Thursday, April 17, 2014

Aldon Smith: Talented, Troubled

Coming off their Super Bowl 48 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, a couple of San Francisco 49ers superstars haven’t put their team in the best light this past week. On April 10th, Los Angeles-based paparazzi firm Thirty-Mile Zone reported quarterback Colin Kaepernick was being investigated by Miami Beach Police for sexual assault on April 1st.
Here are TMZ’s latest words regarding the matter: “Officials say they are still awaiting toxicology results from the woman who claims she was hanging out with Colin and two other NFL players on April 1 before winding up in the hospital. As we first reported, a rape kit was administered on the woman at the hospital, where she met with police. So far, officials have not revealed the results.”
On Saturday April 12th, Kaepernick was seen shopping for sunglasses on Robertson Boulevard in downtown L.A.; clearly brushing the very serious incident off his shoulder. Stay tuned.
Then there’s Aldon Smith.
San Francisco’s seventh overall selection in the 2011 Draft from University of Missouri has blossomed into one of the NFL’s most complete outside linebackers. Smith, now 24, is the fastest player to reach 30 sacks (27 games) tallying 14 his rookie year, 19.5 in 2012, and 8.5 in just 11 2013 games. He had 5.5 sacks in a 2012 Monday Night Football match up against the Chicago Bears, a record for MNF programming. In addition, Smith won the NFC Defensive Player of the Year. Many considered Smith, if he kept his head on straight, to one day be known as the best pass rusher of all time. The elite strength, tenacity, speed, length. Smith has all the tangibles.
It’s his history with breaking the law that has retarded the Greenwood, Missouri native’s growth, now entering his fourth year as a professional.
On January 28, 2012, Aldon Smith was arrested for DUI in Miami Beach, Florida… I see this incident as many others do, an initial mistake. Tons of well-respected professionals have DUIs on their records. What always ticks people off about DUIs with rich people is that they can more than afford a cab to drive them home. Alas, a mistake from a 22 year old.
On June 30, 2012, Smith suffered stab wounds when attempting to break up a fight at a party at his home in San Jose, California… This altercation, though incredibly serious to even be involved in, still doesn’t resonate with me as a criminal act. He tried to break up a fight and got hurt in the process.
September 20, 2013, Smith was involved in a single vehicle accident in San Jose, California. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of DUI and possession of marijuana. After the Week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, he voluntarily entered a rehab facility, to be put onto the non-football injury list with an indefinite leave of absence. As a result, Smith missed the 49ers 9/26 Thursday Night game at St. Louis, 10/6 v. Houston, 10/13 v. Arizona, 10/20 at Tennessee, and 10/27 at Jacksonville… No one wants to hit rock bottom and go into rehab. To this point, the most idiotic act he has committed.
On October 9, 2013, Smith was charged with “three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon” relating to the 2012 stabbing incident… Having illegal Bushmasters and Armalites is something I cannot bring myself to condemn, but to play devil’s advocate once again, tons of professional athletes illegally own guns. Smith obviously should have got them registered. Still, athletes need to protect themselves, and many would be surprised at the amount that own unregistered guns. It’s inevitable with how much urban influence there is in sports. As for the shots fired, I envision the scene as Smith firing into the air to stop the fight. There were no gunshot wounds reported.
Most recently on April 13, 2014, eyewitness accounts indicate that Smith was detained and arrested following an incident in LAX airport in which Smith was alleged to mention a bomb to TSA officers. He faces up to one year in prison if convicted.
Here is the police report:
“At approximately 1400 hrs, a 25-year-old male resident of San Jose, California, was going through Terminal 1 screening and was randomly selected for a secondary screening. The suspect then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding towards the gate area. Los Angeles Airport Police made contact with him at the gate and he was positively identified as the person in question. Once again the male subject became uncooperative and he was detained and taken into custody by Airport Police and is currently being transported to LAPD for booking.”
My first reaction was how can someone be so moronic? Then, I heard on SportsCenter that witnesses heard Smith say “I didn’t do anything wrong”, and “You will be embarrassed” referring to the TSA officials. To this point, the details are blurry and completely confidential. The way I see it, Smith could have been confused as to why he was being selected for secondary screening, perhaps not knowing it was random. This is where semantics kick in. Who’s to say Smith’s I didn’t do anything wrong sounded like a bomb reference? Or, maybe he said, jokingly, I don’t have a bomb or anything, and TSA’s ears perked up like German Shepherd’s, immediately reacting to the word bomb, detaining him. In this situation, his tonality obviously wasn’t the clearest, and didn’t articulate his thoughts well enough to TSA. Again, the specifics of the incident are vague.
When I was in 8th grade, I watched the film 12 Angry Men in English class. It spoke to me. Juries have such an important duty to be objective and not take scenarios at face value. People who have been quick to accuse have landed innocent individuals in jail, ruining lives due to their incompetent judgment.
Smith doesn’t come across to me as a bad guy, as outlandish as that sounds. On December 13, 2012, Smith announced that he would be making a charitable donation of $5099 per each of sacks during his sack record-pace 2012 NFL regular season. The total would be split between the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco (Willy Mays Clubhouse at Hunters Point) and Boys & Girls Clubs of The Peninsula (East Palo Alto Clubhouse). The donations amounted to a grand total of $99,430.
Aldon Smith could have serious mental problems that are unsuitable to maintain as a famous professional athlete. He could also be someone who hasn’t fully matured yet and hasn’t been kicked in the ass hard enough by a mentor to get through to him. I simply can’t fathom someone faking a bomb threat, especially with his history. Therefore, I’m holding reasonable doubt that it could have been a misunderstanding, until further information emerges and Smith speaks on the matter himself, representing his constitutional rights. Everyone in America is innocent until proven guilty.
If Smith is in fact a bafoon and did utter a fake bomb threat, he is on the path to becoming All-Done Smith, and relinquishing his legitimate potentiality as a future NFL Hall of Famer.

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