Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Aug 2005

49ers Lineman Collapses, Dies After Game

Sports stories often throw around terms like "heroic," "courageous," and "tragic," seldom with true cause. Saturday's 49ers-Broncos game was overshadowed by a true tragedy, however, as San Francisco first-year offensive lineman Thomas Herrion, 23, collapsed and died following the game in Denver. The cause of his death his unknown.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the Herrion family.

Posted by: Russell Levine on 21 Aug 2005

15 comments, Last at 22 Aug 2005, 7:51pm by Carl


by Theo (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 1:00pm

Jeeez, only 23...
I wish his family and friends all the strength.
Strange to think I saw him play just this spring in Europe.

by Sergio (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 1:44pm

Very sad... and in the beginning of his life, to boot.

Wonder the reason, though.

by Sharon (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 2:53pm

ProFootballTalk says he had a seizure.

by johnny (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 3:35pm

"ProFootballTalk says he had a seizure.
::Sharon — 8/21/2005 @ 1:53 pm"

profootballtalk is the least reliable site on the planet. If they had broken the story of his death it would've been concrete proof he was still alive.

by carl s (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 6:20pm

RIP. If this turns out to be another heat-exhaustion death, I really hope it pushes the NFL into concrete actions to stop these tragedies.

by kurt4ever (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 7:33pm

re #5
way to jump to misguided conclusions, after Stringer the league started taking heat issues very seriously. How many other players have had heat stroke? Oh yeah, ZERO!

by Adam (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 9:48pm

I don't recall any of the NFL's measures being the eradication of heatstroke from existence. It can still happen, even in cooler weather. Anyhow, it's a shame for such a promising young man to go. RIP.

by Aaron (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 10:41pm

I just want to bring up two names, to point out that this is not necessarily related to either heatstroke or his weight.

Hank Gathers
Reggie Lewis

by Kim (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 11:28pm

From the Sports Illustrated article:

" "When he got here," Fox recalled, "the first thing he told me was, 'I'm going to make this team and buy my mom a nice house.' "

It would be a decent thing to do for the 49ers, or someone involved with that organization, to buy that young man's mother a house in his honor. God knows the 49ers could use some good PR these days.

by Adam (not verified) :: Sun, 08/21/2005 - 11:50pm

Re: 8

Just to clarify, I wasn't saying that it had to be heatstroke, I just thought the chap from #6 was unnecessarily acerbic in this comment, and wanted to respond.

I read that quote about buying his mom a house. Really hit hard. I hope everything turns out for them.

Sportswriters and fans alike love to trash athletes as rich lazy whiners, but the hard work that many put in and the tough backgrounds they come from are more real than anything most of us have been through. When their careers are over, especially in the NFL, they are usually left with hopelessly broken bodies, something money can only fix so well.

by dd (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 12:04am

I don't really understand how some people can make comments such as #11. I knew nothing about Thomas Herrion and his death doesn't really affect my life, but I know enough to be respectful. It sounds like a guy who died doing what he loved and who wanted to give something to help his family have a better life.

by tom (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 11:14am

I've only ever posted on this site once before, and I don't tend to as a rule, but I can't let comment #11 pass. That is a shockingly heartless thing to say, and you, sir, are a moron.

by Aaron (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 12:14pm

Those last two comments refer to a comment that used to be #11 until MDS alerted me and I deleted it. It was in remarkably poor taste and we used our discretion to remove it.

by Björn (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 3:04pm

What a tragic story. I really hope the NFL helps his family.

by Carl (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 7:51pm

"way to jump to misguided conclusions, after Stringer the league started taking heat issues very seriously. How many other players have had heat stroke? Oh yeah, ZERO!"

That might be the single worst synopsis I've ever read about the Stringer tragedy, the NFL's response to it or the Vikings' current legal woes stemming from it.