Emmitt Smith’s “Football Life” included Arizona

Posted by Darren Urban on September 22, 2017 – 9:59 am

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.

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12 Responses to “Emmitt Smith’s “Football Life” included Arizona”

  1. By D on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Believe me Emmitt, there were plenty days we fans cried too watching games in Sun Devil Stadium.

    Did you watch that game last night Darren? Those Rams are improving.

  2. By Darren Urban on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Rams

    I did. They should. Have had a lot of high draft picks.

  3. By Scott H on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    It’s shame that the general opinion of many is that Smith’s time in Arizona was a joke. Because not all of it was. The first season was pretty forgettable. And maybe no one bothered paying attention after that. BUT his second year here was actually a pretty good season. He came very close to a 1000 yard season AND that was with two games missed due to injury. And I forget exactly what it was, but he actually achieved a noteworthy milestone during that 2nd season….a milestone he would not have achieved if not for his time in Arizona.

    So….it wasn’t all the joke that people remember it as.

    Darren – is my memory in the ball-park with all of this? Do you remember him achieving some kind of milestone during that 2nd season here? I swear, I think I remember it was actually during a home game against the Seahawks.

  4. By Darren Urban on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Emmitt

    Smith broke Walter Payton’s record for career 100-yard games when he got his 78th such game against Seattle at home, gaining 106 yards. The Cards won.

    And yes, he had a pretty decent second season with the Cards, especially with a bad team. Nine rushing touchdowns in 15 games played, and even threw a touchdown pass in his lon3 career passing attempt that season.

  5. By Scott H on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    Hey, can I get some props for my memory on that? That came purely from memory, I didn’t look anything up. I also remember that he got loose for a 20-something yard TD run late in that game ( against Seattle ) and that just may have been the play that got him there.

    Anyway, I remember being really happy for him that day. And beating the Seahawks has never sucked.

    Not bad for an old man, eh? And I’m referring to me, not Emmitt Smith!

  6. By clssylssy on Sep 23, 2017 | Reply

    It occurred to me when Kurt Warner was being inducted in the HOF, how little a presence the Cardinals have there which is really the final grade for a player or organization. Our presence there is largely bc of great players who ended their careers in Arizona with the exception of Pat Tillman, who brought honor to the uniform by sacrificing in a different uniform. I imagine that someday Emmitt will also enter the Hall and while most will remember him as a Cowboy, he’ll have broken Walter Peyton’s record in a Cards uniform.
    This season Chris Johnson could hit his 10,000 mark while helping the Cards offense after the loss of DJ and Larry could cap off a storybook career if used as something beside window dressing. This is all good for the growth of the organization and generations to come.
    Thank you Emmitt Smith for your contribution to our story!

  7. By faster on Sep 23, 2017 | Reply

    sorry, but as a cards fan i did not expect to have to show others that stanton is able to win games. and if you don`t have the knowledge, than look at the seasons from 2013 to 2016.

    and maybe you shoulsd look over the palte rim a bit more, there is a thing called to tire them out, in other sports.

    for example in cycling the captain doesn`t attac first, he sends his helpers, and when the rivals are tired, he attacs.

    but who am i to teach american lifelong nfl fans and hinterlanders something new …

  8. By Scott H on Sep 23, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    I will look forward to this Football Life episode to see how Emmitt’s time in Arizona is portrayed. But I like Darren’s preview and it sounds like it will be portrayed as in its proper perspective. Not as significant as his Cowboy years, for sure, but NOT a joke, either.

    I’m betting that Smith is very grateful for having the opportunity to have broken that record previously held by Walter Payton. And it never would have happened if not for his POST-Cowboys years in Arizona.

    A little different than Kurt’s situation…..I mean, Emmitt Smith gets into the HOF purely on the strength of his Cowboys career. Period. He’s in as a Cowboy if he ever plays another down for another team or not. Done deal. Not so with Kurt. I think his Rams career may have put him on the fence for HOF consideration. It was his latter-career years in Arizona that got him over the fence. We can always feel good knowing that.

  9. By clssylssy on Sep 23, 2017 | Reply

    Off topic but…
    I was a little alarmed to see our final injury report today but have come to believe that these are totally a scam geared to the odds makers and lull opponents into a false sense of security. Nonetheless, am beginning to have my doubts if Iupati is going to be very effective this season at all, Is this the same injury he had last season? With Greshem I also doubt his effectiveness as broken ribs take a long time to heal, are very painful and will no doubt cause him to be more tentative in his blocking and overall physicalityl John Brown I understand, but now JJ? I thought BA had said DJ would probably play but now not?
    I was very pleased with BA’s press release and hope his words will make our players feel valued so that they reach down deep to pull out a win.

  10. By clssylssy on Sep 25, 2017 | Reply

    I totally agree & look forward to seeing this episode. I do think the Cards have had the good fortune to you play a supporting role w some players like Kurt and hopefully others (possibly Freeney, CJ,etc)

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