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Smoot says McNabb will love D.C.

When last we heard from Fred Smoot, he was promising us a Waffle House near 14th and U. Because someone in this town still does actual reporting, a City Paper writer called Waffle House, which responded that "An associate of Fred's has been in contact with Waffle House, however at this time there is nothing official." Smoot still says it's a go.

Anyhow, Smoot recently returned to Jackson, Miss., where he addressed a group of kids from his own neighborhood. And he suggested that he might also have a future in sports media, which would make me nearly as happy as 24 hours of Cerrato radio.

On his mouth: "You know what my best talent could be?" Smoot asked the kids. "It could be my mouth right now. It could be my mouth. Because I will never stop talking. You could break my leg, my arm, put me in a wheelchair....I always knew I wanted to be an athlete. But I also knew i wanted to run my mouth and talk about sports, and that's my next profession. That ain't my only thing. I got plenty more things planned."

On the Redskins: After the speech, reporters asked him about the new Redskins.

"Man, I think the Shanahan regime is great," Smoot said, even though that regime cost him his job. "And then for the first time up there, Dan Snyder is letting the guys, the football guys handle the business. He has a great front office up there, and I think they're putting the pieces in line.

"Though I hate to see a lot of people come and a lot of people go, but you know, that's part of the NFL. That's just the way things go. And I think Donovan is gonna really have a good effect up there. I think he gonna love it, because unlike Philly, he's got a city that loves the Redskins, that loves him, and he has a chance to sit back and try to win his championship ring."

On inspiration: Smoot's address to the kids included a not-atypical observation that if he were arrested, the news would make ESPN, while no speech to kids ever would. So in honor of his cynicism, here's part of his address. You can watch the full thing below.

"I'm coming to talk to y'all not as Fred Smoot the football player, but Fred Smoot the person. So you can call me Frederick Smoot, that's the legal name my momma gave me, and Fred became the show name....

"I think the role models we set out there to let [kids] look at is wrong. And I'm one of those guys, I'm an athlete, but the truth about being an athlete is, out of 20 million people, 1 percent of us is gonna play professional sports. Football, basketball, baseball, whatever that may be. Everybody can't aim for that same job, everybody can't be that same person.

"But along that way, you can be something that really matters: a counselor, a doctor, a teacher, somebody's that's changing somebody's life, somebody that's being different, somebody that touches and feels people every day....

"I tell my wife all the time, I just thank God for having the best temp job in the world, and that's being a professional athlete, because it's temporary. Do you know who I'm afraid of? I'm afraid of these young guys that's sitting out here, on this bench, because they're hunting for my job. I'm not getting any younger. I'm 31-years old.

"And now the kids that just got drafted this year, I probably talked to one of those kids in another state, years ago, while he was a 10th grader. And now he has somebody else's job. That's the way it goes. Out with the old, in with the new. So tell me, why would you want to be in a job market that only allows you to play long as your body blesses you to play that game? Why not be a doctor? You can be that for the rest of your life, while you come in and out of your house, giving your kids somebody positive to look to, somebody positive to look up to....

"H had the luxury of going to Washington, D.C. when I left here. Now that's a big turnaround, from Mississippi to Washington D.C. So I heard, you country? I heard, you slow? But I heard this also: you're a great person. They love Bret Favre right now, because he's a great person. And we're built to last. And we can endure anything. But the enduring time is over. It's 2010. It's the century where a man can be whatever a man wants to be. The problem is, everybody says they want something, they don't even have a plan. They don't even have a plan. Take five minutes out of your life, sit down and write it on a piece of paper....

"You've got to be not the cool guy for a while, and I don't understand why that's not cool [to study]. Why it ain't cool to succeed. It's cool to stay around here and do the same thing? That ain't cool. Because I've got friends that still haven't saw outside of Jackson, Mississippi, and I think that ain't cool. Because I saw the world, and now I get to come back and tell them about it. I want for them to see it. I want for them to see it for themselves. So if we're gonna change, it's gonna start with y'all."

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 17, 2010; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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I like Smoot's message, but he needs to work on his math. 20 million athletes, or citizens? If it's 20 million kids participating in athletics, that's fine, but 1% of that is still over-inflated at least 10-fold.

Posted by: Scruffy3 | May 17, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

one would think Fred would be upset about being let go by the team. But in spite of being a jaw on the field, he was not near the a-hole that a dion was.

Posted by: alex35332 | May 17, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"Smoot's address to the kids included a not-atypical observation that if he were arrested, the news would make ESPN, while no speech to kids ever would."
This is so true.

Posted by: BT23 | May 17, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

As an out-of-towner, I agree

I love DC and everything about i

Fantastic place to be sports wise, media wise, and going-out wise

Posted by: Bious | May 17, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought his next profession was the PBA. What happened?!

Posted by: WorstSeat | May 17, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

LOVE me some Smoot!

And even after all these years, it takes a second to understand what he just said.

Waffle house on U St. THAT I gotta see.

Posted by: Thinker_ | May 18, 2010 3:56 AM | Report abuse

I like Smoot's message, but he needs to work on his math. 20 million athletes, or citizens? If it's 20 million kids participating in athletics, that's fine, but 1% of that is still over-inflated at least 10-fold.

Posted by: Scruffy3

You are correct Scruffy, the actual number would be less than 1% of 1%, but think about the audience that he was addressing "a group of kids". There is nothing on the ages, but if there were 5-10 year olds present even mentioning 1% is probably more than some of them can understand but not too dumbed down to lose the older kids. I would give him the benefit of the doubt that he was tailoring his discusion to the crowd. The message was excellent in my humble opinion (the math not withstanding).

Posted by: mford7522 | May 18, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I thought that was a really nice speech. Yeah, the math jumped out at me too, and the phrase "somebody that touches and feels people every day" is a little unfortunate, but I honestly think Smoot is a wonderful speaker and his message to the kids was indeed inspirational and touching. I'd be pleased to see him on some NFL set in the future. (I have to confess, I'm quite bad at following sports-related depressing news stories in detail, e.g. the Love Boat fiasco, so it is possible that he's done some truly despicable things of which I am not aware. But I hope not.)

Posted by: someguynamedjosh | May 18, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Smoot was a real Redskin. I wish he had played his entire career here... Played with a cracked sternum! He's a man's man.

Posted by: Maauc | May 18, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

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