FanPost

#11 A. Smith - Greatest Bust of All-Time? Yes.

I was doing some surfing on the net, when I stumbled upon something that made me shriek like a little girl. It was Akili Smith's stats as a starting QB in the NFL. "Holy bullcrap! Why isn't this guy in the conversation as biggest bust ever?" thought myself.

We are all well aware that Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell are engaged in an epic battle for biggest bust of all time, constantly trying to out-do one another in the news. Leaf struck first, and hard. After his conquests on the gridiron, he decided to up the ante a bit and break into a few houses. Never one to lazily give up, Russell threw a codeine-counter-punch. The battle still rages, but what about ol' Akili? Does he not deserve to jump in the ring? Does he not deserve recognition for his success? I think we should revisit the story of Akili Smith:

Legend has it that leading up to that fateful #3 pick in the 1999 NFL draft, the New Orleans Saints' Ricky-Williams-obsessed head coach Mike Ditka offered the Bengals nine (yes, nine) draft picks to move into their number three spot. The Bungles obviously knew better than that, and refused the offer. They knew Akili Smith was destined to be a star, and I'm pretty sure they knew the Saints didn't really want Ricky Williams - they wanted to snatch Akili! Bengals head coach Bruce Coslett stupidly wanted to accept this offer, but brilliant General Manager Mike Brown overruled him, because it was obvious: Akili Smith was worth WAY more than a mere nine draft picks. Brown knew he had found his cow bell in Smith.

As expected, the 1999 season was a huge success. The Bengals went 4-12 that year to the delight of their fans. The only thing that was a bit disappointing was the fact that their cow bell QB only got to shine in 7 games (4 starts). Here's how he performed:

Completion %

TD

INT

Yards

QB Rating

52.3

2

6

805

55.6 (team record)

The 2000 season was another magical one for the Bengals, a season in which fans would again see the team storm to a 4-12 record. And just who do you think was responsible for all that storming? You guessed it. Akili Smith. Akili racked up the numbers on his way to anonymously winning team MVP honors.

Completion %

TD

INT

Yards

QB Rating

44.2 (team record)

3

6

1253

52.8

Despite protests from fans for more cow bell, the next two years saw Akili only play in three more games (though each one was special in its own way.) Despite all the on-field success, Akili Smith wasn't happy playing for the Bengals anymore. He contemplated going to the Packers to help mentor Brett Favre, but for some strange reason that didn't pan out. Tired of the weaker competition and low wages of the NFL, Akili arranged an hour long ESPN special where he announced that he would be taking his talents to Europe. Four amazing games for the Frankfurt Galaxy later and he returned to the western hemisphere to play for the Calgary Stampeders. In his first game for the Stampeders, Akili stampeded to 6-10 for 63 yards and 3 interceptions (one of which he had to thread the ball between two receivers and into the safety's hands). Later that year Smith was released, though no one is sure why.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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