Things like this give me chills.
Make no mistake, though: Despite the eventual outcome, that was the day Smoot became a man, at least in a football sense. Playing in tremendous pain with a broken sternum, the third-year cornerback proved to himself and his teammates that he had finally arrived in the NFL.
“I think a lot of people didn’t know that he was throwing up and in tears in the locker room, he was in so much pain,” linebacker LaVar Arrington recalled yesterday as the Redskins wrapped up minicamp. “I like Fred, but when I saw that, I became a Smoot fan. He really showed me something that you don’t see in the NFL too often anymore, that throwback mentality: ‘Let’s just go. I’ll hurt later.'”
Smoot is sheepish talking about the gruesome locker room scene. But he doesn’t hesitate to explain why he was so adamant to return to the huddle after missing just one game with the injury, even when it was clear to everyone else that the Redskins’ season had already fallen apart.
“The main reason was I still saw the light,” Smoot said. “And everybody else still believed, so I wasn’t going to leave them hanging. If I’m your best option, if I make the defense that much better with my presence, then hey, I’m going to show up every time.”
Who needs one more sports-as-business-leadership analogy? That’s not really the point. Lessons about business are everywhere, in every context, just waiting to be discovered. Your capabilities skyrocket when you are able to notice, extrapolate, and apply them.
From this article.