Agent says Orlando Thomas has not died

Earlier today, the Vikings announced that former safety Orlando Thomas died, after a five-year battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Former teammate Jake Reed tweeted that it wasn’t true.

Now, Thomas’ agent confirms that, indeed, Thomas has not died.

It’s not true,” Mark Bartelstein said, per the Associated Press.  “He’s still fighting as hard as ever.  I don’t know anybody to fight a
disease or illness the way he has fought this.  He’s continuing to fight
the fight and is cheering on the Vikings every day.
“Somebody put it on their Myspace
page down in Crowley, La., and I guess the local media ran with it or
something.  You know how in today’s world once
rumors start, it spreads like wildfire.  You know how people communicate
nowadays.  But it’s totally false.  He’s sick, but he’s good and and he’s
fighting the battle he fights every day.”

And as the only team for which Thomas ever played prepares to play the Packers, here’s an interesting fact.  As a rookie in 1995, Thomas intercepted Brett Favre in a 27-24 Vikings win that saw Favre leave the game with a sprained ankle.  He was replaced first by Ty Detmer.  When Detmer tore ligaments in his thumb, T.J. Rubley got the nod at quarterback.

UPDATE:  The Vikings have acknowledged the erroneous report, and they have issued an apology.

31 responses to “Agent says Orlando Thomas has not died

  1. You gotta be kidding. A sad…now conflicting reports of the death of O.T. and of course we gotta throw Lord Pharv in there. Really? Really???? Sad…and pathetic.

  2. This is really good news. It was good, at least, to be reminded of Orlando Thomas and his fight.
    Prayers for Orlando Thomas, #42, and his family.

  3. Didn’t some blogger make a total ass out of themselves for reporting that Bradshaw had died before also? Umm, oopps sorry.

  4. Screw anyone who thinks this is a stupid post.
    This is an interesting human interest story..
    Fight on young man. Be strong Orlando.

  5. I think it’s disappointing anytime something this serious starts spreading as news and turns out to be a rumor. Stay strong O.T. I enjoyed watching you wear the purple for all those years.
    And LBPACKFAN, relax will you…….You always have to whine about Favre. Nobody really cares about how much you hate Favre. Stick to the matter at hand.

  6. this is just terrible.
    how about some f-ing reporters start checking their stories before getting the damn attention from the headlines? all of the sports media did the same damn thing with the false quotes by limbaugh and now are doing it with this guys death in order to get some f-ing attention. enough is enough. Florio, you should have at least done a little checking on something like this before posting the story.

  7. Why doesn’t Orlando Thomas not confirm this isn’t true…
    I mean, if he’s alive, he can do it right?

  8. Man how hard is it to not report someone’s death until you are sure? You can bitch about other people doing it to Florio but why don’t YOU take it upon your self to make sure a “rumor” of this caliber is true before reporting it. Did we learn nothing from the Terry Bradshaw incident?
    For those of you new to the site who are wondering why people are referencing Terry Bradshaw, Florio reported he had died once too. Of course Bradshaw had not died and there was no basis for the information.

  9. I would like to announce the sad story of the death of the Green Bay Packers. They passed away at 6:30pm CST on Sunday November 1st.

  10. It’s a sad commentary on a pathetic franchise. After the Love Boat, Whizanator, and scalping Superbowl tickets, the one franchise that could least afford to look like a fool (as if hiring Childress didn’t confirm that outright) would be the Vikings.
    But they did the right thing in apologizing. Next, they should apologize to their fans for not having a decent stadium which will soon be rectified in Los Angeles.

  11. Somebody from Crowley may have put it on their MySpace page, but the local media did not touch the story. No mention on any of the TV stations, their website and not on the Lafayette, LA Daily Advertiser website. No mention. I know people in the UL Lafayette Administration, Orlando Thomas’ Alma Mater, and they had no such news. If anybody was irresponsible here, it is the Minnesota Vikings, the Sporting News, and this very website.

  12. Actually I think the Vikings are the ones that should have confirmed it. It seems like something that would have been easy for them to do. You can’t bitch at Florio for reporting something the team has announced. Thomas is going through enough already. If he is aware that his death has been reported, that’s all the more brutal.

  13. Leave it to callous Packer fans like JimmySmith and Tundra to look to assign blame to anyone.
    Further proving what a pathetic fanbase this team has.
    What the love boat etc. has to do with this poor man’s health issues, only you would know.
    You know, I usually kind of laugh at tour pathetic 1 trick pony posts, it’s alwas the same thing.
    But on this one, either you don’t know any better, or you are just a pathetic piece of garbage that wants to hurl insults at the expense of the vikings, no matter what.
    There is a time an a place for ” trash talk” ane when we are dicusssing whether a man is dead or not, is not the time or place to be making fun of a franchise.
    You sicken me. You are an ignorant piece of shit!

  14. I think you are missing the point, it has nothing to do with Orlando Thomas, and it has everything to do with how the Vikings operate as an organization. Are you disputing that the Vikings acted in a reprehensive manner?
    You would think after they buried Korey Stringer, the Vikings would remain vigilant in upholding their own reputation in matters regarding their players and ex players.
    Someone should be fired for this sorry episode and if you want to attack me for pointing out the obvious, be my guest.

  15. Amen Chikenfoot, I find it amazing I have posts blocked by this site constantly that are completely clean that i guess the moderators find controversial, nothing extraordinary. It’s been frustrating to say the least. But then they’ll post mindless dribble by idiots bashing teams on a post regarding whether a man has died sub-40 years old.
    How posts like JimmySmith’s make it for others to see is atrocious. Go away.

  16. It’s not Florio’s fault that he was reporting something that WAS POSTED ON THE VIKINGS HOMEPAGE!!
    That team can’t do anything right.
    Fight on #42, I always loved watching you play, he was one of the few that could tackle Barry Sanders on the first try.

  17. Not good at all. People are more important than getting the scoop on the story guys. Keep fighting Orlando.

  18. JimmySmith says:
    October 29, 2009 9:44 AM
    I think you are missing the point, it has nothing to do with Orlando Thomas,
    You said it yourself there douchebag.
    Keep your hatred for the Vikings where it belongs!
    Not on a post of whether Orlando Thomas died or not.
    Try to justify any way you want you worthless POS, the fact remains that you are a classless idiot for even bringthe other stuff up.
    How are they being reprehensive? A media outlet in La. reported it, why would they lie?
    Why shouldn’t they have checked it out before they ran with it? How does that fall on the Vikings?
    It’s just another in the long line of inane drivel of yours.
    Your hatred for the orginization as a whole, makes you seem to think that gives you carte blance to be an insensitive asshole.
    There is a time an a place for trash talk and this thread isn’t it.
    You disgust me. To me, before, you were just an annoying piss ant. Now, you’ve sunk to a whole new level.
    You are a sad excuse for a human being.
    That what you have done is wrong and you don’t get it, speaks volumes about your upbringing and your lack of intelligence.
    I’m all for giving rival fans shit, but not on a thread like this.
    Be happy the man didn’t die at 37. Viking or packer, has nothing to do with it.
    The post should be about that not what a horrid franchise you think the Vikes are.

  19. I said it in one of the other blogs about this and I will say it again. It is 100% Florios fault for reporting the news of OTs death without verifying the facts first. Same as it is the fault of KFAN radio and the Vikings web site.
    Further, it is Florio’s fault for NOT taking down his original post saying that he died.
    Leave it to the GB fans and the trolls like JimmySmith to bring up things completely unrelated.
    Go ahead Jimmy, flame away.

  20. Twiz-
    It has been Florio’s position since the site opened that he doesn’t take any post down to “cover up” a mistake or a bad prediction or something like that. He has always just posted another story or added to the existing one further explaining the situation.
    That is an example of integrity and accountability, regardless of what you chose to believe. By leaving the original up rather than hiding it, he accepts responsibility.
    Is it unreasonable to jump to a conclusion from a message board? Yes. Is it unreasonable to post a story that was on a TEAM WEBSITE written by EMPLOYEES OF THE TEAM? NO.
    Florio is guilty of trusting that a team would know whether or not a former player were alive or not.
    If anything, Florio posting the story helped prevent the spread of the false info, since Jake Reed obviously is a member of the PFT Planet and read the story and came forward to debunk it.

  21. @akuehn713
    If that has been Lord Florio’s position in the past, he needs to stick to it. He has taken down other blogs, that were proven 100% wrong. No reason he shouldn’t take that one down as well.
    If Florio wants to play reporter, even if in a blog, he needs to learn how to check facts before blogging. Many others were able to check before posting, why not Lord Florio?
    I am not saying any site was right in reporting it before checking facts, but at least reputable sites took down the info and posted apologies. Lord Florio couldn’t even apologize for his own stupidity!

  22. @akuehn713
    One other thing, it is not known if Jake Reed is a member of PFT or not. Someone with a different name first stated in a comment that Jake Reed had tweeted that OT was not dead.

  23. Wow… not to take anything away from you Florio, but doesn’t ANYONE in the flippin media confirm anything anymore? Don’t give me this internet media, instant gratification bull. I’m pretty sure the public can wait for journalists to dot the i’s and cross the t’s before running with a story about an alleged death. Damn you, Drudge!!!
    I second LBPACKFAN on the irrelevant reference to Favre. Now if Thomas had gotten an interception off Jesus of Nazareth in his rookie season, now that would have been fair and balanced reporting.

  24. Ummm… Florio just a thought. You might want to remove the article on Thomas’ passing, for accuracy’s sake. Why’s it still up?

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