Jailhouse will rock during Super Bowl

Posted: January 31, 2014

MOST FANS will watch Super Bowl XLVIII from their living room or favorite sports bar.

But the mother and grandmother of Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas will be viewing the game from a rather unique location: The Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, Fla.

The pair were arrested in 1999 on federal charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. Thomas' mother, Katina Smith, is serving a 20-year sentence. His grandmother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, is serving two life sentences.

Damaryius, who was 11 when they were arrested, was raised by an aunt and uncle. His mother and grandmother have never seen him play in person but they will be watching on Sunday, proudly cheering him on.

"I think that drives me more to know that they're there and they're watching me," Thomas told the Associated Press. "I try to go out there and play my best because they're going to talk about it to the people in the jailhouse."

Smith said she and her mother will be decked out for the game.

"I have a picture of Demaryius and the Broncos from the newspaper, I might have to take that to the TV room where we're going to be watching the game and put that up in there," Smith told the New York Post. "We paint our faces . . . we get colored pencils, and we put like No. 88, D.T."

Smith also said she plans to call her son before the game and expects the conversation to be a familiar one.

"We pray over the telephone together and I ask him if he's nervous, and I tell him, 'If you make a mistake, don't beat yourself up,' he's bad about that . . . Make sure you keep your team encouraged, pray for them and play your best.'

"One of the things is I wish I could be at the stadium, watching the game in person with my 88 jersey, with my pom-poms . . . And then being able to see him once they come off the field, and he being able to see my face to know that I'm there to support him and his team."

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