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City Hallways (Dec. 2) Pee Wee football players meet Thurman Who?

No, he's not O.J.

It was pure coincidence that football great Thurman Thomas was in City Hall on business Thursday at the same time the Pop Warner Jr. Pee Wee football team was in  Mayor Byron Brown's office.

Thomas was asked if he would stop in to say hello to the young athletes, and he obliged, shaking hands with and offering encouragement to the 10- to-13-year-old players.

It didn't take long before Thomas, 50, who last played for the Buffalo Bills in 1999, realized the young players didn't recognize him.

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Thurman Thomas in City Hall

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Pop Warner Jr. Pee Wee team

Do you know who I am? Thomas asked.

"O.J. Simpson," one player responded.

Thomas laughed, as he explained he's not O.J.

"Win one for Buffalo," he told the players before leaving, still laughing as he walked out the door.

The Pop Warner players were in City Hall for some recognition from Mayor Brown before heading to Orlando to compete in the 2016 Pop Warner Superbowl this weekend.

The group still needs to raise $10,000 to help pay for  the trip. Brown made a $500 donation.

Anyone wanting to donate is asked to send a check, made out to the Pop Warner Bills, to the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, 97 Lemon St., Buffalo, 14204

Thomas, by the way, was at City Hall for a meeting on the Northland Corridor development project. His 3480 Group construction-based firm is involved with the development.

Mayor Brown returns from Washington

As soon as I saw Mayor Brown Thursday, I asked about the White House holiday party he and his wife, Michelle, attended Wednesday night.

They arrived about 6:15 p.m, Brown said, and, as would be expected,  there was lots of security - three different checkpoints -  before Buffalo's First Couple could get into the reception.

Some 300 guests attended the party - one of several holiday receptions President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are hosting this week.

"He gave a little speech. He sounded a little sad," Brown said of the president, who spoke of the reception being among his last events at the White House.

"He told people he appreciates them, their support, and how much they've enjoyed meeting people all over the country," Brown said.

The Obamas had other obligations, so didn't remain at the party for very long, Brown said. Brown didn't have a chance to talk with the president.

But there were plenty of other people at the party to chat with - other government officials, top educators, scientists, and Hollywood personalities, including actress Lynn Whitfield and her daughter, actress Grace Gibson.

Others there, Brown said, included former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.

Giffords, who was shot and seriously injured in 2011, arrived in a wheelchair, Brown said.

Brown also spoke of the abundance of food at the party as well as the White House holiday decorations.

"It was quite beautiful, exceptional", Brown said. "Every room was decorated."

Brown and he and his wife left the party around 8:30 p.m. to catch a plane back to Buffalo.

Here are some pictures Brown took while at the White House:

From outside the White House

From outside the White House

Red, white and blue streamers hanging from the ceiling

Red, white and blue streamers hanging from the ceiling

 

 

In front of one of the Christmas trees

In front of one of the Christmas trees

Browns posing with giant stuffed replicas of the Obama family dogs, Bo and Sunny.

Browns posing with giant stuffed replicas of the Obama family dogs, Sunny and Bo.

Michelle Brown, left, next to actress , and the acress's daughter,

Michelle Brown, left, standing next to actress Lynn Whitfield. Mayor Brown is standing next to Whitfield's daughter, Grace Gibson, also an actress.

In front of one of the many Christmas trees decorations in the White House

In front of one of the many Christmas trees decorations in the White House

Mayor Brown took a picture of the Obama Family's 2016 holiday card

Mayor Brown took a picture of the Obama Family's 2016 holiday card

 

Michelle and Mayor Brown in front of another Christmas tree

Michelle and Mayor Brown in front of another White House Christmas tree

 

 

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