Alex Smith: We've Still Got Him to Kick Around

Categories: Sports
Alex Smith vitamin water.jpg
Do the Vitamin Water people think this is going to help move the product?
For San Francisco sports fans, the news that Carlos Beltran may soon be heading to town was tempered somewhat by the fact he could conceivably be rooming with Alex Smith.

For parts of six maddening years, Smith has been the San Francisco 49ers signal-caller, and his fate has matched that of his bedraggled team (this is not a coincidence, incidentally). Since he inked a six-year, $49.5 million contract in '05, locals have developed a relationship with Smith. Sadly, it's remarkably akin to the one Nick Hornby described Arsenal football supporters had with longtime "star" Ian Ure, who was "famous only for being hilariously useless."

Smith has purportedly inked a one-year, $5 million contract with San Francisco, so the hilarity continues.

Why are we less than thrilled young Alex is back in the fold? Let us count the ways.

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The heartbreak of raised expectations

Smith, to date, has been a bust -- but he's no JaMarcus Russell. The Raiders draft day debacle was transcendentally bad. At some point his badness became hypnotic. Fans, perhaps, derived a perverse pleasure from it akin to toying with a loose tooth.

By all means, Smith has been bad -- but not historically so. In fact, he has often flashed moments of brilliance that offer a hint of why he's a former No. 1 overall pick. Then, like clockwork, he tosses the big pick, gets sacked, or gets injured (though that's something he really can't control). If Smith were just an utter disaster, that'd be one thing. But to be a mediocre guy cursed with that No. 1 draft day status who keeps tempting fans into thinking he's something more is even more painful.

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