Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs fans will always remember what happened on Nov. 16, 1998. What started as a Monday Night Football game between the two AFC West rivals turned into a legendary night for Broncos tight end and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
With the Broncos up 23-7 in the fourth quarter and embarking on another touchdown drive, things got very testy between Denver and Kansas City thanks to Shannon Sharpe’s savage trash talk.
The Chiefs were flagged five times for unsportsmanlike conduct
On the Broncos’ final touchdown drive, the Chiefs were flagged five times for unsportsmanlike conduct. Those penalties accounted for 75 of the 80 yards Denver traveled.
Chiefs star Derrick Thomas was flagged three times. He had two face mask calls on Shannon Sharpe and one unnecessary roughness penalty. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs by a final score of 30-7. Sharpe had three catches for 56 yards.
After the game, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt said the defense’s actions “had disgraced the organization as well as the community.” Thomas, who was suspended for a game, issued an apology for his behavior toward Sharpe.
“I allowed a situation to get out of hand. For that, I apologize to my teammates who were on the field with me. I jeopardized our ability to win a football game,” Thomas said. “I sincerely apologize and say to them my actions of last evening will never occur again.
“I have to take this week and evaluate Derrick Thomas and come back and be the best that I can be for my team and for my teammates. To Shannon, who I’ve known for a long, long time, and we’ve had our ins and outs and run-ins, I apologize to him because those type of actions shouldn’t occur in a football game. To the youth of America that look up to Derrick Thomas, I apologize to you because that is not sportsmanlike conduct and you should not conduct yourself that way on the field.”
What could have Shannon Sharpe said to Derrick Thomas to make the legendary linebacker lose his cool? Apparently, Sharpe trash-talked Thomas by saying his girlfriend’s phone number.
Shannon Sharpe savagely trolled Derrick Thomas
The urban legend is that Shannon Sharpe cited Derrick Thomas’ girlfriend’s phone number one digit at a time. Thomas, who passed away in 2000, completely went into the deep end and started attacking Sharpe.
After the Broncos blew out the Chiefs and Thomas got suspended, Sharpe boasted about his trash-talking ability.
“I have perfected the talent to make people upset. Trust me. I know what to say to get to anybody,” Sharpe said. “Not many guys can trash-talk a guy into getting suspended by his own team. It was my finest moment.”
Shannon Sharpe never confirmed nor denied if he recited Derrick Thomas’ girlfriend’s phone number during that 1998 game. However, the current FS1 analyst did reveal in 2015 that he and Thomas made up for what happened in ’98.
Shannon Sharpe and Derrick Thomas are NFL icons
Both Shannon Sharpe and Derrick Thomas are in the Hall of Fame. They are two NFL icons and were superstars in their prime.
With the Broncos and Baltimore Ravens, Shannon Sharpe caught 815 balls for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns. He made eight Pro Bowls and won three Super Bowls.
Meanwhile, Derrick Thomas spent his entire career with the Chiefs. He recorded 126.5 sacks and made nine Pro Bowls.