More Smoot Nicknames
Gregg Williams was asked on Thursday whether he's seen any additional excitement out of the already marginally excitable Fred Smoot, this being his first trip to the playoffs and all.
"Yeah, we have," Williams said. "He has just been even more yakkier than usual. That's pretty hard. Sometimes we've had to wear earplugs this week in the meeting room."
Yakkier? Clearly this is a man who appreciates his unusual double consonants. Tastefully, even. Anyhow, this being the playoffs, you'd think that Smoot would have welcomed a chance to finish off his nickname list that was started the week prior to Thanksgiving, just before humor departed for a long while.
But as Smoot keeps telling people, "my fire gone." The Old Fred Smoot, he acknowledged, has set sail of late. Still....It's the playoffs, and Todd Collins must have a nickname, right?
"We never came up with anything for old Todd Collins," Smoot said. "TC, that was all we called him."
"Not very interesting," I said.
"It's his name, what'd you want me to do?" he said.
You see? Sometimes the past is better left in the past. But it's the playoffs, and there are so many newcomers filling serious roles. Like Stephon Heyer. He must have a nickname, right?
"We call him Tyrone Hill, or Tyrone" Smoot said, referring to the team's label for ugliness that it bestowed upon the rookie tackle this year.
"We just call him Big Boston Pete," Smoot said.
"We call him Rabach," Smoot said. "It's an interesting last name. We got Furbackbini, Furbini," Smoot continued, referring to Jason Fabini?
"That's the best one right there," Pierson Prioleau said.
(Why 'Fur-back-bini?' "Looks like he just put some Super Glue on his back and wallowed around in the barber shop," Demetric Evans explained, pointing me toward Fabini's exposed back.)
"Dude, just dude," Smoot said. "You've never seen that commercial, the Bud Light commercial with no voice, just 'Dude?' "
I hadn't, but then I don't really watch TV. Ok, Anthony Montgomery?
"We just call him Gum, it ain't nothing," Smoot said.
"Golston ain't got no nickname," Smoot said.
Man, this was disappointing. "Man, you're disappointing me," I said. "You said every Redskin the last seven years...."
"I know it man, my fire gone, my fire gone," Smoot said. "I'm just focused on football. My fire gone."
I mean, I guess if you're a Redskins fan and you hear that Fred Smoot's fire's gone and all he's worried about is football, you have to be happy. But if you're a blogger trying to squeeze one last drop of nonsense out of these playoffs, Fred Smoot saying "my fire gone" comes right after a PR guy announcing "Al Saunders will be breaking down page 447 of the playbook for the media in the conference room while serving dry crackers and mineral water and quoting from John Clayton's latest" on the list of things you don't want to hear.
I figured I needed to change the subject. I asked Smoot whether he knew what LaRon Landry writes on his chest with markers before games.
"Every damn thing," Smoot said. "Whatever he feeling."
"The only thing I ever saw him write was 'Suicide Mission,' " I said.
"I seen 'Suicide Mission,' all kind of [stuff]," Smoot said. "Man, he wild like that."
"You ever write anything on your chest before games?" I asked.
"Not a damn thing," Smoot said. "I'm not into that body writing."
Some Redskins were more receptive. Rock Cartwright, for example.
"I don't know, I might have to write that on my chest this week," he said, when I told him about Suicide Mission.
And some joined Smoot in rejecting Landry's body-writing.
"He's got a screw loose," Mike Sellers said. "He's just crazy, period."
That makes at least four Redskins who have implied to me that Landry is crazy.
"I ain't crazy, man," Landry told me. "I'm misunderstood."
Ok, so back to Smoot. Marcus Washington? Any nicknames?
"Good Doctor," Smoot said. "That's his name, Doctor."
"Why is that?" I asked.
"Good Doctor, cuz that's all he say. If he refer to you, he always be like, 'Yeah, man, I'll hit you up, Doc.' He always put Doctor at the end of everything so we call him Doc."
"One of those names that kind of comes out of nowhere," Washington later explained.
"Kind of like these questions you ask," Antwaan Randle El added.
Who else? Phillip Daniels?
"Sugar Fields," Smoot said. "That's what we call him, The Sugar Fields. You've got to see 'Harlem Nights,' you've never seen 'Harlem Nights,' " he said, without bothering to ask. "There was this officer in 'Harlem Nights' named Phil Cantone, that's where we got the name for him. He was talking to Richard Pryor, talking about how they should open up a candy factory and name it Sugar Fields. That's where we got his name."
This movie reference that went over my head brought me back to the promise Smoot made during NicknameFest; that he would present me with a list of 15 movies to help me decipher the locker room.
"To culturalize you," he said. "Get you right. And then you can understand where some of these nicknames come up from and why they were made."
Readers wanted to see his list. They've been asking. This was the perfect opening to ask for the 15 movies. He gave me five.
"Let's see, Harlem Nights," he said. "Coming to America. Don't Be a Menace. All-time funniest movie, Half-Baked. David Chappelle, this is D.C., they should love David Chappelle. What's that, about four?"
Yeah, about. He came up with one more: "Roots, one of the all-time greats," and then he asked the room for help.
"That's all you need," Khary Campbell said, after hearing the Top Five. "Friday After Next," he offered, and Smoot agreed.
"Good Doctor, give me two of your favorite movies," Smoot said to Washington, explaining the project.
"I know he already said Gladiator," Washington said.
"See, he like that tough [stuff]," Smoot said, "I'm trying to do chill movies."
The room offered up Old School and Dumb and Dumber and Coming to America again, and then everyone began ignoring me in order to recite lines from Coming to America, and of course Mike Wise was joining in, and so the project ended somewhere short of 15 and at least a dozen laughs shorts of expectations. But before I left, I heard Smoot saying something.
"My name's B.D. Chang," he was saying, and Leigh Torrence then called him "BDC." Huh?
"Can't tell you," Smoot said. "Don't tell him Leigh."
"P.F. Chang's? I like P.F. Chang's," Torrence said, when I asked what he had called Smoot. "I don't call that man nothing. His mama named him Fred; I call him Fred."
"I like that Leigh," Smoot said.
Leigh, you might remember, is nicknamed Leighvester. I'm still not sure why. That's for Dallas Week.
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