Over the weekend, I came across a Yahoo Sports piece about former Glenville standout and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, who is spending his time in the Great White North as part of the CFL’s Montreal Allouettes. The article itself seemed to give off a tone that Smith was clinging on to one last gasp of football glory before ultimately going back to Ohio State to finish his MBA.
Then again, the article could have been a swipe at his college foil, Tim Tebow, whose draft rights the Alouettes still own. However, Tebow Time has apparently not hit Canada yet, and nor does it appear that it will anytime soon.
Regardless, to the normal non-rabid Buckeye fan reader, references to the condition of Montreal’s stadium, not to mention the fact that apparently Smith’s cubicle was filled with medical equipment waiting to be picked up, made it almost sound like some sort of cautionary tale, even though elements of a far better story were buried in the lede.
True, Smith’s pro career may not have gone as many Ohio State and, for that matter, Cleveland high school fans could have hoped for. After all, he wasn’t drafted until the fifth round by the Ravens in the 2007 draft and was subsequently passed up the next year by Joe Flacco.
But that wasn’t to say that Smith’s career was a massive bust, either. There are plenty of fifth-round picks that didn’t last anywhere near as long in the NFL as Smith did. Also, don’t forget that prior to the re-emergence of Alex Smith in San Francisco, it was Troy Smith that started for the 49ers in 2010.
Even though most of us will conjure up memories of a Troy Smith leading Ohio State to the National Championship game or his spectacular performances against Michigan, he still had a pro career many thought wouldn’t be possible, given the quarterback situations he found himself.
So if he did happen to end up in the Canadian Football league in the twilight of his career, it’s not the end of the world.
It could have been worse. He could have been Eric Crouch.