Ravens' Torrey Smith Turns Tragedy into Triumph
Torrey Smith’s performance Sunday night, on probably the most difficult day of his life, reminds us of why we love sports.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Smith received a call informing him that his 19-year-old brother Tevin died when his motorcycle hit a utility pole. As the oldest of seven children, Smith was a caretaker and mentor for all of the younger siblings in his family, making the loss even more difficult.
Credit Image: © Doug Kapustin/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com
I can't believe my little brother is gone...be thankful for your loved ones and tell them you love them...this is the hardest thing ever
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) September 23, 2012
His coaches told Smith to be with his family. Nobody would have blamed him in the least had he decided to sit the game out. But Smith wanted to play; he wanted to be there with his team. Perhaps he did so in honor of his brother—his mother texted him that his brother would have wanted him to play, according to Robert Klemko of USA Today—or perhaps he just needed something to take his mind off of the recent tragedy.
To just show up, under the emotional strain took tremendous courage. But Smith did much more than that. He responded with one of the best performances of his career – the second-year wide receiver caught two touchdown to help the Ravens beat the New England Patriots 31-30 Sunday night in a rematch of the AFC title game.
Upon receiving the game ball after the Ravens victory, Smith started to cry and told his teammates, “I have my family, and I have you as my family… I couldn’t have done it without you guys.”
We sometimes forget that in the big business of NFL football, there are personal lives and struggles. The bravery and poise shown by Smith Sunday night was inspiring. It's easy to root for someone who is strong in the face of adversity and watching Smith, and the way his teammates pulled together, reminds us of what sports is really about.
The game couldn't heal a grieving heart.Not even close. But perhaps it helped, even if only on a temporary basis.Thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to Smith and his entire family.