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WhoDat!656 06-21-2013 06:26 PM

Life in a fishbowl suits New Orleans Saints' Pierre Thomas
 
LANSING | T.F. South grad Pierre Thomas is that fur wrap from Barneys New York, that gold chain from Tiffany's.

In the words of Anchorman's Ron Burgundy: Im very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

Difference is, Thomas has remained as down to earth as the neighborhood mailman while running the football for the New Orleans Saints.

Thursday was a rare chance to relax with friends and fans at his free skills camp, which drew nearly 100 kids. As a professional athlete, there are certain "limitations" as to what a guy like Thomas can do to just kick loose.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Thomas is guaranteed $4.2 million of his current four-year, $11.2 million contract, so the Saints will always preach common sense to their rostered players.

They certainly wouldn't want Drew Brees to take up bull riding in the offseason.

"It's not really about if it's in your contract as to what you can or cannot do," Thomas said. "It's all about being smart. You don't want to put yourself in a position where you might get hurt and jeopardize your season and your career.

"You don't want to put yourself in a position of going jet skiing or water skiing or snow boarding and risking injury. You got to be smart with your decisions."

And that includes your social life.

"It's like drinking and driving. Why do that to yourself?" Thomas said. "Why put yourself in bad positions?"

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound former Illini star, who went undrafted, was slowed late last season by a knee injury and ended up on injured reserve.

Often used in short-yardage and red zone situations, where he's at his best, Thomas will be even more valuable in 2013 as Saints' coach Sean Payton vows to step up the running game.

So no skydiving over the Grand Canyon or snorkeling off the Great Barrier Reef.

"I have not received any 'lists' of what you can and can't do," Thomas said, smiling. "They might verbally announce it, but you're your own man."

Suppose your buds from those T.F. South days were to suggest a friendly game of hoops at the local park?

"Yeah, I'll do that," Thomas said. "But I'm not gonna go all out. I'm not gonna do a Derrick Rose and dunk on someone. I'd just go there and shoot around. It's about smart choices."

Being a Pierre Thomas or Luol Deng or Jay Cutler often means living in a fishbowl until the day you retire.

"You really don't have much freedom," said Thomas, who isn't complaining. "If I'm here in Chicago, I have a chance to sit back and kick it with some friends.

"In New Orleans, there's none of that. I don't mind but it's constant. I don't have a chance to be myself and just have fun."

The autograph seekers and paparazzi are relentless.

Thomas said he doesn't mind because he's truly blessed to be playing in the NFL, so he tries to be obliging.

On Thursday, while posing for pictures with his campers, the smiling Thomas gave each a meaningful hug, asked how they were doing and did they have fun?

The kids, shy at first, melted like ice in the Sahara.

One little boy said he was going to sleep in his red souvenir T-shirt that night.

It's that part of his can-do list Pierre Thomas loves.


AL HAMNIK: Life in a fishbowl suits New Orleans Saints' Pierre Thomas

darksoul35 06-21-2013 08:15 PM

Re: Life in a fishbowl suits New Orleans Saints' Pierre Thomas
 
Seems like a good dude. Its a damn shame ninety percent of these cats are the complete opposite.

Crusader 06-22-2013 10:57 AM

Re: Life in a fishbowl suits New Orleans Saints' Pierre Thomas
 
I actually don't think its 90% that are bad. Most players in the NFL seems like good peoples. The problem is the rotten 10% you hear about.

Danno 06-22-2013 11:03 AM

Re: Life in a fishbowl suits New Orleans Saints' Pierre Thomas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crusader (Post 509144)
I actually don't think its 90% that are bad. Most players in the NFL seems like good peoples. The problem is the rotten 10% you hear about.

Agreed. I'd say probably 98% of NFL players are good people, or at least somewhat normal.

There are about 2,000 NFL players each year. Two percent would be about 40 jerks.

dizzle88 06-22-2013 02:29 PM

Re: Life in a fishbowl suits New Orleans Saints' Pierre Thomas
 
Another guy that worked hard to even make an NFL roster and is probably one of the better players (most consistent definitely) on our team

PT23!

Rugby Saint II 06-25-2013 06:53 PM

Re: Life in a fishbowl suits New Orleans Saints' Pierre Thomas
 
He's awfully sharp. He's my kind of Saint......and Sean Paytons kind of Saint too.


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