especially considering they were 10-6 his rookie season), but he’s been to six Pro Bowls in six seasons, hasn’t missed a snap, is the highest-paid tackle in the league and was a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award last year.

You’d think that would satisfy a man, but Thomas dreams of running into his home stadium for a postseason game, his city energized the way it was when they had a pertinent basketball team.

“When the Cavs went to the finals, that was cool, but this is such a football town,  it would mean so much to everybody. It would be unbelievable,” Thomas said. “That’s one of those things that I try to talk to the young guys about and let them understand how important this team is to this city.

“We could be legends if we bring this organization back to where it was a couple decades ago, or even win a Super Bowl. You’d never buy another drink, you’d never buy another dinner the rest of your life if you won a Super Bowl here.”

Having won 23 games the last five seasons, Thomas should hope for the playoffs first, take the legend-building a step at a time.

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58 Responses to “Joe Thomas: Playing for a loser is “drudgery””
  1. iamthegreatcornflorio says: Jul 30, 2013 7:32 AM

    Cleveland: Where dreams go to die.

  2. eaglesw00t says: Jul 30, 2013 7:37 AM

    “We could be legends if we bring this organization back to where it was a couple decades ago, or even win a Super Bowl. You’d never buy another drink, you’d never buy another dinner the rest of your life if you won a Super Bowl here.”

    ———————-

    lol…sorry, this just struck me as funny.

    The highest paid LT in the league is hoping a city full of people making 50k a year will buy his dinner and drinks for the rest of his life.

    Im not bashing him in any way…I just find that amusing

  3. senky3 says: Jul 30, 2013 7:39 AM

    Joe Thomas is and always has been a classy and good guy. He should be the poster boy for how football players should act. I am sure people will take this story and turn it into something negative, but it is not. He is being a leader and trying to get the young guys motivated. I wish Joe all the success in the world.

  4. blackngoldmachine says: Jul 30, 2013 7:41 AM

    sorry Joe…as long as you’re there, that’s what it will continue to be

  5. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jul 30, 2013 7:41 AM

    Ummmmmm…..probably not gonna change till you sign with another team. So get used to the drudgery big guy.

  6. packerbackernj says: Jul 30, 2013 7:46 AM

    Should have thought of a super bowl before you signed a new contract with the browns. It’s not called the factory of sadness because they have been amazing the past 30 years.

  7. toonloonboon says: Jul 30, 2013 7:46 AM

    i do feel bad for him, with all those millions in the bank account. must be tough.

  8. drfeelyouup says: Jul 30, 2013 7:51 AM

    B. Weeds is taking them to the promised land.

  9. dcee101 says: Jul 30, 2013 7:51 AM

    Don’t worry Joe, reality will set back in when the new and improved Phins dominate the Browns week 1 .

  10. 4512dawg4512 says: Jul 30, 2013 7:53 AM

    Hang in there Joe, we’re getting there…. Yes we are and thanks for being the best LT in the game

  11. patriots123456 says: Jul 30, 2013 7:55 AM

    I think the Browns are going to be a lot better this year.

  12. ncbrownsfan says: Jul 30, 2013 8:06 AM

    I like your thinking Joe!! I believe that it’s coming. GO BROWNS!!!

  13. rollerino1 says: Jul 30, 2013 8:12 AM

    Some honesty…….how refreshing.

  14. greglloydrules says: Jul 30, 2013 8:15 AM

    That’s not gonna change any time soon big guy.

  15. clevelandschronic2 says: Jul 30, 2013 8:18 AM

    I love this guy. He has been the most respectful guy. He adores cleveland i hope his dreams come true. As i share the same dream. He deserves it. A true class act and the best LT in the league. He is right it was insane in 07, between the cavs and the indians it was great. Go browns and stay classy Joe.

  16. barkymingo says: Jul 30, 2013 8:18 AM

    Although I wish he wouldn’t have publicly said this, (even though we all know it) this makes total sense. No person/player would be happy being terrible every year especially when you’re so good at your job. This dude comes to work everyday and does his job. He never complains and deserves to be on a winner more than once a decade. And he’s completely right. If the Browns won a Super Bowl, that city would be electric and insane!! GO BROWNS!!!!

  17. civilwarfish says: Jul 30, 2013 8:18 AM

    Joe knows.

    Cleveland reveres it’s football legends, and while He may indeed become one no matter what, he also knows he will be a member of the Ring of Honor in gold letters if they win the SuperBowl,

    Football is king in Cleveland. You may mock us all you want, and you may think we are forever losers and that is fine. But WE know that one of the greates ever professional football dynasties was created here in Cleveland and that most, not some but MOST of the innovations made in the NFL that remain relevant came out of Cleveland.

    Joe is right. If these guys win, they are assured legendary status. Players who give their all are recognized here. Joshua Cribbs will always be loved here. Phil Dawson as well. Same for Joe Thomas. But if the rest of these guys want that status…they must do one thing.

    WIN

    GO BROWNS!

  18. bmoreravens1012013 says: Jul 30, 2013 8:21 AM

    He needs to request a trade then, because there is a lot more drudgery comin’…..

  19. citiciti says: Jul 30, 2013 8:22 AM

    Git er done Joe.The first round is on Me!!

  20. novajoemicmac says: Jul 30, 2013 8:26 AM

    As a Bills fan, I appreciate what Thomas is saying. The NFL is better when the Browns and Bills are winning. I’m rooting for the Browns to win a lot of games this year; just not against Buffalo.

  21. godofwine330 says: Jul 30, 2013 8:27 AM

    People wonder why Barry Sanders hung it up when he did. Dealing with this is too much. You can only take so much. Here’s to hoping the Browns are onto something and we can string some playoff teams together.

  22. steelbydesign says: Jul 30, 2013 8:32 AM

    I don’t understand when guys whine about things that they really can have control over.

    Joe, if you don’t want to play for a loser, take a little less and sign with a winning team in free agency. You signed the contract.

  23. joeinoh says: Jul 30, 2013 8:32 AM

    Joe, you’re absolutely right.

  24. emoney826 says: Jul 30, 2013 8:48 AM

    Proud to say this guy went to my high school. He was a few years younger than me. Brookfield Central high school alum.

  25. dawgpoundjedi says: Jul 30, 2013 8:51 AM

    He’s 100% right. When the Browns were successful in the 80’s, the players were treated like kings around here. Now, it would be even crazier. We all pray for days like that again!

    Thank goodness he re-signed with us for several more years. Shows that even though it’s hard for him, he values loyalty, as well.

    Go Browns!!!

  26. audient says: Jul 30, 2013 8:55 AM

    “You’d think that would satisfy a man…”

    Really? Why would that satisfy any man who is a competitor?

    The last thing any Browns fan should want to hear is that Joe Thomas is satisfied with personal recognition and that a winning record and championships don’t matter to him.

    And a Super Bowl winning Browns team would be legendary in this town, so much so that I don’t think he’s far off about the drinks and dinners. Look how big a legend Bernie Kosar still is in Cleveland, and the best his teams ever did was get upset in AFC Championship games.

    Stay hungry, Joe! And win!

  27. tombradyswig says: Jul 30, 2013 9:18 AM

    drfeelyouup says: Jul 30, 2013 7:51 AM

    B. Weeds is taking them to the promised land.

    I just spit pepsi all over my keyboard!!!! Funny stuff right there!!!
    If you didn’t watch a single browns game last year, brandon is horrible and he’s already darn near 30 years old!

  28. 561bengal says: Jul 30, 2013 9:19 AM

    I hate to admit it but the Browns are getting alot better. This team will be fighting for the AFCN title is a year or two.

  29. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Jul 30, 2013 9:26 AM

    The John Hannah of his generation….

  30. blackngoldmachine says: Jul 30, 2013 9:31 AM

    “getting better”…”fighting for a title”…haahahahahahahahahahahahaha! head down to the RnR HOF with drew carey and cry in your Great Lakes beer. This thread wins the most optimism award tho…gotta give u that.

  31. thefiesty1 says: Jul 30, 2013 9:33 AM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s the kiss of death to be drafted by Cleveland. A career ender before it ever has a chance. Sorry Joe!

  32. tim8450 says: Jul 30, 2013 9:35 AM

    Last HC to win a playoff game for the Browns? Anyone? Yes, Coach Bill Belichick.

  33. nelly837 says: Jul 30, 2013 9:36 AM

    As a life long Chiefs fan I know exactly what he’s saying, you get tired of hearing wait till next year!

  34. youarejealousof6rings says: Jul 30, 2013 9:38 AM

    LOL! Great article. The Grieveland Frowns have nothing to look forward to. It is a depressing life.

  35. ravenmuscle says: Jul 30, 2013 9:47 AM

    Become a free agent Joe and sign with the Ravens….that’s the ONLY way you will EVER win a Superbowl.

  36. bullcharger says: Jul 30, 2013 9:58 AM

    He wanted to stay in the same city forever… He could have defected to a winning team instead of signing with Cleveland for 7 years. Not to say things can’t change fast in the NFL, like in SF and Seattle, but Cleveland has been hopeless for a looooong time. Bad call to extend there if you want to be on a winning team.

  37. steeelfann says: Jul 30, 2013 9:59 AM

    Cleveland “The Factory of Sadness”

    No Super Bowl. Ever.

  38. bullcharger says: Jul 30, 2013 9:59 AM

    ravenmuscle says:Jul 30, 2013 9:47 AM

    Become a free agent Joe and sign with the Ravens….that’s the ONLY way you will EVER win a Superbowl.

    —————-

    I doubt he could wait 12 more years.

  39. bdawkins2 says: Jul 30, 2013 10:15 AM

    Joe, you better hope that Jimmy Haslam can come up with a scheme to defraud other teams of rightly eared points.

  40. billhicks666 says: Jul 30, 2013 10:17 AM

    Well, if losing is “drudgery”, Joe, come join the Texans, who are on the verge of great things. You just won’t be playing LT. That position is taken by a guy who’s even better than you, Duane Brown. You can play RT, a position that just happens to be a bit of an issue for the Texans….Alright, alright! I know he’s not going anywhere. I can dream, can’t I?

  41. raiderlyfe510 says: Jul 30, 2013 11:00 AM

    There’s Browns fans everywhere across the country like Buckeyes fans. Once they start winning(if they ever start winning) you all are going to see Browns fans emerge from all four corners of the country. People are going to think their bandwagoners but they’re just dormant fans with not a lot to cheer for.

  42. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 30, 2013 11:00 AM

    BS on this. Working at Mickey Ds, or in a laundromat or on a mindless production line is drudgery.

    It may be frustrating to play for a loser, but drudgery ?

    Poor Joe Thomas and his millions, I feel so sorry for him.

  43. bigalhebdman says: Jul 30, 2013 11:09 AM

    Cleveland folks hate when you say this, but as along time observer looking from the outside in, when seeing a team with orange and brown uniforms with no logos, and a team named after a “person” who was fired and began another team in the same state, You have to wonder if the attitude and mindset is one that is forever in the past. Harken the days of Jim Brown (who retired about 1965) and was a catalyst in in their last championship over 40 years ago.
    Clevelanders: What I am saying to you is a fresh attitude and 21st century approach would help immensely, even if it started with something as “minor” as a uniform change. Let’s face it, You guys are the Fred Flintstones of the NFL and will forever be doormats and known to outsiders as the Mistake by the Lake and the Grieveland Frowns unless something changes philosophically. Couldn’t you at least put a CB on those awful helmets? After all, there’s no way to put a “Brown” on them cause it doesn’t really exist. You will continue to lose great players like Joe Thomas unless you make it attractive to them. It takes more than $$$ sometimes.
    Now que the thumbs down in 3-2—-

  44. whatnojets says: Jul 30, 2013 11:27 AM

    He’s got 96 million reasons not to care about a “winning season”!

  45. ambitoos says: Jul 30, 2013 11:37 AM

    I hope Norv Turner is successful in Cleveland. He couldn’t succeed in San Diego with the players that AJ Smith gave him. The offensive line in San Diego was a disaster and you can’t run without an O line. A lot of bad news coming out of Cleveland recently. They need a boost.

  46. mviglianco says: Jul 30, 2013 11:51 AM

    “The highest paid LT in the league is hoping a city full of people making 50k a year will buy his dinner and drinks for the rest of his life.”

    I believe he is speaking figuratively.

    Plus, famous people get free things….not from factory workers and custodians, but from other business owners.

  47. Steeler's Didn't-but-Will-eventually says: Jul 30, 2013 11:54 AM

    This Steeler fan hopes to someday see the good folks of Cleveland once again cheering for a winner, THEIR team, the Browns. Every Dawg has it’s day.

  48. taintedsaints2009 says: Jul 30, 2013 11:57 AM

    Pull a Lebrun, dude. Lebron lasted in Cleveland because he was actually from Cleveland. I can’t imagine living in Cleveland when you come from a different area.

  49. ubepunkedagain says: Jul 30, 2013 12:04 PM

    Ah yes, the usual suspects with their snide remarks. Guess what..Even with all that losing, Cleveland still supports their team like no other. Now it looks like Cleveland has something to look forward to and a nice young nucleus with some proven coaches. I wouldn’t count them out and they look to be built to make a yearly run at the post season. I suggest you get your shots in now, because I have a feeling they will be taking names this year.

  50. ohiogator says: Jul 30, 2013 12:08 PM

    Joe Thomas knows Cleveland and its fans to the T. He’s exactly right, we’ve been waiting and when it happens everyone here will go nuts!

  51. nflofficeadmin says: Jul 30, 2013 12:28 PM

    We were legends, and we’re still legends.

  52. pmars64 says: Jul 30, 2013 12:29 PM

    I love Ravens fans who talk smack even though their team was the original Browns and should have stayed the Browns and probably have a Super Bowl trophy in Cleveland by now. The Ravens only exist because of scummy NFL owner BS, nothing more. Don’t get me wrong, Baltimore deserves an NFL team after the Colts were stolen from them. But they stole an iconic NFL franchise when they should have gotten an expansion team.

  53. gallogj says: Jul 30, 2013 12:31 PM

    I bet he’d rather be fishing.

  54. seanpbeck says: Jul 30, 2013 1:56 PM

    Joe, you’ve already earned legend status. Now bring these young Browns with you and we’ll have the biggest party the NFL has ever seen when we win it all. GO BROWNS!!!

  55. ballboy48 says: Jul 30, 2013 3:23 PM

    Cleveland fans show up no matter how bad their team is. One thing you can say about the Browns fans is that they aren’t bandwagoners. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if the Browns were actually a winning team, year in and out. It would be insane. Thomas said they would never have to pay for any meals or drinks, but I’m guessing it would be much more than that. Cleveland deserves a winner.

  56. bigdaadee says: Jul 30, 2013 4:48 PM

    Wow for us to be called “the factory of sadness” we have a great deal of fans from other teams constantly trolling our site.. You would think we were relevant despite their @$$backwards posts.. The tide does turn in the NFL I recall when the Steelers where cellar dwellers.. I pray JT is around when it does turn and he gets not only a playoff birth but a playoff and Superbowl win. Then all you trolls can suck it!!!

    BELIEVELAND FOR LIFE… Best fans in pro sports period!!

  57. jrcoop says: Jul 30, 2013 5:06 PM

    Which is why it’s better to have a top QB and skill players, than it is to have a pro bowl LT in the current NFL.

  58. quavvy says: Jul 30, 2013 9:50 PM

    ravenmuscle says: Jul 30, 2013 9:47 AM

    Become a free agent Joe and sign with the Ravens….that’s the ONLY way you will EVER win a Superbowl.

    LOL. Bragging about the franchise that was stolen from Cleveland is so much better than Cleveland? Not sounding too smart, there.

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