Football fans know Joe Thomas as one of the most dependable offensive linemen ever to play in the NFL. But his story goes beyond lining up for a record-setting 10,363 consecutive snaps for the Cleveland Browns …
Growing up near Milwaukee, the young three-sport star valued friendship and preparation in everything he did. Always a bit of a goofball off the field, Joe had an uncanny ability to turn on a competitive switch on the gridiron.
He endured a tragedy and overcame a serious injury to become a big-time college football star for Wisconsin in the fiercely competitive Big Ten. (He was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2019.)
On NFL’s Draft Day in 2007, Joe endeared himself to fans when, despite being forecast as a top pick, he chose to skip the glitzy ceremony and just go fishing with family and friends instead.
With the Browns, he quickly earned his spot on the roster and stayed there—a consistent standout during an 11-season career in which he excelled even while playing for teams that struggled. (He protected 20 different starting quarterbacks—which must be another league record.)
He was a first-ballot selection for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023.
This book is based on interviews with people who know Joe Thomas best—family, friends, coaches, teammates—as well as with Joe himself. (Some chapters are in Joe’s own words.) It tells, up close and in depth, the story of an exceptional career.