The newest “A Football Life” episode debuts tonight, that of Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith. After getting a chance to screen it early, truth be told, I was surprised with how much was included about his final two seasons playing with the Cardinals. I originally thought it might just have a quick mention, but it was covered in decent detail — it didn’t hurt that the Cardinals played in Dallas early in the 2003 season, so the drama of Smith returning to play in his former home right after leaving was there.
Smith admitted that for a while after signing with the Cards, especially after that ugly trip back to Dallas, he was questioning why he did it. He admitted he “cried like a baby” in the locker room 45 minutes before the Cardinals played the Cowboys. That can’t be beneficial to playing a good game. Smith only had six carries for minus-one yards that day before he hurt his shoulder.
But he later came to grips with the choice to be a Cardinal.
“I was sent to Arizona to be a bridge,” Smith says in the episode. “And to help others along the way, share my life experiences with them. Them asking me questions and me being able to download this information of life, to people who really wanted it, that was an amazing experience.”
“Honestly, I was like, ‘This is a publicity stunt,’ ” Cardinals teammate Adrian Wilson said in the show. “But he was such a model of professionalism. He brought the same energy every single day and I didn’t understand how he could do that at such an older age.”
It’s a well-produced show, as all of them are. The episode debuts tonight at 6 p.m. Arizona time (9 p.m. Eastern) on the NFL Network. It’s the first of three Cardinals-related “A Football Life” episodes coming. The stories of Aeneas Williams and Larry Fitzgerald will also be seen.
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Emmitt Smith, NFL Network
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