Fred Smoot is Dutch
The things you learn in the Redskins locker room. Fred Smoot is, apparently, Dutch. Yup, he shares genes with those crazy fun-loving hat-wearing singing-and-dancing orange clad stars of every international sporting event.
"You know, somewhere, it happened," Smoot explained a few minutes ago. "We don't know where it happened at, but two generations ago a Dutchman probably came over here. Smoot, that's a Dutch name. Plus, you know, I had a wood shoe in my room growing up."
A little Googling reveals that Smoot is, in fact, correct. About the name, if not the wood shoe. His name is apparently derived from Smout, meaning lard or grease, leading to speculation that the original Smouts rendered lard for a living. There's a 1930s-era manuscript about the Smoots of Maryland and Virginia, which tracks the House of Smout's arrival in the U.S. and mentions a unicorn on the family's coat of arms. Although there are also many Smouts in England.
How did we come to learn that Fred Smoot is Dutch? Well, I asked him how it was that we had entered Week 7, and he still hadn't told me any nicknames for the Redskins' 10-man rookie class.
"They haven't earned them," Smoot said. "We've got Nap O'Grady. You know, Nap O'Grady, 41, the safety."
Why is Kareem Moore Nap O'Grady?
"Actually that WAS somebody else's name," Smoot said. "We gave it to him as a fill-in name. It was a guy we cut, I didn't really get to know him that well, but his head was so nappy I had to give him a name."
Someone asked whether Smoot had anything for new punter Ryan Plackemeier, who sits two lockers away.
"No, he's German," Smoot said. "That's my guy. I'm Dutch. This is the foreign corner of the locker room."
Then he pointed at the next four lockers, belonging to Misters Suisham, Plackemeier, K. Campbell and D. Thomas.
"Dutch, Canadian, German, Jamaican, and he Crazy," Smoot said, ticking the lockers off and finishing with Devin Thomas. "You know? We got a nice section of the locker room over here, it's diverse over here."
I asked why Plackemeier was "German."
"Because I am," Plackemeier pointed out.
"Because he is," Smoot agreed. "And [Suisham's] actually Canadian, and [Plackemeier's] German, and [Campbell's] half-Jamaican, and I'm Dutch. I'm freaky deaky Dutch."
And finally, one bonus Fred Smoot quote from last Sunday.
"I wasn't gonna play because of my groin," he told us, "but once [Shawn Springs] got hurt I had to man it up and call my grandma and tell her I need some red clay dirt. That's what we use down South to heal you, heal your muscles."
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