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Fred Smoot on Favre, McNabb and becoming the black Ryan Seacrest

By Dan Steinberg

(By Ricky Carioti - TWP)


The other day, I got an e-mail from Fred Smoot.

Subject line: "A Gift."

First line: "It's time for the black Ryan Seacrest of sports, life and politics to be heard."

So that was a good way to start the day.

"I just figure right now, I should be the biggest sports radio TV talking head newspaper columnist," Smoot told me, when we connected by phone. "Whatever you want to call it, I should be that soon. I just think I have the talent. I think it's there. Everybody looks at what they're good at, and I've always been good at talking."

No arguments here. In the decade I've written about Washington sports, Smoot remains the most quotable man I've ever met, despite the fact that our conversations are peppered with each of us asking the other what he just said. Redskins players have said that no one has replaced Smoot's voice on the practice field and in the locker room, and I could say the same for my blog. Smoot even said that he's not sure which he misses more, the football or the cameras.

His football career, if you're curious, is on hold. After he was cut by the Redskins in the offseason, he continued working out and waiting for the phone to ring.

"The phone's just not ringing like I anticipated," he said. "It's crazy. I feel like a fish out of water. In the back of your head, you always know the day's gonna come, but right now I feel like I've still got a lot of football in me. I miss it. I miss it a lot. I told my wife she had to beware me tackling her in the kitchen."

(By the way, he still follows the Redskins and said he'll always root for the burgundy and gold.

"Even if I had another jersey on, I'm gonna root for my team," he said. "That's the team that gave me my chance to play in the NFL. I'm always gonna be a Redskin at heart.)

And in the meantime, Smoot is thinking about what comes after football. His longtime plans to open a Waffle House in D.C. are on hold since the chain says he'd need enough land for a parking lot. He's pursuing several other business ventures, and also hopes to enter an NFL front office one day. Plus, he still has his lifelong dream of being an FBI agent, and he thinks he should start a reality show with Joe Horn called "The Real House Husbands of Atlanta."

"You know, I'm a Renaissance man," he explained. "I'm not gonna be great at anything; I'm just gonna be good at a lot."

Well, I'll disagree. I think Fred Smoot could be great on TV, and I virtually demand that some station give him a shot. Figuring I should sample his work, I went ahead and asked him about a few hot-button topics.

Smoot on Brett Favre: "I think that old man is up there giving it his all. I played for Brad Childress. I know what kind of [bleep] he can be. He's a [bleep]. He actually thinks he's the reason for the season. He's one of those coaches, he wants to be the face of the organization. I'm sorry, whoever's leading you to the Super Bowl is the face, and that face is Brett Favre. Yes, he's a [bleep], times six. I was watching ESPN this morning, they asked if he lost the locker room. He don't have that Joe Gibbs effect in a locker room. They're not gonna rally to play for him; they're gonna rally to play for the city."

Smoot on Randy Moss: "I'll stand up for Randy, a future Hall of Famer getting tossed around like that. I just don't think that's grounds to cut somebody, because they didn't like a certain food. Wouldn't you think an apology would have been acceptable? We're talking about food here. Do they want to get the best food in the world, or do they want to win a Super Bowl?"

Smoot on criticism of John Wall's dance: "You know what, I was trying to tell my grandmother the other day, people in the world, they say everything but the Lord's Prayer. They know that boy is out there having fun, and they need that to ttract fans. You gonna turn down the one exciting thing they've got going for them? If theyw ant to see John Wall dance, let him dance. If he's gonna score 29 points every time he dances, I'm gonna demand he dance before every game."

Smoot on Donovan McNabb: "If you go all this way to get a quarterback of that caliber, I'm sorry, I think you should live and die with him. I'm sorry, the team goes as far as Donovan McNabb takes them. There's gonna be some down times. A future Hall of Famer still needs time to get used to his surroundings."

Someone walking by me suggested I ask Smoot whether he could play quarterback for the Skins.

"Right now, I would play kicker for the Redskins," he said.

(He also promised to start a Twitter feed in the near future.

"If 40-year old Phillip Daniels is on Twitter and I'm not, I really should be ashamed of myself," Smoot said.)

By Dan Steinberg  | November 4, 2010; 4:54 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Comments

I'd rather listen to Smoot over LaVar Arrington. Nothing against LaVar, I just think Smoot would be a much better radio personality.

Posted by: mcupperman1 | November 4, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I am ALL IN! SMOOT should have his own show.

Stein and Smoot in the morning?! Could finally replace Mike and Mike or something.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 4, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

He could have Brian Mitchell's job.

Posted by: tha_prophet | November 4, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Stein and Smoot? That's genius. I want this right now.

Posted by: empsg59 | November 4, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The Skins need to hire Smoot in some capacity just to give the media a reason to put him in front of a camera. My all time favorite CSN Skins pregame interview was with KJ, Smoot, and Rogers. KJ was asking Rogers about their "mentor/apprentice" relationship (at the time, Rogers was clearly a better cover corner) and Smoot took that question, ran with it and began poking friendly fun at Rogers. Smoot, the smooth talking veteran, and Rogers, the camera shy new guy, played so well off each other and the result was hilarious. Years from now, when the Zorn years are all but forgotten, I'll remember that interview.

If Smoot ever has his own show, I'll definitely listen or watch.

Posted by: MillBurray | November 4, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I sure miss me some
Freddie Smoot

aka Mouth of the South
aka The Mississippi Dutchman
aka Mr. Red Clay Dirt
aka Johan Cavalli
aka Brother O'Dell, Pass the Biscuits, Pappy O'Daniels

The Skins should have asked him to gain a little more weight and play Free Safety behind Kareem Moore

Posted by: OG_Barno | November 4, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Stein and Smoot? That's genius. I want this right now.

Posted by: empsg59 | November 4, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse


Smootnstein!

Posted by: visionof75 | November 4, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I would take SmootStein over mike and mike, tony k, or wise and holden. SOMEONE MAKE IT HAPPEN

Posted by: trousers | November 4, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I would take SmootStein over mike and mike, tony k, or wise and holden. SOMEONE MAKE IT HAPPEN

Posted by: trousers | November 4, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Its moments like this that I wish I had gotten into radio rather then new media.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 4, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, a Smootsmack transcription would be a heck of a blog.

Posted by: WorstSeat | November 4, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Smootnstein is genius

Posted by: gadlut | November 5, 2010 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Fred Smoot.....remember the game here in DC where the Vikings were losing to the Skins and Moss left the sidelines before the game was over to go to the locker room? And didn't he look like he was dogging it (as usual) on a possible TD throw by Favre, where Moss appears to have stopped running at full tilt to catch the ball? And over the years Moss hasn't exactly been a 'team player'. I wouldn't say he is a sure HOF inductee.

Posted by: bbmcoachk | November 5, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

^21^

SMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTT!!!

No 'S' just Larry Michael. LOL


We needs some Smoot in our lives right now. It's depressing listening to all this #5 talk.

If he don't get a job, PLEASE talk to him everyday and return with another beautiful column.

Posted by: COLUMBIASKINS | November 5, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Smoot>>>>>>phillip buchanon

/just sayin

Posted by: jonthefisherman | November 5, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

(Standing round of applause)

Posted by: Kev29 | November 5, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Smoot on TV, radio, or whatever would be great!! Somebody is missing the boat on this one. I love Fred Smoot!

Posted by: Club33 | November 5, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Smoot was a tough sucker on the field. Even though he was undersized he would attempt to tackle anybody. and he played hurt.

Id rather have Smoot any day over Buchannon!

Posted by: digger76 | November 5, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Freddy shuud have his own show. They could call it "Thugs N' Muggs"

Posted by: burro2 | November 5, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Bring on the Smoot.

Posted by: Weave160 | November 5, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Somebody is missing the boat on this one. I love Fred Smoot!

Posted by: Club33 | November 5, 2010 9:33 AM

Ha! Good one!

Posted by: Kev29 | November 5, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Christmas came early! Hooray!

Posted by: wbbradb | November 5, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Smoot should replace Larry M. as the play-by-play man on game day.

Posted by: REDneckSKINhead | November 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I agree! Bring on the Smoot!

Posted by: MDterpfan | November 5, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see espn 980 get rid of crotchety old man coach john thompson, and pair smoot with doc walker. Maybe those two could eventually do the redskins games when sonny and sam decide to hang it up. Doc talking about offense, smoot talking about defense. that could be really awesome.

Posted by: notthecrochunter | November 5, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

WJFK should can Mike Wise's boring show and insert Fred Smoot's exciting show!

Posted by: G-SHOK | November 5, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

He likes to hear Smoot talk b/c the combination of his Mississippi country twang and ebonics helps to reinforce racial stereotypes. Dan Steinberg and the media need to stop exploiting and promoting ignorant stereotypes. It's getting old. They are plenty more articulate black athletes out there who are more deserving of our attention than Smoot. I am sure the Jewish people would dislike it if GQ nominated you as the best looking Jewish man in the world concerning you look like your 80 and on your death bed.

Posted by: returntoglory | November 5, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see espn 980 get rid of crotchety old man coach john thompson, and pair smoot with doc walker. Maybe those two could eventually do the redskins games when sonny and sam decide to hang it up. Doc talking about offense, smoot talking about defense. that could be really awesome.

Posted by: notthecrochunter | November 5, 2010 10:53 AM

----------------

I completely agree! youd have to have him on tv doin broadcasts, cause if you had to listen to him describe the game over the radio youd be lost!! SSSMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!

Posted by: jredden | November 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see espn 980 get rid of crotchety old man coach john thompson, and pair smoot with doc walker. Maybe those two could eventually do the redskins games when sonny and sam decide to hang it up. Doc talking about offense, smoot talking about defense. that could be really awesome.

Posted by: notthecrochunter | November 5, 2010 10:53 AM

----------------

I completely agree! youd have to have him on tv doin broadcasts, cause if you had to listen to him describe the game over the radio youd be lost!! SSSMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!

Posted by: jredden | November 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Or you could pair Smoot with Brian Mitchell - D vs O analysis.

Posted by: G-SHOK | November 5, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Didn't he refuse to talk to the media last year? Now he wants to be in the media? I don't know, this guy on the radio or tv would sort of be another D. Manley. Unintentionally amusing but it gets real old after like 5 minutes. No insight, just stream-of-conciousness nonsense. There's a plethora of that on local tv/radio already. Then again, judging by preceeding commenters -- there is definitely an audience for it. Depressing...

Posted by: dbunkr | November 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'd take Smoot and LaVar over Dukes...he is the reason I can't listen to that show.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | November 5, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Smoot is just right for the Redskins and their clueless fans: A guy with a mouth far bigger than his talent. He was the biggest weakness in the secondary in past years, but the fans thought he was great because he told them so.

Posted by: jos587 | November 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Smoot is just right for the Redskins and their clueless fans: A guy with a mouth far bigger than his talent. He was the biggest weakness in the secondary in past years, but the fans thought he was great because he told them so.

Posted by: jos587 | November 5, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

returntoglory
you sir are an a hole. Smoot's long been known as a smart dude, a bit crazy, but he knows politics, and football, man could be the speaker of the house in this town...

Posted by: alex35332 | November 5, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals have an opening in the booth, don't they? What's the worst that could happen? Nobody is watching anyway.

Posted by: bryc3 | November 5, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"You know what, I was trying to tell my grandmother the other day, people in the world, they say everything but the Lord's Prayer." Another gem.

Posted by: epostell | November 5, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Smoot talked CONSTANTLY about what a great player he was.
He was wrong.

Now he's talking about what a great entertainer he is?
Yawn.
I'm sure he's smart, but he'll be this reminds of when he compared himself to Deion Sanders (my immediate reaction was that he meant that each is a loudmouth who's afraid to hit anyone, but apparently that's not what he meant).

Come to think of it, maybe he is the next SlimeTime. Each has a brain, and neither is anywhere near as good or entertaining as he claims to be.

His opinion is worth more than Vinny Cerrato's, of course ... but not much.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | November 5, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least he'd the leading tackler at his own household. That never happened anywhere else for this guy.

Posted by: TheDubb | November 6, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

posted by alex35332: "Smoot's long been known as a smart dude, a bit crazy, but he knows politics, and football, man could be the SPEAKER of the HOUSE in this town...

I am an a hole and you sir are a D.U.M.B.A.S.S. The man can barely articulate a complete sentence in comprehensible English and you think he could be speaker of the house, O.K.!! I hope you were being facetious.

Posted by: returntoglory | November 6, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to see or hear Smoot on the television or radio. I'm willing to bet the ratings will be out the roof. Give it to him, the guy has the gift of running his mouth and people listening. Let him work his gift. Those of you who are hating are working your gift, hating! All I can say to Smoot is do it Son!

Posted by: hb9191 | November 7, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to see or hear Smoot on the television or radio. I'm willing to bet the ratings will be out the roof. Give it to him, the guy has the gift of running his mouth and people listening. Let him work his gift. Those of you who are hating are working your gift, hating! All I can say to Smoot is do it Son!

Posted by: hb9191 | November 7, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I remember one comment he made when he was a rookie (or maybe when he was drafted?)...Sorry if I don't remember it exactly but he said that 64% of the world was covered by water and the other 36% was covered by Smoot. PRICELESS!! I would totally watch/listen to this man on tv/radio...someone needs to make it happen!

Posted by: LizDAvonLady | November 8, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

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