Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday morning

Hey gang, sorry for the absence of posts over the weekend. I did attend Fan Fest on Saturday, but frankly, the heat wore me out (and kept me away from my computer).

The ravings begin now:

-I am not going to hop up on a soapbox and say that Steve Smith should be thrown off the Panthers, or send him to anger management, or anything like that. Smith made a huge mistake, and now he will be forced to miss 2 weeks of action and forfeit 2 game checks (big ones, too).

Those are minor issues to him. I promise you.

The word "family" is a big one in the Smith way of life. He LOVES his family (wife and children), so deeply, there isn't anything he wouldn't do for them. The pictures of his children in his locker stall are many, and are quite adorable as well. He loves his wife and kids more than life itself.

He loves football, too. He loves his teammates. His teammates are his family. He has broken their trust in him.

That hurts worse than losing the money and playing time.

I say this because I have spoken to Smitty away from the field. I have seen him with his family, away from game day. I can just see it in his eyes, when he speaks of his kids, and his wife. Speak to him about football, and his passion is virtually the same. He is in a bad place right now, because half of his family may not believe in him any more. Not the family at his residence, the one at work.

From where I sit, what Smith did was deplorable, and inexcusable. I don't make apologies for him on this. If he were attacked, then self-defense I can live with. By all accounts, he was the attacker. I can't defend that. His 2 game suspension should be considered a gift. It is half of the allowable time a team can suspend a player for "conduct detrimental to the team." The Panthers were within their right to make it the full 4 game suspension.

Smith will miss games against San Diego and Chicago, once the season begins. Between now and then, he'll have to try and make the other players in the locker room believe in him again. QB Jake Delhomme says the team will welcome him back. LB Jon Beason says it's up to the individual.

The Panthers must find a way to forgive, but not forget. Their season hangs in the balance.

-Mike Solarte

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