Big Week for Joe Thomas: Picking Up a Local Award As Well As Wisconsin Environmental Crime Charges


We now humbly offer congratulations to Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, who this week earned the Player of the Year award by the Cleveland chapter of the Professional Football Writers of America, as well as national headlines related to environmental trouble up in his native Wisconsin. 

"It's pretty humbling," Thomas said, specifically speaking to the former. "That's one award I never even thought I had a chance to win, so it's pretty special and definitely a little bit humbling."

Like many on the Browns' defense and few on the offense, Thomas has just been a beast this year.

The Wisconsin stuff, however, relates to a series of "interrelated" and unpermitted work projects Thomas began on his property up there. From the Washington Post:
Among the violations cited is the discharging of manure into a wetland. Thomas was also cited for building bridges and dams without permits, enlarging a pond without a permit and tearing down a barn without notice of intent. The violations could result in a fines amounting to $10,000 per day, according to the letter.
He's set for a Jan. 6 meeting with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which Thomas says should go smoothly. He says he's in the process now of retroactively obtaining permits for the work. The manure discharge is another story, as illegal dumping and the like isn't taken kindly even here in Cleveland

Without being terribly clear, Thomas told the Wisconsin State Journal that "in the end it’s just rabbit turds here.”

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.