Smokey Brown and his statue

Posted by Darren Urban on September 29, 2014 – 5:18 pm

John Brown’s nickname is Smokey. It’s more than a nickname for him, really. All his family and friends call him that, a nickname bestowed upon him at birth by the boyfriend of his grandmother. It’s origin story is one of a kind.

“He nicknamed me Smokey because when I first came out, I was blacker than what I am now,” Brown said, referring to his skin color. “Most people are like, ‘Why they call you Smokey? Because you are fast?’ But no.”

You have to admit, it was fun to think Brown had gotten the nickname from the dust he left defenders in when he blew past him with his speed. But as fast as Brown runs, he wasn’t doing it as an infant, and having a nickname that long actually helps the quest to get people to use it. Brown said he’d actually like everyone to refer to him as Smokey rather than J.B. Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians call Brown “Smoke” or “Smokey” when talking about him in interviews, and Brown said almost everyone in the locker room as followed suit. When there is another receiver named Jaron Brown and a linebacker named Jonathan Brown, Smokey makes a lot of sense.

“There’s like a thousand J.B.s in here,” Brown said with a smile.

As the Smokey nickname leaks out little by little, it’s even made its way back to Pittsburg State University, where he said most everyone still called him John Brown but has a community now heating up to Smokey, using it in hashtags and the like in social media. “I like that better,” Brown said.

Brown went back to Pittsburg State on the bye weekend, as a matter of fact. He attended a football game against Fort Hays State — Fort Hays posted a 7-6 upset — and was king of the campus as fans flocked to see the emerging Cardinals star (like in the picture taken below, posted on Twitter by @MHarrison76).

“It was fun,” Brown said. “They were good to me all the years I was there, so I was happy to go back there and show my face. It’s a good feeling. Everyone was happy to see me.”

But wait — it gets better. Brown said Pittsburg State had to assign a bodyguard to make sure the fans didn’t swarm him. The best part? Brown said the school told him they were thinking about building a statue of him. No word yet on whether it’ll just say John Brown on the base or Smokey, but a statue is a big deal.

“It’s real crazy,” Brow …, er, Smokey said.


Posted in Blog | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “Smokey Brown and his statue”

  1. By Patrick on Sep 29, 2014 | Reply

    Nice Story,,, what a thrill for the community of Pittsburgh State.. These small communities are the backbone of our country, and to have someone come out of their ranks and succeed on the big stage- all the better.
    Statue Ideas? How about him laid out to catch his first TD in Preseason.. Awesome..

  2. By Richard S on Sep 29, 2014 | Reply

    The MIAA conference produces another NFC West Star. Lenvil Elliot of the Niner’s went to Northeast Missouri state which back then was in the MIAA and was instrumental in one of those famous drives ending a game eating up most of yardage as the running back. I think that may have been the drive culminating in “The Catch” by Dwight Clark, but Lenvil accounted for most of the yardage on the ground on that drive.

  3. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 29, 2014 | Reply

    Monday Night Football…KC 41 New England 14. Are the Chiefs that good or are the Patriots that bad? When the Chiefs visit on Dec 7th will we be treated to a Super Bowl preview? Or am I just blowin’ SMOKE?

  4. By CN Punk on Sep 29, 2014 | Reply

    Couldn’t have happened to a better person. Congratulations Smokey! And thank you S. Kiem and Co. for drafting this awesome talent, that everyone was saying was a wasted pick, but are now trying to say they were going to draft him… Gotta love how hindsight is 20/20 and people still don’t trust our GM of the year. Lol and I swear the Arizona Cardinal are the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL, “we get no respect”, well I’m here to tell you when we are the first team hoisting the Lombardy trophy high into the air to University of Phoenix Stadium after winning in our own stadium, we still won’t get any respect lol. But yea know what, I won’t give a holy hell because I’ll know we earned it with the best coaches, team, owners and fans in the entire NFL!

  5. By Richard S on Sep 29, 2014 | Reply

    What a wipeout this week was. My system only picked 5 out of 13 games correctly putting me at around 59% for the year. New number and ratings following week 4 games based on predicted vs. actual results reduced by a factor of 10. Neutral field rankings – add 3 to home team for system predicted results. 1. Seattle 101.64 2. Cincy 100.24 3. Denver 97.96 4. San Fran 97.68 5. Az 96.65 6. SD 95.78 7. KC 95.19 8. Indy 95.17 9. NE 94.99 10. NO 94.21 11. Balt 94.07 12. Phil 93.88 13. Dall 93.29 14. Det 92.09 15. Carolina 91.99 16. Atl 91.87 17. Pitt 91.54 18. Minn 91.4 19. G Bay 91.16 20. Giants 90.19 21. Rams 89.1 22. Mia 88.81 23. Buff 88.47 24. Chi 87.76 25. Cle 86.44 26. Hou 84.8 27. Jets 84.79 28. Tampa 84.46 29. Tenn 84.27 30. Wash 81.95 31. Oak 78.41 32. Jax 75.75. Teams moving the most from their initial season rating KC up 7 spots, NE down 6 spots, Dall up 7 spots, Carolina down 8 spots, Pitt down 6 spots, Rams down 9 spots.

  6. By drummer-1 on Sep 29, 2014 | Reply

    @ JohnnyBluenose…. I told a friend last week, I’m thinking a Cardinal vs Bengals superbowl.

  7. By clssylssy on Sep 29, 2014 | Reply

    @Johnny Bluenose…”Any Given Sunday”(or Monday). The thing about the Chiefs is they are never who you think they are, lol because they are so inconsistent. We have some tough teams ahead and any one of them could be the one to break our winning streak. The thing we have to remember is to take it one week/one win at a time and pay attention to how our opponents are winning,
    We have the talent and the heart, just have to avoid that fast elevator ride down!
    We beat the Patriots in Foxboro with less of a team than we have now so it’s not like the Patriots aren’t beatable. We have some other teams on the schedule who deserve attention in the Broncos, Eagles, and Cowboys, in addition to our division rivals. The Chiefs will be here at home so we must protect the nest at all costs! We must Believe while remaining humble.

  8. By T.Stone on Sep 29, 2014 | Reply

    He Darker than us Nice article Darren.

  9. By T.Stone on Sep 29, 2014 | Reply


    RE: Post

    No, Yes No and Yes.

  10. By NYCardinals on Sep 30, 2014 | Reply

    1993 NFL Draft 4th Round — Phoenix selected RB Ronald Moore out of Pittsburgh State University. Moore rushed for 1018 yards and 9 touchdowns in his rookie season for the Cardinals.

  11. By ryan on Sep 30, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG/ Scott H/ Erika- I repsonded in the “At 3-0” blog…

  12. By Andy Kw on Sep 30, 2014 | Reply

    If Carson Palmer does not start, I would be excited to see Drew Stanton on his 3rd straight start. He has improved each of the past 2 games. I have confidence in both of our QBs.

  13. By mal on Sep 30, 2014 | Reply


    During last week’s chat, I believe you said you were about to go tape a Card’s Underground.

    I thot those always used to be posted in that “Videos and Audio” bar on the home page, but never saw one show up. Are they posted elsewhere now?

  14. By Darren Urban on Sep 30, 2014 | Reply

    Mal —

    RE: Underground

    Under the “news” bar now …

  15. By Scott H on Sep 30, 2014 | Reply

    Great story, great kid. Hope he is known to many more people before the season is over!

    For what it’s worth, former Cardinal Tommy Knight played his HS football at Cherokee High School, which is literally right across the street from me out here in NJ. My kids go there now. They tell me there is a small tribute to him somewhere in the school but I have never seen it.

  16. By italycardfan on Sep 30, 2014 | Reply

    Good evening, Mr. Urban, thank you!

    It ‘s a really beautiful story, based on a guy who has proven to have great athletic ability, good hands and, very importantly, the right dose of humility. My hope, that you, John Brown, may have an important route into the world of the NFL. Do not change your feelings, your passion! The warmth of your people will always be an incentive to continue in your work, to get better and better!
    Greetings to all from Italy.
    Go CARDS !!!

  17. By Scott H on Sep 30, 2014 | Reply

    T. Stone –

    RE: He darker then us

    Was that a Mel Brooks reference? Yes or no, THAT one made me laugh out loud! Oh, my…NICE!

  18. By Scott H on Sep 30, 2014 | Reply

    ryan –

    Man, we have our own little group here, don’t we?

  19. By T.Stone on Oct 2, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H

    Nice Catch. lol

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