Joe Thomas to be honored with ‘Thanks, Joe!’ - special sandwich at Akron RubberDucks games

March 16, 2018 GMT

Joe Thomas to be honored with ‘Thanks, Joe!’ - special sandwich at Akron RubberDucks games

AKRON, Ohio – The Akron RubberDucks, always a team to embrace extreme foods on its annual menu in Canal Park, will honor Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns with a simply, and aptly, named sandwich called “Thanks, Joe!”

The hoagie-roll sandwich will hold two butterfly-sliced bratwursts from Cleveland-based Five Star Brand. They will be covered in craft beer cheese, onions and peppers. It will be sold at The Dog Pound concession stand along the third-base line for $10.

The price also is an homage for Thomas’ 10 NFL Pro Bowl seasons.

Last season, Thomas had his streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps broken on Oct. 22 when he suffered a triceps injury. It would turn out to be his last NFL game. Since that day, Cleveland fans had awaited his decision on whether he would retire or return to the team. Wednesday, he announced his decision to step away from football.

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The beer cheese in the sandwich is a nod to the stereotype of Thomas’ home state, Wisconsin.

At the 2017 Taste of the Browns fundraiser for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Thomas – always with a sense of humor – answered what he liked to eat growing up:

“Growing up I drank a lot of beer when I was a child and cheese curds. So without those two staples I wouldn’t be the size I am today.” (Here’s the full interview.)

The RubberDucks have gained national attention for their extreme-foods menu. Last season, the Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise” visited Canal Park for a segment on the team’s extreme-menu items like Notorious P.I.G. - pulled pork, pecanwood smoked shoulder bacon and maple-honey-mustard sauerkraut slaw with a bun made of pork tenderloin, not bread.

“For a larger-than-life offensive lineman, we thought there was no better way to honor him than with a larger-than-life sandwich,” RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander said in a release introducing the sandwich.

The RubberDucks open the season at 6:35 p.m. Friday, April 13, against the Trenton Thunder.

Even though Thomas’ retirement is only a day old, the honors are beginning. The City of Cleveland declared July 3 – 7-3 – as Joe Thomas Day. The offensive lineman’s jersey was 73.