DeMaurice Smith, leader of the NFL Players Association was the keynote speaker at the University of Maryland’s commencement Thursday.
His speech began with students chanting, “We want football.” Smith replied, “I want football, too.” (Just like Commissioner what Roger Goodell heard at the NFL draft. Everybody wants football, but no one more than sports journalists.)
There was the usual inspirational message given to those about to come off the parental dole and amble off toward Life and then it was time for the Big Wrapup.
Smith closed by playing Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2” and telling graduates who tell people who try to squelch their passion that they “stink.”*
(* The word he used is not a word The Post regularly allows writers to use. I believe “stink” is an adequate substitute.)
With that, let’s just go to the transcript, thoughtfully typed by Mike Prada at sbnationdc.:
SMITH: If that wasn't cool enough, I sat my daughter on my knee, and the band started playing this song. We know it as “Rock and Roll Part 2.” It went on and it went on, and the fans started to stand up. They started to cheer. And then they got to that part of the song where everybody is feeling tremendous, and I had to explain to my little daughter, ‘Why are they saying You [Stink].' And I said, ‘Baby, it's because they love.’
So today, with the profound respect of what today is, for one last time, I believe it's important for every student to sit back ...
(A few scattered claps occur.)
SMITH: Believe! You gotta believe! Get going! If people believe that you can't win, the Class of 2011 needs to say to them, 'You What?'
(Pause, complete silence)
SMITH: For anybody who thinks for one minute that passion is something that is cheap and futile, I have two words for them. (lowers voice, pauses). You [stink].
(Smith then held this pose for three seconds as the music stopped. Nice effort, but that probably could have gone better).