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An Open Letter to Steve Smith, Sr.

And it's not what you think.

Look at them.  They look like they're mourning someone's passing.
Look at them. They look like they're mourning someone's passing.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Mr. Smith, Sr.,

Have you ever read Where the Wild Things Are? I feel like you might be Max. Hear me out.

Your early career was spent in Carolina, and while most NFL locker rooms are not exactly full of choir boys, you were always the baddest cat around.  It was not a question.  Not evil, like some other former Panthers, you know who I mean.  But in a place literally full of bad cats, you were Baddest Cat.  It was never in question.  And further, you were historically great, not just as a receiver, but as the Franchise Bad Cat.  Then, after some misbehavior, but also years of love and devotion, you were cut.

From there you came to Baltimore.  After most of a day spent with us, and weeks of training camp, and over a year, you've been where the Wild Things Are.

We've had some doozies.  We still do, really.  Dumervil and Forsett might be literal choirboys, but most of the rest are not.  No one wants to meet Yanda in a dark alley. Crockett Gilmore's name sounds like the war-cry of a hill clan.  Suggs has a list of infractions, both on the field and off, which dog him.  And those are just the current ones. Historically, we have some terrible decision makers, the most frequent and spectacular of which is still asking for atonement for his Great Sin.  Again, you know who I mean, and he's doing a better job at being an actual person than that former Panther (just sayin'.)

Even more, there are two players, Bad Birds, who defined our team for a decade and more. But they are gone now.

There was a year between them and you, one where the Ravens, once so boisterous, so braggadocios, roared their terrible roars, and gnashed their terrible teeth, and rolled their terrible eyes, and showed their terrible claws...and were found wanting.

And then you came.  You could see the difference, even from a distance.  People knew at the Castle.  People knew in the City.  Heck, people knew hundreds of miles away, north and south, that the Baddest Cat had found some Wild Things.  When Gettleman sent you packing, the Ravens, your Wild Things, were there to howl at the moon with you, to dance and swing and have a wild time.

And now, with this tear, I'm sure that all around from far away you smell good things.  You smell home, which I know is in Carolina--you have a lawn there that the Panthers CBs mow for you now. You want to go across that year and in and out of weeks to the day you spend all your time, considerable time, with your family--with your son, who kindly thanked the refs for being able to watch a game with you earlier this preseason, and with the Junior to your Senior.

But now your Wild Things shout "Please Don't Go!"

And we will.  In many ways you belong here.  I wish--we all wish--Ozzie hadn't underestimated you all those years ago and drafted Gary Baxter ahead of you.  And you deserve to go home.

But Please Don't Go.  We'll Eat You Up, We Love You So.

I know--we all know--you will go sometime.  And if you do plan on retiring, do it from our sideline, screaming and shouting and howling at our receivers as you so palpably wish they were doing what you'd be doing.  Do it yelling from our bench.  Heck, bring your family.  Yell together.  Don't give up being King of all Wild Things just yet.


One Lesser Wild Thing,