We loves ourselves some Emmitt Smith.
How can we not? He’s the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns, yards, and attempts, he’s a canny businessman, and he’s Collectable’s Brand Ambassador. Yeah, yeah, we know, we know, that whole Brand Ambassador thing has made us a tad biased, but we loved him even before he joined our crew. So there.
Football watchers know about Emmitt’s three Super Bowl rings, and his MVP award, and his eight Pro Bowl appearances, but we did a bit of digging and found some lesser-known tidbits about Collectable’s most athletic teammate.
Dances with Pain
Most Smith-o-philes are aware that the 5’9” bruiser was the top hoofer on season three of Dancing with the Stars. However, few know that, to him, cutting the rug was as fraught with danger as cutting the Astroturf.
Near the end of the competition, Smith said, “Getting adjusted to dancing in three-inch heels is a danger all in itself. You can twist an ankle or twist a knee. And the knee performances, whether you’re going down on one knee or sliding across the floor, all of those have potential dangers. It’s one of those things where, if it’s not respected in the right way, it can actually come up and bite you.”
After complaining about what he called a “tweaked groin,” he added, “When you’re dancing, you’re doing stuff that your body’s not used to, and so you start to aggravate those old injuries. Let’s not be naive about it.”
On the field, Smith wasn’t the kind of running back who would scamper around the backfield in an attempt to make something out of nothing, a la Barry Sanders. Rather, he was a downhill rusher who hit the line, and hit the line hard. In other words, he wasn’t a gambler.
Off the field, however, the University of Florida product knew when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.
In 2011, the neophyte card shark participated in the Heads-Up Poker Championship, where he upset poker pro David Williams in the first round. After falling in round two, he shrugged off the loss, saying, “I’m learning more about the game. You’ve got to be able to understand when to bet, when to not bet. And then you just go from there.
On October 27, 2002, Smith overtook Walter Payton as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Had Walter lived to see his record fall, he would’ve been cool with it.
Soon after Payton was diagnosed with the liver disease that ultimately took his life in 1999, he received a visit from Smith. Of the meeting, Emmitt said, “Basically, I had to ask the question if there was anything I could do. He said, ‘No, I’m good. I’m at peace with where I’m at. [But] every now and then, just reach out to my son Jarrett and make sure that he is okay. Stay in touch with him and just be there for him if he needs you.”
Smith agreed, and was true to his word, which meant a whole lot to Jarrett, who said, “I love Emmitt. He reminds me a lot of my father.”
Smith has earned more than his fair share of football hardware, but might there be an acting trophy in his future? Welp, the Florida native hasn’t busted out his thespian chops since 2016, when he played himself in an episode of CSI: Cyber. That came nine years after a cameo on How I Met Your Mother.
Okay, maybe an Emmy isn’t imminent, but he has an IMDb page, so that’s a start.
Cards on the Table
Seventeen years before becoming Collectable’s Brand Ambassador—did we mention he’s our Brand Ambassador?—Emmitt had a two-season stint with the Arizona Cardinals.
Hey, people forget.