The Thurman Thomas Crown Affair

October 13, 2009 – 12:55 pm by Jimmy Shapiro

You have to be really good thieves to steal a 1,000 pound chain saw carving statue.  Or really drunk and/or stupid.  Whatever the case may be, an 8 1/2 foot statue of Buffalo Bills legend Thurman Thomas  which was carved from a fallen pine and unveiled before the Bills’ scintillating 6-3 loss to the Browns was stolen on Monday from a parking lot across from Ralph Wilson Stadium.  No answers to whether or not the Bills offense and the remains of Terrell Owens’ career were stolen with it.

I love stories like this.  It had to take at least 5-7 strong guys or some type of machinery to lift a statue this heavy and tall.  I can just see a bunch of guys deciding after a plethora of shots that we’re going to pull off the Thurman Thomas Crown Affair.  Next thing you know there’s going to be a ransom for the statue!  My friends and I have done some stupid stuff when we were younger (like stealing Domino’s drivers cars as they always left them running, going to people’s windows and changing their channel with the local cable remote which always freaked them out, and the usual drunken chicanery), but nothing this monumental.  I hope they never get caught and use the statue as a coat hanger and a way to get chicks over their house.

(Update:  Dammit, the statue has been found)

Thurman Thomas joined ESPN Radio Chicago to talk about the statue getting stolen, who he thinks may have taken it, if the statue looked like him and the hot seat Dick Jauron is sitting on.

What happened to your statue?

“It disappeared. I’ve had a couple of people tell me that they saw a couple of people loading in onto a truck but they said they thought they were taking it to move somewhere else. Obviously I guess a lot of people saw it, the thing weighs over a thousand pounds, so it’s not like a couple of people took it, it had to be like five or six and it’s almost eight foot tall. It’s a heavy statue and it’s really big, so right now we’re just out searching for it. The last report I did get was heading toward Cleveland on I-90 West, so hopefully they have video at the toll booth and somebody saw it.”

Could this be a team prank from Browns’ fans?

“You know what, I have no idea. Up until this point I don’t have a clue. A bunch of police departments are looking for it, it’s big news here in Buffalo, I mean it’s the biggest news here in Buffalo besides talking about the Buffalo Bills. I don’t think it’s a prank, I just think somebody liked it and really wanted to have it. I’ve been checking on EBay and it’s not even there yet.”

Did the statue look like you?

“Yeah, I was happy with the final product. The guy did a great job and really working it and really doing an outstanding job and it looks like me and that’s a good thing. I do have on one of those – they can’t really get on the entire helmet so it looks like one of those – you’re wearing one of those leather helmets that they wore like back in the ‘20s or whatever. But overall, it’s a great statue and the guy did a great job on it.”

Did Jim Kelley chop it up and put it in his bonfire?

“I can’t say that about Jim because Jim has everything. He would not have a shortage of any wood around.”

How hot is the seat Dick Jauron is on?

“Very hot. I would not want to be in the situation that coach Jauron is in right now. The heat has really been turned up especially after losing to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. I hear people talking about getting him on billboard signs and just hanging out at the stadium, so it’s just really bad for coach Jauron right now. I know he’s a lovable guy and a lot of the players like him but you’re a head coach in the National Football League and you’re supposed to have your players prepared better and playing better than what they have over the last three weeks. Mr. Wilson said yesterday that he don’t know what to do – he’s going to sit back and wait and see what happens – could that be a change in the middle of the season. If that happens who do you bring in? Do you bring in another guy from the outside that’s going to change everything around or do they have someone on their staff who’s capable of being a head coach? If I had to answer that question right now, I’d say no.”

Listen to Thurman Thomas on ESPN Radio with Waddle & Silvy (1:04, 1 hour and 4 minutes into podcast)

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