Steve Smith has finally hung up his cleats and one of the last generation’s greatest characters will finally no longer suit up every Sunday to school fools and terrify small children. A quick reminder that Steve Smith once broke a teammate’s nose in practice, something people have finally started to forget but remains my favorite Steve Smith fact.

Smith has always been a strange character in football. Probably the toughest little bugger of a WR the league may ever see. For his entire career Smith seemed like the one guy you just didn’t want to start a rivalry with. He still has probably one of the scariest faces in the NFL. Even when he’s smiling, he kind of looks like he is thinking about burning your house down. He doesn’t have so much of a resting bitch face as a resting “I’m going to kill your family and raise your children to become assassins to kill the rest of your relatives” face. It probably helped him be the intimidating little monster he was. Everything about how he played exuded extreme confidence that the man would run you over or make you look silly. I know some of my readers here trend young, but if you were a fan of football around the early 2000’s, you probably remember that 2003 season when Smith seemed like the worlds most unstoppable force. I pretty much rooted for the Panthers in that Super Bowl simply because of how awesome Smith was to watch. I think the only other time I ever saw a single player be that dominant in the post-season was Fitz in 2008.

Sadly, like Fitz, he had a bunch of lesser years in the middle there that will probably severely damage his HoF chances. No one can really be a stud WR with Jimmy Clausen throwing to you and Smith got stuck with Clausen, mediocre Jake Delhomme, and Derek Anderson for a while.

This remains my favorite Steve Smith moment in history. It’s everything we love and slightly pee ourselves in terror about the man. He makes a great catch, breaks free, takes a cheap shot, taunts the asshole who hit him with an incredible head slap “DONT COME AT THE KING” move, then walks into the ensuing fight and takes a guy bigger than him to the ground like he’s tissue paper. Steve Smith was amazing and I’ll miss him. He seems like a pretty decent guy off the field, too, so that’s good. He might actually be a huge dick and when people want to call him on it he just gives ’em the Steve Smith face and everyone shuts up.

Have a good life, little beast. Football is lesser without you.