Remembering Bubba Smith
August 4, 2011 by staff
Remembering Bubba Smith, Some thoughts about Bubba Smith, who died yesterday at 66. He may be best remembered today as an actor and TV pitchman. However, there was a name on the football field, first in the State of Michigan and then as a Baltimore Colt. Baralle Andy writes about the history of professional football by the Fifth.
In late 1960 and early 1970, there was no more impressive sight in football Charles Aaron Smith, better known as Bubba. Before a terrible knee injury in 1972, Smith was one of the best in the NFL’s all-around 4.3 defensive ends. When he wanted, he could dominate.
Smith was twice All-American teams Michigan State power in the mid 60′s. The Baltimore Colts, with a peak acquired in a trade with the Saints in New Orleans expansion, made him the first overall pick in 1967. Three of his schoolmates, Clint Jones, George Webster and Gene Washington, were also among the first eight selections that year.
Smith was officially named in the 6-7 and 265 pounds, but probably played least much closer to 300, especially early in his career. It was an unusual combination of size, speed, power and speed. Have such long arms did not hurt so much, especially when the quarterback tried to throw to his right.
Because the crimes usually in line with the tight turn, Smith, left defensive end, had to play the first race. The pass, which was not only a bull rider. He was fast enough to beat offensive tackle wide on the outside and had a good enough lateral movement to beat with a quick inward. Once the deal was a little out of balance, it was usually all. The offense often had to keep his fullback to give help to address. That allowed the linebackers to get more depth in pass coverage.
For its second year, 1968, Smith joined end Ordell Braase and Billy Ray Smith and tackles Fred Miller to form one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. That season, Baltimore allowed the fewest points in the league, 144, en route to a final of 13-1. In Smith’s five years in Baltimore, the Colts compiled a 53-13-4 regular season. He was named first team All-Pro in 1971 and was elected to the Pro Bowl after the 1970 season and 1971.
In 1972, during a preseason game, Smith was chasing through the camp when it became entangled with markers of yards along the sideline. In those years, when the action got too close, the team would pull the string and leave the sticks upright, being placed on the floor. As a result of an injury to Smith, I think, the league changed the procedure, which requires the team before it fell back, to remove the sticks and the abandonment of the planes on the ground.
Colts’ medical equipment knee injury described Smith as one of the worst he had seen. He was forced to watch most of the season from the sideline in a wheelchair, and he was not the same player again. During his long rehabilitation, Smith was traded to the Raiders for tight end Raymond Chester. He played two years in Oakland and after two years in Houston before retiring after the 1976 season.
Smith, like many of his teammates, never overcame the shock defeat of the Colts to the Jets in Super Bowl 3. In 2007 he told NFL Films: “Until today, they will have that game and I turn away immediately.” (Set of United States, 1970 Baltimore Colts)
Even his Super Bowl victory over the Cowboys two years later did not give much in the way of redemption. Linebacker Mike Curtis hides his Super Bowl ring in his jacket pocket of one of his suits. Center Bill Curry remembers the victory as bittersweet: “It is the mixed sense of achievement I’ve had in my career … I did not feel like we went there and took care of business … We turned the ball seven times. ” (NFL Films: Game of the United States, 1970 Baltimore Colts)
Now when he (Jim O’Brien) kicks a field goal (to win), I became depressed. I knew it would be a good feeling. Finally he did. World Champions. I did not feel that way. I really could not feel as happy as I wanted to feel, because I had to look at my other Super Bowl ring 3 and say: Well, I have two. “And I could not. (NFL Films: Game of the United States, 1970 Baltimore Colts)
5 Super Bowl championships was the last time the Colts in Baltimore. In 1984, during a snowstorm at night, filled up the truck and walked away. Memorial Stadium was silent forever. The Baltimore Colts had no more.
Today, the colors are the same and the shoe remains on the hull, but much of history is lost. Unitas. Berry. Moore. Mackey. Marchetti. His team is gone. Bubba Smith is an important part of that heritage. As he told NFL Films in 2007: “I have come to grips with him long ago that we would not be remembered as the Baltimore Colts. I even went to Indianapolis and said ‘you’re the former Indianapolis Colt.” I said, “No, I am a former Baltimore Colt.”
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