Posts Tagged ‘Steve Smith’

After a very Happy Birthday for me, once again I am back at it bringing you the latest in Southern Sports.

Today the NFL Commissioner handed down suspensions to 4 players directly involved in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal.  Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita were all targeted for their roles in the bounties.

Jonathan Vilma was given the most severe punishment, he has been banned for the entire 2012 season all the way through the Superbowl.  He openly offered $10,000 dollars of his own money for anyone who could knock Bret Favre out of the 2010 NFC Championship Game.  Also it is believed by the league that he willingly impeded the investigation into the bounty program in 2010.

Anthony Hargrove received an 8 game suspension for the targeting of Fave in the Championship Game as well as withholding information during the leagues initial investigation.  The Commissioner released a full statement regarding the punishments:

“It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced,” Goodell said in the league’s statement. “Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field.” (www.profootballtalk.com)

Will Smith and Scott Fujita were also given suspensions for their roles.  Below is a clip of a blatant cheap shot delivered by Fujita on Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers.

These punishments are truly the first of their kind.  Vilma being suspended for the year has set an entirely new precedent for league action against players.  Personally, these suspensions are dead on.  Why should players get rewarded for injuring their own?  Aren’t they supposed to be united, as in a union?  Didn’t they ban together to fight the league just a year ago?  Are we supposed to feel sorry for them when they are trying to injure each other?

With those questions aside I must point out the difference between hurting the man in front of you and injuring him.  The two are as different as night and day.  All the way through the pee wees, pop warner, middle school, high school and college your job as a football player is to “hurt” the other team.  The point is to inflict pain without leaving them immobile.  You never want the other team to think they can hurt you so you just have to hurt them first.  You’ve heard all the cliché’s before, “Punch them in the mouth”, “Bloody their noses” , “Give them body blows”.  These are all just mid sets of the athlete to prepare them for the physical battle ahead.  Nowhere is there a directive to take out a guy’s knee, or this guy has a concussion, hit him in the head.  That’s injuring.

I have no problem with good form tackles, hard hits, or big plays, just keep it clean.  I pull for certain players and nothing would turn me off faster than knowing my favorite player lost his ability to play because a guy was looking for an extra 500 bucks.

Kudos to the league for stepping up and putting a stop to this embarrassment.

Steve Smith

In a press conference this afternoon at approximately 3:00pm, Steve Smith officially announced that he and the Carolina Panthers had reached an agreement on a contract extension.  The loose terms as of now are 4 years with $18 million guaranteed and the Panthers have an option for a 5th year with undisclosed terms.  The deal puts Smith in the company of Reggie Wayne’s recent signing with the Indianapolis Colts.

Panthers fans should be relieved as Smith was entering his final year of his current contract.  This should lock up the perennial pro-bowler throughout the rest of his career.  Smith, who will turn 33 this season, is looking to remain with the team that drafted him back in 2001 in an era that doesn’t see that kind of stability or loyalty with players of his caliber.

Smith is the Panthers all-time leading receiver in most statistical categories including, receptions, touchdowns, and yards.  Remaining with the team may shake up the Panthers draft strategy, but if you’ve been following me recently you’ll know that that will not be the case.

Smith said in his conference this afternoon that he is not looking to teach his new quarterback anything, quite the opposite, he is looking to learn from the second year starter.  I, for one, have studied closely the enigma that is Steve Smith and I found that the more you try to understand the man the more mystified you become.  The best I can figure, the only option is to just sit back grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy one of the greatest little receivers to ever play the game of football.

Rejoice Carolina fans you got your Smitty back.

In the 3rd round of the 2001 NFL Draft the Carolina Panthers selected a small firey wideout named Steve Smith.  Not even the cats knew what they were getting.  This pint sized player took the field and turned this franchise and fan base on its ears.  After reaching 4 probowls, 2 NFC title games, 1 superbowl, mulitiple playoff appearences, and a triple crown recieving title, the diminuative Smith’s future with the team is a mystery.  His frustration is palpable.  Hpoefully with a new coach and QB Smitty will honor the last two years of his contract and continue what has already been a stellar NFL career.  If not expect him to return to his roots on the west coast, probably on a team that also wears the powder blue.