Viking fans have three enduring memories of Fred Smoot:
- Fred Smoot’s “Two-thirds of earth is covered by water, the rest is covered by Smoot” line, which I still think is pretty good.
- Love Boat
- Smoot getting the unholy crap whipped out of him by Steve Smith.
Of those three things, which is Smoot the most embarrassed about? Clearly #3.
For those who need a refresher: In early 2005 the Vikings faced the Panthers and Steve Smith in Carolina. Smith absolutely went off on Minnesota that day, catching 11 balls for 201 yards, mostly against Fred Smoot who was burned consistently off the line of scrimmage by the shifty and tough Mr. Smith (Smoot wasn’t the most physical corner in the world as we recall, nor did he have much in the way of recovery speed).
Adding insult to injury, Smith mocked Smoot and the Love Boat scandal by performing a rowboat celebration after his one touchdown. The Panthers won 38-13, and Fred Smoot was exposed as a horribly overrated corner. He would last one more season in Minnesota before getting cut.
Smoot has had nearly a decade to get over that beating, but clearly he still hasn’t worked through all his feelings. This exchange went down between Smoot and user philw5289 on Reddit late Tuesday:
philw5289: does steve smith still have possession of your soul and will to play football ever again?
Smoot: i played for 5 years after i saw him. i shut him down the next time we played. he’s soft.
This is not the first time Smoot has called Smith soft. It is the first time I can recall Smoot boasting that he shut Smith down.
Not to seem like I’m piling on Fred Smoot, but when exactly did Fred shut down Steve Smith?
I can only find two instances where a Steve Smith team and a Fred Smoot team matched up after that 2005 pantsing. In 2006 the Panthers played the Vikings, and indeed Smith was shut down…by a hamstring injury and an ingrown toenail. Smith did not even play in that game.
In 2009, Smoot’s Redskins played the Panthers. Steve Smith caught 5 balls for 65 yards on 6 targets. The one incompletion to Smith shows Carlos Rogers defending him. Smoot doesn’t show up anywhere in the boxscore that day. I’ve gone through several recaps of that game and can’t even find a single mention of Smoot.
If someone out there has evidence of Fred Smoot shutting down Steve Smith at any point between 2006 and 2009, please get that to me pronto. I don’t mean a flag football game or a pick-up basketball game. I mean an NFL football game.
Even one play where Fred Smoot defended Steve Smith. One shred of evidence that suggests a quarterback ever went away from Smith because Smoot was all over him. I would take that as proof of Smoot “shutting down” Steve Smith. I’ll be waiting.