NFL

Aldon Smith effectively ends his NFL career, but that’s far from the saddest part of his story

Aldon Smith has been arrested five times. According to reports from mid-February, he’s under investigation for a domestic incident. And this morning he was in a vehicle that struck an undercover police vehicle in SoMa. It doesn’t appear that anyone was too badly hurt (two of the three SFPD officers in the vehicle were taken to the hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening), and Smith was detained for public intoxication and later released.

The driver of the vehicle, a 25-year-old woman (Smith’s girlfriend, according to NBC News), was arrested for suspicion of DUI after the crash, which happened near 8:30. In the morning. NBC also reported that Smith left the station at 1:30 smelling of alcohol, and one has to wonder after watching this video if that was the only substance in his bloodstream.

Update to this post: The video below shows more of the “interview,” and in it Smith denies that he was in the vehicle that crashed this morning.

His career is over. The NFL didn’t seem like they wanted to reinstate him for 2017, even after he was suspended for the entire 2016 season. If the domestic incident wasn’t enough, this will prevent him from playing in the league again.

Even if the NFL somehow decided to let him back in — after showing no such leniency in the past — his talent has already wasted away. The Raiders hoped he’d be a good bookend partner for Khalil Mack, but objective observers (as opposed to the fantasy realmers, who were certain that Smith would become a double-digit sack guy … once he was freed by that meanie Roger Goodell) know that Aldon Smith stopped being great when Justin Smith stopped being great.

But that can’t be the entire story. Because it wasn’t like every outside linebacker turned into Lawrence Taylor once they played alongside Justin Smith. Peak Aldon was a real thing. It happened. We all remember the 2012 home game against the Bears, when he looked like the most fearsome defensive player on the planet. Losing Justin and his ability to digest double teams hurt, but perhaps even a bigger detriment to Aldon’s game was his partying. Those late nights and early mornings will catch up with anyone eventually, even an enormous pro athlete in his mid-20s.

After five arrests and multiple assorted incidents (including today’s), it’s not just his professional career that’s in jeopardy. Smith has a substance abuse problem, but there are levels to the illness. Some people drink themselves to sleep every night and bother no one, other than friends or family members who want a better life for their loved one. Smith has shown a pattern of absurdly reckless behavior.

  • He crashed his vehicle into a tree in someone’s yard in San Jose after partying throughout the night in San Francisco. Once again this was a crash that occurred in the morning, this time in an area where children walk to school. He was facing two civil lawsuits at the time.
  • Smith was never charged, but he was booked for making a false report of a bomb threat … at LAX.
  • He’s been arrested three times for suspicion of DUI.
  • Someone shot a video showing a guy holding a blunt, saying he was Aldon Smith off camera. For whatever reason, the clip was posted on Periscope. It was never proven that Smith’s hand was the one on camera, but on a benefit-of-the-doubt scale of 1-10, Aldon was at a -2. Now he’s even lower.

It’s so tremendously sad, and not because the NFL, or the 49ers, or even the Raiders, had to lose a once-spectacular pass rusher too soon. Smith does self-destructive things and hangs out with the wrong crowd, but by all accounts he was a good teammate (that is, when he wasn’t showing up to practice hungover after running into a tree — I’ll never forget the scene that afternoon in Santa Clara after Jim Harbaugh made him sweat it out). He also seemed to be an artistic person with off-the-field interests like acting.

He’s heading down the same path as Lamar Odom, another tremendous talent who seems destined to leave this world too soon unless drastic changes occur. Odom is beloved by so many in the NBA, and his life story is marked with so many terrible tragedies that we know exactly why his slide is taking place. We don’t have that same knowledge about Smith, but from the looks of his actions and his demeanor in the video above, he has to be in agonizing pain to sink this low, still obviously wasted five hours after the crash.

No one chooses to throw away multiple chances to become the Defensive Player of the Year and waste millions of potential income for a laugh. He may think he’s having fun and can handle whatever he’s doing, and that he’s just unlucky or misunderstood. But this is clearly far more serious, partly because the grip of whatever is holding him back is too strong and seems to have erased his capacity for self-reflection and preservation. Hopefully that changes before it’s too late.

22 Comments

Leave a Reply

22 Comments on "Aldon Smith effectively ends his NFL career, but that’s far from the saddest part of his story"

Notify of
avatar
  
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
_TJV3
Guest
Member
_TJV3

BASportsGuy Perfect timing for these two tweets to show up on my timeline…. https://t.co/osDnxRhuzG

mm3813
Guest
Member
mm3813

BASportsGuy He also ended his string of coherent tv interviews

WolfmanZack415
Guest
Member
WolfmanZack415

BASportsGuy excellent post, very thoughtful. Thanks.

JustinWebb
Guest
Member
JustinWebb

BASportsGuy well written and empathetic. Excellent read. #raiderNation

chobits23
Guest
Member
chobits23

BASportsGuy he was still drunk when they talked to him

lordremix876
Guest
Member
lordremix876

49ersGab it’s sad…dude had everything and just can’t get right. You can tell he’s hammered in the video in front of the PD.

calebmoore__3
Guest
Member
calebmoore__3

BASportsGuy smh what a shame

BASportsGuy
Guest
Member
BASportsGuy

WolfmanZack415 thanks Zack

WolfmanZack415
Guest
Member
WolfmanZack415

BASportsGuy U0001f609

elliot_brand
Guest
Member
elliot_brand

You hit the nail right on the head. Well written. It really is a shame that he can’t even stay out of his own way.

Scott no2
Guest
Member
Scott no2

Lamar Odam? I was thinking Ryan Leaf. but oh well.

Sfontana13
Guest
Member
Sfontana13

BASportsGuy what happened when harbaugh made him sweat it out?

BASportsGuy
Guest
Member
BASportsGuy

Sfontana13 He looked like shit walking to the locker room after practice, which is closed to media during the regular season.

suzanne_cummins
Guest
Member
suzanne_cummins

BASportsGuy trauma from childhood is ny guess. Sad really. Thought he had the talent to be a great. Definitely a person who is wounded❤️

BASportsGuy
Guest
Member
BASportsGuy

suzanne_cummins Seems likely, based on his personality when sober and his bad habits.

PoppetNosie
Guest
Member
PoppetNosie

BASportsGuy Thanks 4 that thoughtful piece on a sad situation. You’ve come a long way since you tweeted that “rocks think Aldon is dumb.”

PoppetNosie
Guest
Member
PoppetNosie

BASportsGuy Very good writing to boot.

BASportsGuy
Guest
Member
BASportsGuy

PoppetNosie That he said his name on Periscope (if it was him) killed me because it was so avoidable. Clear now that he’s really sick.

suzanne_cummins
Guest
Member
suzanne_cummins

BASportsGuy by the way, loved your piece! ✌️Personally, his self destruction is a call for help. Hope he gets it before it’s too late.

jack44031
Guest
Member
jack44031

insidethe49 when he was right, he was a force. Unfortunate that he had so many problems.

insidethe49
Guest
Member
insidethe49

jack44031 shame for sure. He was dominant – and he ran the stunt with JSmith to perfection.

Ginawhite5
Guest
Member
Ginawhite5

BASportsGuy sad I loved the guy. Watching him play you knew he was going to be one of the Great HOF players.. Get well Aldon

wpDiscuz
What is Bay Area Sports Guy?

It is the top independent sports site covering the teams that play in the best sports region in the United States. BASG is not an ordinary fan blog. It is a place where sports news is broken and analyzed by writers with access who are not afraid to question the status quo, writers who also produce original content in the form of videos, photographs and podcasts.

Questions/Comments? Email basg@bayareasportsguy.com
Fill out my online form.

Copyright © 2017 - Bay Area Sports Guy. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms of Use and BASG Shop Terms

To Top