Smoot Teaches Kids to Hate Dallas
As I mentioned earlier, I followed Fred Smoot to a Sterling elementary school yesterday to watch him promote reading. The book that had been chosen for him was called "America is..." and it's a homage to all the great parts of America. Like, there was even a passage about how America is "the Minnesota winters, 10 degrees below, and sometimes even colder."
Smoot paused at this mention of Minnesota.
"It's real cold," he said. "Hope y'a'll never have to feel that."
Brilliant. Almost as brilliant as his answer to the first post-reading kid question about their next game.
"This week we come back and play the Cowboys, so you know what time it is," Smoot told the elementary schoolers. "I'm gonna teach y'all at a young age to hate the Cowboys."
Before he went on stage, I asked Smoot whether he was familiar with the book. "I read part of it," he said. "It'll only take you about 10 minutes if you've got a fully functioning brain."
One of the behind-the-scenes people then handed Smoot 48 pounds worth of "Redskins Read!" booklets; "I don't usually carry on my off day," he noted. I asked him whether he reads during the season, and he told me he had just finished a tome about "being the best Fred you can be."
"I promise you," he said, when I expressed doubt. "It's a great book. The subtitle of the book is 'Being the Best Fred You Can Be.' Literally. I don't know how he chose Fred, but it caught me, because I'm a Fred, and I wanted to be the best Fred I can be."
Google is useless in discovering any such book, so maybe Smoot was just kidding, but then he went into the multi-purpose room and gathered about 100 elementary school kids around him on the stage and read the children's book "Old School Style," as he put it.
"I like it to take it back to the old school and show the book," he said, holding up the illustrations to the crowd after he finished the words.
"It's Veterans Day, so don't think I brought you no food, no presents, no games," he told the kids. "I brought y'all books! Y'all like books?"
Amazingly, there was a false start, when he tried reading the book without amplification. "I thought I could talk loud enough for everybody to hear," he said, upon being told he wasn't loud enough. "I'm a country boy, but I'll start it over."
Anyhow, the point of all of this is that several of the post-reading kid questions had tangential references to football. Like, one kid asked Smoot about the favorite game of his career; "probably this year, when we went down to Dallas and beat the Cowboys to death," he said.
Another kid asked about the team's record; "right now we're 6-3," Smoot said. "After Sunday, we'll be 7-3."
I mean, he was dousing these kids with flammable anti-Cowboys propaganda and then turning a verbal flamethrower on them. What ever happened to educational objectivity?
A third kid asked Smoot if he was the champion of football; "Yes, we're the champions of football, because we are the Redskins," he said.
A fourth kid wanted to know Smoot's favorite color; "burgundy and gold, that's my favorite two colors," he answered.
Anyhow, that's sort of what led me to ask Smoot about Dallas hatred a few minutes later, and if you didn't watch the video, this is what he said, before mentioning how his team had "exposed" Dallas this fall.
"We hate Dallas," Smoot said. "We hate Dallas. It's just been like that, and it's always gonna be like that. I got family members that love Dallas so I don't even talk to them during the week. That's just what it is. I literally don't talk to them....You know, I was in that Mississippi [State]-Ole Miss hatred battle, and once I got here and Darrell Green kind of sat me down and said look here, this is how it is, this is your Ole Miss now. And I kind of bought into it....I can be around the players off the field and stuff, but when it's time, it's time. Usually I'm one of the guys that come out early before the game to talk to players that I know off the other team. I never do that against Dallas. Ever. Never."
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