At some point during the Redskins’ slide to the bottom, the Panthers became my favorite not-unfortunately-named NFL team and Steve Smith became my favorite player on that team. I think it was at this point, precisely:
So it was with added interest that I listened to Smith’s Mike & Mike interview on ESPN Radio this morning. They got to talking about trash talking, which 89 is known for, and they asked him if there’s a specific player who was affected by his words. Smith’s reply:
A guy I take pride in, a guy I ruined his career is Fred Smoot. He was never the same after.
The game was in Carolina, back in September 2005 when Smoot had just left Washington for a six-year, $36 million deal with Minnesota. Smith caught 11 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown that day.
Smoot would play one more season with the Vikings before returning for three mediocre ones with the Skins. In those last three seasons he intercepted two passes, a far cry from the 13 he picked off in his first three before the beatdown in Carolina. He retired in 2009 at age 30.
Smith is on pace to catch 74 passes for the 8-3 Panthers. He is 34.