Superman still has some issues

I have to chime in on my boy Steve Smith, who I met and interviewed for our magazine cover two years ago in 2006. I knew going into the interview that he was a firecracker, but I was a little surprised at how calm and reserved he was for the interview.

My feeling, based on the encounter, his past going way back, his recent past, and of course yesterday’s “incident” is that Smith had matured and gotten past his anger management issues – but that the demon just came out, perhaps from nowhere, and hopefully for the last time.

Smith takes football very, very serious. He’s not an immature kid, he’s not a punk. Not even close. He is incredibly focused on doing everything he needs to excel, and that includes preparation off the field and in the classroom. I just think that what makes him such a great football player is basically the same thing that caused him to blow up and beat on one of his teammates.
I’m not condoning what Smith did, especially if the reports are true that it was basically a “sucker punch” on CB Ken Lucas. He lost it, and that’s not good. But I can also make an educated guess that Smith was antagonized, and I’d be shocked if the attack came unsolicited.

It’s somewhat hypocritical to praise his exploits on the field at one turn, and then lambaste him for losing his head at another. It’s a violent sport, and it’s not natural what these players are asked to do each Sunday. The only comparison would be a soldier or a warrior from days past, and those people sometimes wind up killing people. I mean, look at this guy. I’m 6’2” about 200lbs. I’m a bigger guy, but I’m not that big. Smith looks like my 11-year old son next to me.

So how exactly does a 5’9” 189lb wideout completely dominate on the field going up against the best athletes in the world who are so much bigger than him? We found out yesterday.

Yeah, Smith’s incredible fire, perhaps anger, is something to behold, but it can be dangerous if utilized in a negative fashion.

But instead of being angry with Smith, we should feel sorry for him because, again, this is not a punk kid whose priorities are out of whack. He’s probably a guy who got pushed around too much when he was a kid, or whose rough childhood continues to haunt him.


Category: Fantasy Football


19 Responses

  1. KCMiller3 says:

    I agree with you John. Living in NC and being around Smith (not personally), he’s not a bad guy and does a lot in the community. He was apologetic almost immediately after the incident.

    BTW, it was just released that he will be suspended 2 regular season games:

  2. zzanook says:

    I used to have some serious anger issues myself
    I am smaller than smith and boxed for over 15 years
    I would crack somebody in the mouth if you even tried to disrespect me ( napolean sydrome )
    I had to defend myself so much growing up, it is very hard to get out of the habit
    I have learned to control my demons and almost never get angry ( and never fight ever )
    with that being said, I am not out on the football field getting my testoterone flowing evryday
    football is a violent sport with a bunch of egos flying around
    I do not know if I could keep my cool if I was in smiths position
    it is a big difference to control your anger in everyday life, than on a football field
    so before you judge, you are not out there pushing and shoving everyday with a bunch of egotistical maniacs

    I am not saying he was right or making excuses for him, because every football player must learn to work in this kind of enviroment

    but if you are lucas and know steve already broke someones jaw before, why would you even try to provoke your teammate to the point that you get your nose broke
    I am just saying

    the 2 game suspension sucks, but fox had to do it

  3. [email protected] says:

    Beats people over and over?
    Not a punk?
    John, what a big fat load of crap!

  4. John Hansen says:

    I would define a “punk” as a miscreant who repeatedly partakes in undesirable behavior, not a person like Smith who has been exemplary, other than losing it a couple of times on the football field.

  5. KCMiller3 says:

    He is definitely not a punk. Just like John said, anyone who has spent any time with the guy socially will tell you what a great person, husband, and father he is. He works very hard to be that way. He does snap at times because of the things John has mentioned and he let’s his anger get the best of him for a few moments. He always realizes his mistake (doesn’t justify) and tries to make amends. He is the first to tell you that this is not the image he wants to exhibit and he knows how important his image is to young fans and his family. He is never proud of this type of behavior (as we see in some other players). His anger is a struggle he faces but he strives to battle it even though he fails at times. Everyone has their struggles, some are just easier to see (and therefore judge).

  6. FFRich says:

    It’s tough to try and imagine yourself in the position of competing at the NFL level. But, about 1700 or so guys do it and many from similar backgrounds as Smith’s. The vast majority of these guys are able to maintain reasonably acceptable behavoir on and off the field. A few can’t; Smith is one of them. For whatever reason his overriding anger bubbles to the surface every couple years. Once, maybe twice this erratic behavoir is forgiveable and get the guy help. But at some point it becomes apparent that the behavoir, most probably, isn’t going to change; regardless of what’s causing it. I have no idea if Smith is at that point…but it sure doesn’t look good. What a talent, hopefully this is his last “outburst”.

  7. John Hansen says:

    This will about do it. If it happens again, he’ll lose everyone’s support.

  8. Stork says:

    Posted by Mike Florio on August 2, 2008, 4:09 p.m.

    We’re hearing via our network of sources that the fight between Steve Smith and Ken Lucas, which ended with Lucas getting a broken nose, arose from the perception or reality that Lucas has had one or more nose jobs.


    As the rumor goes, some of the players make fun of Lucas for the perception or reality that he has undergone the procedure once or more in the past. And, as the rumor goes, Lucas made a solid play on Smith not long before the fight happened. And, as the rumor goes, those who make fun of Lucas for the perception or reality that he has gotten one or more nose jobs then started to make fun of Smith for being shown up by Lucas. And, as the rumor goes, this prompted Smith to take out his frustrations on Lucas and/or his nose.

    Again, this is all rumor. However, a search of available photos suggests that, at some point between sitting for his 2005 head shot with the Panthers and his 2007 team head shot, something changed regarding Lucas’ nose. Here’s the photographic evidence.

  9. wooster says:

    Feel sorry for him? I got picked on too when I was a little kid but I dont go running around sucker punching my co-workers now. That is inmature and selfish and that is what S. Smith is. Classic case of little man syndrome.

  10. PackFan says:

    I’m really, really suprised at how small Steve Smith looks sitting next to you. It’s an eye-opener! For a guy this size to become a top receiver in the NFL shows just how much moxie he must have.

  11. jbeau says:

    I love the guy. He can punch out people all day. 5′ 9″ and that is probably being nice. The dude is the definition of a football player. You go Steve.

  12. tpwaller says:

    I can’t buy that. Sounds like the Carolina Panthers are tired of it to if they suspend their top WR (and maybe player) for 2 games without pay. It will cost him $205,882 to break Lucas’ nose.

    Steve Smith has underperformed the last 2 years. He rarely stays healthy all year. Fantasy Football people have been paying for his 2005 production too long. I’m not saying I won’t draft him, but he’s not high on my list.

  13. bjchapin1 says:

    How can you feel sorry for guy who is obviously a terrible teammate? This is the second time this has happened (in 2002 he punched another teammate in a dark film room), plus since when is it ok to fight a guy on your own team in any sport? I can buy your agrument about fire, etc if he was in a fight on the field against another team. But going after teammates shows how selfish he is, especially for a so-called ‘leader’ and ‘best player on team’. This is the sort of thing that can put an entire season down the tubes, be wary of Carolina.

  14. truckie says:

    Hey John, question is: where do u draft Smith to take advantage of him after week 2. Because you can’t use him the first 2 weeks. What kind of plan do u have for this? Or do u bother with it at all and move on to someone else? Thanks

  15. John Hansen says:

    I still take the guy late 4th or early 5th, hell yeah. Smith was on fire through two games last year in Davidson’s system and then of course was destroyed by Carr and friends. I also believe the Panthers stepped in with the suspension so the league didn’t do so first with a longer one. It’s the year of the suspension, or at least the threat of one!

  16. Stork says:

    Interesting blurb from ESPN’s Matt Mosley today on this:

    Smith to the Cowboys?
    August 4, 2008 4:42 PM

    Posted by’s Matt Mosley

    I have a call into my esteemed NFC South blog colleague Pat Yasinskas about the status of wide receiver Steve Smith, who has been suspended for the first two regular-season games for punching teammate Ken Lucas in the face during training camp.

    There have been rumblings out of Panthers camp that club officials are fed up with Smith’s actions (not just the latest incident) and are at least considering the idea of dealing him to another team.

    The idea of trading one of the best receivers in football seems far-fetched, but Smith has become a divisive force on the team. One Panthers source said that several defensive backs were walking around after the recent incident saying that if management didn’t discipline Smith, they would. This isn’t exactly the best way to begin a season.

    All that to say that I know an owner in the NFC East who has spent the last four months coveting another star wide receiver. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones struckout with Chad Johnson, the Lions’ Roy Williams and Anquan Boldin, but behind closed doors, he’s still pining away for someone to play opposite Terrell Owens.

    This roster already includes T.O., Tank Johnson and Adam Jones. What’s one more player with a few dings on his resume? You think I’m reaching on this one?

    Well, I just talked to someone in Oxnard, Calif., site of Cowboys training training camp, and Smith’s name has already come up in conversations. But something tells me we won’t see this discussion on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” on Wednesday.

    I’ll talk to Yasinskas and we’ll get back to you soon.

  17. tpwaller says:

    by Peter Calicchio

    WR Steve Smith (ADP 3.3) – This guy is very frustrating. He is considered elite but I believe we are still paying for his 2005 season when he put up 103 catches, 1,563 yards and 12 TDs. He actually played 16 games that year, something Smith and his fantasy owners aren’t accustomed to. Throw out that magical year, and in his 5 other seasons as a full-time starter he averages 78 catches for 1,038 yards & 6 TD catches (with a handful of rush or return TDs). I’m not counting 2004 because he only played in 1 game. But he still often goes in the late 2nd round. Yes last year he could have been special before Delhomme went down with a major elbow injury. But what makes you elite in the NFL is making adjustments and staying effective in bad circumstances (David Carr qualifies as a “bad circumstance”). Yes, Smith is still mega-explosive but there are plenty of WRs I would take before Smith. Give me Colston, Houshmandzadeh, or Holt before Smith in a PPR every time.

  18. John Hansen says:

    Who the hell is Peter Calicchio?

  19. tpwaller says:

    Peter said he was the fantasy guru

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