In a league of giants, Steve Smith, Sr. — all 5’9” and 185 lbs of him — loomed larger than most.
The 37-year-old human chip-on-a-shoulder reminded us all of that fact with the brilliantly defiant retirement letter he sent to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday after 16 years playing pro football.
The note is No. 89 in a nutshell: short, clever and brash as all hell:
The former third-round pick retires ranked seventh on the all-time receiving yards list (14,731) to go with 1,031 receptions and 81 touchdown catches, statistics that surely make him worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, if not an outright shoe-in.
But beyond the numbers, Smith will be remembered for his unwillingness to back down from opponents, teammates or the man in the mirror.
We should all take a page out of his book — just make sure to ask him politely before doing so.