28 Nov 2006
All week, we're profiling the semi-finalists for the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame class of 2007. The FFHoF enshrines players whose statistical accomplishments were more impressive than their actual accomplishments. To be eligible, a player must be retired, have made a significant contribution to fantasy football, and have no shot of making the Pro Football Hall of Fame. To find out more or to vote for your favorite players, read this Friday's Too Deep Zone at Football Outsiders or right here on FOX.
What's your favorite Jimmy Smith memory?
His 118 catch season in 2001? That's not a memory – you looked that up. His 15-catch, 291-yard, three-TD performance against the Ravens in 2000? Now we're getting somewhere. Why do you remember it? Because of that game's impact on your fantasy team, of course. Otherwise, you would have no memory of that game unless you are a Ravens or a Jaguars fan.
And we've never actually met a Jaguars fan. But we're sure they are out there.
Some people believe that Smith belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They are the kind of people who see that Smith is high on the all time receptions list and say "with numbers like that, you have no choice but to put him in." We call those people "baseball fans." Smith was a very, very good player. He was probably the best player on those Jaguars teams of the late 1990's and early 2000's. Except for Tony Boselli; that dude rocked. And Fred Taylor when he was healthy. And Mark Brunell in his best years. Yep, Smith was the second, third, or fourth best player on a team that never made the Super Bowl but certainly won a lot of games. And he led the league in receiving … never. He did finish fourth a lot. If they gave out trophies for finishing fourth or fifth in receiving yards, Smith's mantle would be full.
We've come not to bury Smith, but to praise him. Of course he's not a Canton Hall of Famer. But the guy is a shoo-in for the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame. He compiled tons of stats and led team after team to fantasy championships. His legacy lives on in that Sopranos DVD you bought with the money you earned from your second place fantasy finish in 2002, the money that Smith helped you earn.
All Smith needs now is your vote. Balloting begins on Friday at Football Outsiders for the FFHoF. Come out and cast a ballot, because those who don't vote don't have a right to complain.
"Last team with the ball wins" is a cliche, but sometimes cliches are the best way to get across the central narrative of an important game. If you like great quarterback play, you have to watch the NFC Championship Game.