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July 24, 2008 10:48 PM

Rod Smith: A Touch of class

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I have a few sports heroes. Buck O'Neil, the great player of the Negro Leagues. Pete Maravich, Lance Armstrong. Hank Aaron. You can add to that list Rod Smith. His attitude, work ethic, and his humility are all qualities I admire. The Broncos will miss his leadership and his example of what it means to be a professional in the NFL. I'll miss him as a shining example of a life well lived.



Discussion

  • July 25, 2008

    12:05 AM

    Tom Seving writes:

    “Just doing my job.” It was on Sept. 17th, 1995, sometime after five o'clock pm, that Rod Smith uttered those words to a throng of reporters, each of them wanting a piece of the young receiver who, minutes earlier, had gathered in a 43 yard touchdown pass from John Elway, securing victory for the Broncos in a wild game against the Redskins at Mile High Stadium. It was Smith's first NFL catch, and his first touchdown, a game winner which he caught over legendary Defensive back Darrell Green on the last play of regulation. The press waited around his locker, anticipating a quote to match the play. What they got instead was:“Just doing my job”. Little did they know then what we all know now–that, to Rod Smith, those words were more than just fodder for soundbites. Rod is the exception to every rule about star wide receivers in the NFL, outplayed by a select few in it's history, and outclassed by none. He moved mountains for the team, for the fans, and for the win, then gave the credit to everyone else. And he never said no.

    “ Hey, Rod, we're gonna need you to line up at tailback on this play. Oh, and if you could just go ahead and give up your body for the first down, that'd be great...”
    “No Problem Coach. Just doing my job.”

    Thanks, Rod.
    A Fan in Arvada


  • July 25, 2008

    3:10 AM

    Steve writes:

    Rod Smith is one of the best players to play the game just strictly for his attitude towards it. He played amazing football, worked hard, and took nothing for granted. In a era where every team seems to have at least one big mouthed flash in the pan wide receiver (if not a whole corp of them), it has always been nice to watch Rod Smith take the field, suit up and play amazing football. He'd get my vote for the hall of fame.

  • July 25, 2008

    7:39 AM

    Anonymous writes:

    Yawn. Big deal.There have been lots of players that have gone undrafted that have had great careers in the NFL. Smith is just another number. All he's really good for is pitching pizzas on television. He'll be forgotten soon enough.

  • July 25, 2008

    8:52 AM

    [-=m2=-] writes:

    Excellent cartoon, captures Smith's career perfectly.

    Any chance Rod can stay on and mentor our new wide receivers? (I'm looking at you Marshall)

  • July 25, 2008

    10:11 AM

    Michael writes:

    Rod Smith will truly be missed! He is a class act and a real exception to the rule that athletes make terrible role models. He has given Bronco fans so many amazing memories and is one of the best, if not THE best, undrafted player to in the history of the NFL. Rod - Thank you for having done your job with such an amazing work ethic and such class.

  • July 25, 2008

    1:18 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    Players like Rod Smith are a dime a dozen. Who cares?

    And someone explain why Clady was signed to a 5 year deal. That's horrible. Shouldn't this guy have to prove himself a little bit before he's signed for that long? His signing bonus/guaranteed money is outrageous. $11 Million for an unproven, fat, out-of-shape player?
    Another brilliant move by Clueless Shanahan.

  • July 25, 2008

    6:08 PM

    Will Gallagher writes:

    Um Players like Rod Smith are not a dime a dozen. Just about all the other recievers drafted in 95 are long ago forgotten about. Listen to the guy talk and you can see how special he is. He plays for the team. He once said when he scores he doesnt celebrate cause 10 other guys were doing their jobs. Hmm for some reason I dont see TO or Ohcho stinko doing that. Smith was not a superstar because he did want the attention on him. So he is not a dime a dozen. Give me a young Rod Smith over any of these one man circus show recievers that are showing up now days.

  • July 25, 2008

    7:51 PM

    Tom Seving writes:

    Anonymous bloggers are a nickel a dozen

  • July 25, 2008

    7:54 PM

    Tom Seving writes:

    Anonymous bloggers are a nickel a dozen

  • July 25, 2008

    8:04 PM

    Kim writes:

    Rod Smith is a COMPLETE class act! He is the kind of player all NFL should strive to emulate. He is one of the last remaining true role models that kids should learn and duplicate the team approach and attitude on and off the field. He will be greatly missed by football fans. Thanks Rod for the great years you gave the Broncos and the fans! You are living proof what can be achieved with hard work, ethics, and passion.

  • July 26, 2008

    3:57 AM

    Anonymous writes:

    Rod Smith was not a good player. All of his stats are courtesy of having Davis and Elway on the team. He's not even close to hall-of fame. He and Elway, and Davis also wouldn't have Superbowl rings if the Broncos hadn't cheated the NFL salary cap.

  • July 26, 2008

    5:20 PM

    bill writes:

    Thanks Rod,
    Now I remember why I have a "AFL" Denver Broncos pennant on the wall.

    There have been a lot of TEAM players for the Broncos.

  • July 26, 2008

    8:14 PM

    charles writes:

    anonymous,

    you must be a raider fan. rod smith was a class act you don't get the stats he did if he didn't perform in practice. as the great packer wideout don hudson said for every pass he caught in a game he caught a hundred in practice.

  • July 27, 2008

    2:03 PM

    Chizzie writes:

    There are only 2 other WRs, I'd take over, Rod Smith. In this era. They are Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison.

  • July 28, 2008

    8:55 AM

    dude writes:

    Isn't funny that the thing that Rod is remembered for the most, is dedication to the team? Rod Smith is and will always be one of the class acts. I put him in the same category as Walter Payton. They both went out to play thier position to the BEST of their ability and when the rest of the team did their job the TEAM got the credit.

    When Rod started he was not the best receiver in the NFL but he worked his tail off to get better. The thing that made Rod so special was not his talent but hiw ability to inspire the team to do better. Yes, and somewhere along the way Rod became a great receiver.

    Thanks Rod, you are already missed!!

  • July 28, 2008

    12:57 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    The only thing Rod Smith will be remembered for is peddling crappy pizza.

  • July 29, 2008

    7:31 AM

    Anonymous writes:

    I am a total moron.....I know. I am just trying to stir up the heat with my Rod Smith comments.

    I am a loser and only wish I shared the passion for the game that you other fans do. I am lonely and wish that there was more to life than what I currently have. The highlight of my day is hopping on blogs and speaking like a 4 year old.

    I have no friends and am a complete failure.....

  • July 29, 2008

    8:35 AM

    Brian in Evans writes:

    NICE. I had to right-click this cartoon and set it as the desk top background.

  • July 30, 2008

    2:24 AM

    Brian writes:

    I don't know of anyone who gets turned upfield more quickly after a catch. I was always amazed at that with Rod. Just one of many reasons I'll miss him on Sundays

  • September 3, 2008

    11:48 AM

    Different Anonymous writes:

    Maybe I'm just really slow today, but I have no idea what's going on in this cartoon. Can somebody please break it down for me?

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