Friday, February 01, 2002

in New Orelans for their Super Bowl coverage. Emmitt Smith has long been one of my favorite athletes, despite my being an Eagles fan and thus loathing the Cowboys (and he now endorses the competitor for the company I work for). For me, this started with the playoff game against the Giants when Smith separated his shoulder, but came back in the game to catch the winning TD pass. This guy got all the hard yards for the Cowboys, and provided the fuel for the dynasty.

I remember I was watching NFL GameDay on ESPN the wekk after Randy Moss made his "I only play when I wanna play" routine. After discussion of Moss, they did a feature on Smith, who was about to pass Barry Sanders on the rushing list. At this point in his career, it would be easy for Smith to whine and demand to finish his career with a contender, rather than carry the ball 20 times a game for a losing team. But Smith expressed nothing but satisfaction and a desire to be still be with the Cowboys when they returned to greatness.

It reminded me how as many licks as the NFL takes, there are a lot of great guys in the league, who pay a terrific price with their bodies to entertain us and earn victory for their teammates. I don't begrudge them any of the money they make. It's a shame selfidh prima donnas like Moss get so much attention, while class guys like Smith just keep doing what they've always done.

I'm rooting for Smith to pass another class individual, Walter Payton, for the career rushing record. And I hope the league and the media make a big deal about it, because guys like Emmitt Smith can serve as great models for work ethic and commitment.
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