My Take On Watching Smitty Going Against Us On Sunday. Who Owes Who What?

All those years when Steve Smith played for us, we defended his temper and his antics.  Friends of mine that are fans of other teams would text me when we played them to tell me that Smitty needed to "shut up and play football."  I always responded by saying how much I loved his passion.  All of those battles with DeAngelo Hall, all of the X-Clown type plays, and all of those "Ice Up Son" moments will forever be etched in his legacy as a Panther.  Without question, he is the greatest Panther to ever play and 89% of me wishes he was able to finish his career here.  He is the Panthers all-time leading receiver with  854 receptions and 12,487 yards and he will always have a special place in my heart.

HOWEVER, there is always another side to the story.  Now that he plays elsewhere, his yelling into the camera and throwing former teammates under the bus does wear thin (he said recently that he was glad to finally have a QB that was calm in the huddle).  I have a new appreciation for what my friends saw when texting me about Smith's antics.  Though the Blood and Guts comments seem funny (and in many ways are), there is more to talk about with this comment.  You see 89 is saying that Carolina mistreated him and he deserved better.  He's saying that he was taken out like a bag of garbage.  Though there is a hint of reality in his statements, they do not reflect the entire story.  Carolina drafted him in the 3rd Round when other teams did not see what our organization did.  We gave him the chance to succeed.  And very pertinent to this discussion is the fact that the Panthers stuck by his side when many teams would have shown him the door. Breaking a team-mate's nose and sending him to the hospital while watching film is inexcusable.  The Panthers stuck by their man and helped him restore his reputation.  He then went on to breaking another teammate's nose in Ken Lucas.  Ken Lucas single-handedly saved that Panther team's locker room by being the bigger man and accepting Steve's apology and for saying and doing all of the right things.  That is why I have a #21 Ken Lucas jersey in my collection.  Smitty also was seen cursing out team mates on a regular basis.

Get your Goggles Ready:

So my point here is that Steve Smith should be extremely grateful to the Panther's organization for giving him a shot and for not throwing him out years ago.  The Kraken would love that same opportunity now, wouldn't he?  And #1 resurrected Smitty's career that had collapsed when paired with Jimmy Clausen.  Yea, we all would have loved to see 89 stay here forever, and I hope that he retires a Panther and that no one else wears 89 in Carolina. However, this year he is against us and any smack talk about our organization should be kept in perspective. We owe Smitty our respect, but he owes the Panthers more respect than he is giving at the moment as well.

And I love Steve Smith, but I do hope Harper clean's his clock this week (Seems so weird to say that doesn't it?)