Touring Smoot's House, Part I
I believe we were looking at the decorative candles in his sitting room when Fred Smoot first explained to me that the public might be suffering from some misapprehensions concerning his personality.
"You've got to really learn Fred Smoot," he counseled me. "I'm not always the loudmouth, edgy-type guy. I love art, man, and I love decorating stuff."
Fred Smoot, lover of decorative candles, Yorkshire terriers named Ritzy, dinner parties, glass coffee tables supported by bronze elephants, and subtle, color-coordinated art?
"Like, the little girl from Mississippi right here, my portrait right here," he said, gesturing to a painting on his wall. "Do I really know she's from Mississippi? No. But I bought it because she looks like she's from Mississippi. Just look at her."
"Art," he later mused, "is in the eye of the beholder."
As are hardwood floors, apparently. Smoot's are striped.
"You know," he began, "every big house I ever walked in, they had nice wood floors but they were just all one color wood. So I switched it up."
I recently took this tour of Smoot's home with the assistance of Ike Nwaneri, the entrepreneur behind the Smack Energy Bar, several of which were found in Smoot's kitchen. I ate a Smack Energy Bar out of general friendliness--"now the next one you'll have to pay for," he said--and watched Smoot talk about the bars to the accompanying Comcast SportsNet cameras. He said he cooks the bars in his oven (which isn't true), and that he's obsessed with their flavor because he "didn't want to make another bar that did you well but stinks" (which IS true).
But the house tour also revealed certain other surprises. For example, we learned that Smoot plans to open two Sonic Burger drive-ins and four Waffle Houses in the D.C. market, since "everybody's one accident away" from needing a new career. We learned that he keeps Joe Gibbs's "Racing to Win" on his office bookshelf, because "Coach Gibbs is one of my favorite people ever in the world." We learned that the only football photos of himself are in that office and feature Sean Taylor, to help Smoot remember.
We learned that his office also features a Minnesota Vikings helmet--the only memento he'll display from his disappointing time in the heartland--and a wooden model boat, and no, not for the reason you're thinking.
"You know what? I used to always look at the Cosby Show and see these little boats on everybody's book shelf," he said. "So I always said I'm gonna get me a boat on a book shelf, so I went and got me a little ship. What it means, I don't know."
I kept searching for meaning, but it wasn't always there. Like, the giant white horse head sculpture on the mantel? "You know what, I really don't have a true meaning to it," Smoot said, "but if you want me to, give me two or three minutes. I can come up with something."
The horse head was found in The Fred Room, located straight ahead when you enter his Great Falls mansion. That room also features an enormous swooping white couch, a giraffe sculpture on the floor, and ceilings that could accommodate a reasonably sized crane. "Manute Bol standards," Smoot said.
Exactly what purpose does the Fred Room serve?
"I think everybody's supposed to have their big boss room that you look at and...feel like you've achieved something," Smoot said.
So I asked him what he's achieved.
"Well," he noted with a grin, "I've achieved never being able to sit on this couch that I've paid for."
(The video of Smoot's house tour will appear Friday evening on Comcast SportsNet's Washington Post Live, and also Sunday on CSN's pre-game show, Redskins Kickoff. This is the tease. Also, more highlights tomorrow.)
Posted by: TOOT TOOT! We want Captain Smoot! | October 7, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse
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