After Hunter Smith dropped that extra point against Tampa Bay last season and was promptly cut, he talked at great length about why he so vociferously and repeatedly accepted blame for the loss. It was fairly intense stuff. Here’s one excerpt, from Parker and Parker:
“I don’t want to make this too serious -- we are talking about football here -- but it is a moral duty on some level to tell the truth and to take responsibility. And I won’t go off too much on my values and things like that, but I believe that I’m a part of a generation, really, the Lawsuit Generation. Everything is somebody else’s fault. People that are my age -- and a little younger, and a little older -- want to blame somebody else, and they tend to want to self-protect. And I really reject that as a pattern of behavior, and as a pattern of morality. It’s not how I’m going to live my life. When I make a mistake, I’m going to own up to it. And really, that’s kind of what all this comes down to.”
But Smith, at the time, also said there were two types of NFL franchises, those that demonstrate an “undying loyalty to their coaches and players,” and those that are more interested in “making an example out of somebody, by partially putting the blame on them for the loss.”
He may have been on to something; when Bruce Allen was recently asked about the one thing he’d change since he came to D.C., he mentioned something about that dropped extra point. Ouch.
So now that Hunter Smith is done with football, he seems to be opening up more about these two types of NFL franchises. Here’s Smith, talking to Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star:
Smith’s pro football career ended badly last year -- he dropped a snap on an extra point and was promptly scapegoated, um, cut by coach Mike Shanahan.
Bemused? Probably a better word.
“Playing the last two years in Washington, man, it’s something else,” he said, shaking his head. “You’d never be short of columns. It’s amazing. I can’t say enough about the contrast between the two franchises (Indianapolis and Washington).
“I had a real rough ending to my career, but it was my fault. I’m the one who dropped it. I feel like we’re a generation of blame-shifters. We are the lawsuit people. It’s somebody else’s fault. Well, I reject that as a pattern in myself or my life.”
Smith, Kravitz writes, is now focusing on his music, and also writing a book about ex-athletes called “The Jersey Effect.” Can’t wait for the book-release media tour.