Emmitt needs to keep mouth shut

first_imgJust use “Emmitt needs to shut it” for the headline. I think you guys will like this one, it’s one of the better columns I’ve written so far.Emmitt Smith crafted an impressive career.18,355 yards, 164 touchdowns, three Super Bowl championships, and one embarrassing temper tantrum.What’s that? Whoops, that last one didn’t happen on the field, did it?In the 1990s, the Dallas Cowboys were America’s Team, the best team in any sport during that decade. This was largely due to their popular “Triplets,” running back Smith, quarterback Troy Aikman and wide receiver Michael Irvin.Last week, six-time Pro Bowler Aikman was easily voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in his first year of eligibility. Irvin was snubbed in his second attempt.Many have speculated that Irvin was twice denied admission to the Hall because of his non-football-related endeavors. Ten years ago, in the height of his career, Irvin was busted for possession of cocaine, leading to probation and a hefty fine.This past November, the wideout-turned-ESPN analyst was arrested for an outstanding unpaid speeding ticket. He was then charged with a misdemeanor after police found drug paraphernalia within the star’s vehicle.Irvin, who acted childish after his rejection in 2005, chose to take the high road this year, displaying his joy for longtime teammate Aikman.”Last year this time, I was in my room crying. I couldn’t move,” Irvin told reporters after the announcement of the Hall of Fame inductees. “Now, I’m out here and I’m going to laugh and enjoy this moment for Troy. It’s not about me. It’s about Troy.”Whether sincere or not, it’s good to hear the big guy show some class in the wake of his disappointment; besides, it’s only a matter of time before No. 88 gets in the Hall.However, Smith, the NFL’s all-time rushing leader, decided to take a different approach.Smith, who is expected to be a unanimous choice for Canton in 2009 (once he becomes eligible), ripped into the Hall’s voting committee, arguing that one’s accomplishments on the gridiron should always overrule one’s off-field blunders.”This is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the Life Hall of Fame,” Smith told ESPN’s Roy Firestone in a Feb. 3 interview. “His stats are what they are. They are not going to change. This is what he’s done off the field — what has that got to do with what he’s done on the football field?”Now, I completely understand the legendary running back is more biased than the striped shirts in last Sunday’s Super Bowl. And, uh, that’s saying something.But if these words are truthful and justified, then I guess Pete Rose belongs in Cooperstown. I mean, who cares that the guy broke baseball’s golden rule? He had more hits than anyone else in the history of the game, so he should be in the Hall of Fame, according to Emmitt.Let’s take it a step further. Barry Bonds got ‘roided up in the clubhouse, which is obviously not on the diamond, so technically, his soon-to-be home run record should be good for Hall of Fame credentials, right?I could present more examples, but I think you get the point. Yes, on-field records and achievements are the key measure of who gets in and who goes home, but extremely dumb mistakes that take away from an athlete’s role model status should also play into consideration.Smith made another puzzling comment that I found interesting.”If you’re going to sit there behind closed doors and not show your face and not tell people who you voted for, shame on you,” he said. “Shame on you for a lot of reasons, because … if you’re man or woman enough to make a vote against a person, you should be man or woman enough to tell someone why you did it. That’s the part for me that’s totally disappointing.”He continued, “A player should be honored to be here. And when you start seeing stuff like this, what honor is there? Some people get snubbed because of what? Nobody knows. Everybody’s behind closed doors still making their vote, still walking up to the player’s face and smiling in their face and talking behind their back at the same time. That’s not cool.”I’m sorry, Emmitt, you lost me. Were we talking about the Hall of Fame or a day in the life of a fourth-grader?Walking up to the player’s face and smiling in their face and talking behind their back? I think I just had a flashback of the playground bullies picking on me during recess because I couldn’t make it across the monkey bars.Seriously though, does anybody know what Smith’s talking about? Maybe he’s gotten a hold of Ricky Williams’ wacky weed.If he’s going to defend a former mate, he might as well stick to the topic of why Irvin deserves to be enshrined in Canton.After all, seeing as his laughable interview was conducted away from the football field, this might affect his status for the Hall in three years.At least under Emmitt’s logic.last_img


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