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Sign This, Jimmy Smith!

miller-article1One week ago, Jimmy Smith pled not guilty to four charges including possession of cocaine and marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license. Smith was not present for his hearing at the Duval County Courthouse; however, his attorney represented him.

The charges are based on the following facts.

On April 23, Smith was pulled over by a state trooper for excessive window tint on his Mercedes. According to authorities, while searching the vehicle, the trooper discovered crack cocaine, marijuana and a business card with traces of powder cocaine.

If I were former Jacksonville Jaguar wide receiver Jimmy Smith, I would sign a long-term deal with Sharpie, the permanent marker company. It may be the only way he can win back his fan base. He should carry around five Sharpie markers at all times. If forty fans bull rush Smith in frenzied attempts for autographs, then he needs to sign every single hat, shirt or appropriately exposed skin.

After two days of continuous autograph signing, Smith might complain that his hand hurts. Well, that would be most unfortunate. If respect from young Jag supporters or intense season ticketholders matters, then he won’t think twice about lathering his hand with Bengay and trucking along with the endless dotting of the I’s and the scribbling of the jersey number 82.

I don’t think it is too much to ask. Jacksonville needs its beloved Jaguar back in the community performing good deeds for adoring fans.

It’s merely a suggestion for the most talented Jaguar wide receiver in the club’s short history. He doesn’t have to autograph anything if he doesn’t want to do so. Nevertheless, Smith doesn’t have many options. The once-famous NFL star has had a number of drug-related incidents. He should try and break the tackle of this stigma.

In the world of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, Smith might have to get down on his hands and knees for this city that graciously opened its arms for him. However, Jacksonville will forever have its arms open for No. 82. It’s simply a matter of whether or not Smith wants to be embraced.

Hopefully, Smith is in deep contract negotiations with Sharpie. If nothing comes to fruition with it, Smith might have to go into seclusion.

They say time heals all wounds. It will take some time for Jaguar fans to forget about Smith’s charges. But, for now, the “Pride of the Jaguars” (the team’s Hall of Fame) is out of the question. No. 82 won’t join former Jaguar left tackle Tony Boselli in the “Pride.” Mark Brunell and Fred Taylor will be inducted long before Smith.

Smith’s on-the-field career is no longer a priority. Getting his life in order off the field should be his number one goal.

All of Jimmy Smith’s career-receiving statistics are temporarily forgotten. Eleven years with the Jaguars seems like nothing compared to his run-ins with the law. During his stellar NFL career, Smith compiled 862 receptions, 12,287 receiving yards and caught 67 touchdowns.

None of that matters now. His five consecutive appearances in the Pro Bowl (1997-2001) are merely memories of trips to Hawaii. Unfortunately, his alleged drug charges will be the most recent recollections.

There is no doubt this situation is difficult on him and his family. And, I and his fans are very disappointed in him. Don’t get me wrong. I would be elated at seeing Jimmy Smith’s name in the “Pride of the Jaguars.” And, once he wins his fight in the courtroom, Smith should win back his public image.

If Smith’s public image means anything to him, which I think it does, he will immediately hit the streets for autograph signings.

Optimistically, Smith will emit new-found confidence and become extremely active in the community. Jimmy Smith should know that we all still admire him and support him during his legal battle.

7 Responses »

  1. Jimmy Smith was truly a top-notch asset to our Jaguar team. Though there are many reasons for addiction and it is socially unacceptable, the man has to be in pain. Extending your body in order to reach a football thrown 30 inches above your head (in football terms "stretching him out") provides the defense with a perfect target to crush, slam, smash, cream or otherwise maim, fracture or even kill. It looks good on television as he lands upside down on his head and better in "best of" dvds but overall someone got hurt. Jimmy was that person.

    Now the NFL puts him out to pasture, mentally spent and physically broken. The lights of "FAME" are turned off and Jimmy is left to fend for himself. In my lifetime, I've torn one rotator cuff. Amputation would have felt better. After three months, I could finally use my arm again. Imagine Sunday after Sunday the true physical sacrifices Jimmy made for our team.

    It is sad that after all the money that the Jaguar franchise, the NFL organization, the television companies and vendors made from his wild and careless running leaps and extensions that they put him to shame. How quickly we all forget what he did. I say "Shame on Them". WE LOVE YOU JIMMY !

    For all the crumpled and broken sports superstars like even Mohammad Ali, you all deserve even more adoration than remotely possible. The profiteers leave you behind but those of us who watched and admired you in your Glory Days have a responsibility to prop you up and love you unconditionally.

    Waiting for your signature. I have a sharpie. Come back to us Jimmy.


  2. Very interesting angle on a very sad situation for Jimmy Smith. I agree with you. His statistics are incredible, but people will remember the run-ins with the law. It's such a shame that these sports figures succumb to substance abuse and find themselves facing criminal charges and the courtroom. But, Jimmy Smith was there for us when we needed him, and so we should be there for him when he needs us most. I, too, am waiting for Jimmy's signature. Jimmy may also consider speaking to the young people at the local schools to explain his successes as well as his indiscretions.

  3. Another well written article. Richard keep up the good work.

  4. Good article. Certainly inspires thought. Here's wishing Jimmy Smith the very best. Regardless of his troubles with the law, it would be very nice to see Jimmy and other NFL players out there in the public performing good deeds and community service. They are role models and have so much to offer the community.

  5. Well written! Keep up the good work!!!! We need more like you!!!!!!

  6. Good job, great article.