Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers Poll: Steve Smith Worthy of a Statue at BOA Stadium?


There was a recent article that ranked Julius Peppers as the greatest Panther player in their short history. Peppers was one of the best, but there are a few names that could be mentioned in that breath.  

Peppers is the choice for one of the league’s younger franchises. The reason: He was considered the best at his position for several seasons. There probably isn’t another Carolina Panther you can say that about. (Sorry, Steve Smith.) From 2004 to ’06, there was no better defensive end at all phases of the position. Also, he was an integral part of a Panthers team that nearly took down the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Peppers is a Hall of Famer, no doubt. - Elliot Harrison, NFL.com
 Steve Smith, along with Jordan Gross and John Kasay, also deserve consideration.

 

Since the Julius Peppers saga was a two-year drama that rivaled reality TV, and the fact that he only played eight years in Carolina, Peppers is removed from the conversation for me.  At this point, it comes down to Gross and Smith, with Kasay a distant third as G.O.A.T.

Sam Mills and Mike McCormack already welcome Panther fans at the front of Bank of America Stadium, so there’s already a high standard of who gets this prestigious award. Steve Smith, gave the Panthers a face and attitude to their offense.  He always played with a chip on his shoulder as if everyone was telling him that he couldn’t succeed in the NFL.

Smith was the receiver on the greatest play in Carolina Panthers’ team history, or as fans simply remember it,  X-Clown.  That 69-yard touchdown in double-OT propelled the Panthers on to the eventual Super Bowl, one game later.  Memories of this game give me instant goosebumps.

Smitty had many great years in Charlotte and was considered one of the elite receivers in the league for several years.  He had ups-n-downs amongst teammates and was a very polarizing figure.  His departure this past offseason stung a lot of fans, but change is a good thing.  It doesn’t overshadow all of the incredible years he had as a Panther.

Smith’s best year arguably came in 2005 when he won the leagues’ Triple Crown by leading the NFL in receiving yards (1,563), receptions (103) and touchdowns (12).  He was a leader in the locker room for awhile and the kind of teammate that kept his team in check.  Smith never backed down and his approach to the game was infectious amongst teammates.

No doubt, Smith’s attitude and approach to the game was a double-edged sword, but he helped put the Panthers on the NFL map.   Looking at the big picture and body of work that he compiled during his thirteen years in Charlotte, Smith is one of the greatest.

His passion for the game and ego is present in all of the greatest receivers that preceded him.  Often on teams that underachieved, Smitty always rose to the occasion.  Playing larger than his 5-foot-9-inch frame, Smith is worthy of being mentioned as the greatest-of-all-time to pull on the silver helmet of the Carolina Panthers.  Though it won’t happen anytime soon, at some point Steve Smith deserves a statue outside of Bank of America Stadium.

Now Cat Crave Nation, do you think he is worthy of having a statue erected at “The Bank”?  Sound off and let us know what you think.

Does Smitty Get a Statue Erected at Bank of America Stadium?

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  • Cyteria Knight

    ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT, ITS A NO-BRAINER!

  • Cyteria Knight

    SMITTY DESERVES IT AND SO DO THE CAROLINA PANTHERS FANS.

  • arb2221

    Just bc Smitty was our greatest receiver that doesn’t mean he deserves a statue. He’s not dead, he’s not retired, and he’s not even on the team currently. For all we know he’ll crush it in Baltimore and be their hometown hero for the next 3yrs. Do not ruin the pride of erecting a monument to men who deserve it. Sam Mills should be the only statue that guards our field.

    • Cyteria Knight

      I couldn’t disagree more. We are not talking about a statue anytime soon and you don’t have to be dead in order to deserve a statue in your honor. Even if Smitty becomes a hero to the Baltimore crowd, that will never diminish his legacy as one of the greatest Carolina Panthers in the teams history. After all, Jerry Richardson just had a statue done in his honor at Wofford and he’s not dead and it happened many years after his playing days. This is about legacy to the team & the player and Smitty will always be synonymous with Carolina Panthers football.

      • arb2221

        Richardson donates millions of dollars to Wofford, the community, he’s 77yrs old, and brought a NFL team to their doorstep for training camps. Smitty is not even in the same league as that type of commitment. He’s not greatest Panther player either nor is he a good overall role model to represent the team (not sure we’ve found that player as of yet). I love what he did for the team but the chip on his shoulder automatically discourages that type of monument. Retire his number, have a plaque mounted to the entrances, do something to honor his contribution to the team but monuments are meant for legends. Punching a teammate in the nose, having an attitude on the field, and catching some clutch passes does not fall into legendary status.

        Look don’t take this as I don’t appreciate Smitty or love what he stood for as a WR and his attitude is what drove his competitive nature, I was just as upset as you were when he was let go. It’s going to have a big impact on our offense no doubt. I’m not doubting his contributions or his key ability to make a big play, I just don’t put that in the same category as some one like Mills who in only 2yrs of playing with us has continued to impact Charlotte, the team, and the league as a whole. Keep Pounding buddy!

        • Cyteria Knight

          It’s nice to be able to have an intelligent discussion with someone without it becoming a verbal brawl. Although I respect your stance and your opinion I still respectfully disagree. With recognition of all of Steve Smith’s issues I do not think that it at all precludes him from being worthy of a statute. In addition to his efforts in the field of play Steve also does much to give back to the Charlotte community as well as in the surrounding counties, and in Utah and back in his home state of California. Although Smitty doesn’t have Jerry Richardson’s “philanthropist money” he has given a sizable amount of his money and time towards helping others. These are the kinds of things outside of football that he does that puts him my book for being worthy of a statue. Smile and #KeepPounding.

  • SonnySky

    He is not dead so absolutely not –no statue.

  • Bryan Palmese

    Good views on both sides. I wonder how the dust settles from the emotional fire that was set back in April. Like 3-4 years from now, will there still be bitterness? Smitty was a warrior for us, but there’s probably a lot of “inside info” that was kept from the public.