While in a 49ers uniform, the image portrayed of San Francisco's Aldon Smith has been the one of a hard-working, no nonsense, aspiring rising star. "I want to be the ultimate pass rusher, the ultimate outside linebacker," Smith said this offseason. The reports from this year's OTA's and minicamp were glowing in regards to Smith's progression.
So, why the alter-ego off the field?
Smith was involved in his second headline-worthy incident this offseason after being the victim of a stabbing in the early hours of Saturday, June 30th. Smith, 22, was reportedly stabbed in the shoulder and abdomen with a "small pocket knife." Not only could the young NFL star have suffered nerve damage, but he could have been killed.
The fact of the matter is, and according to eye-witness reports, there were drugs and weapons at a 100-plus-person house party that went well into the late hours of the night. Now, the likelihood is that Smith was unaware of the weapons -- as they were likely concealed until things got out of hand -- but "prevalent drug use" should have alerted Smith.
What do they always say at the Rookie Symposium? Nothing good happens after 2:00am.
In January, the up-and-comer was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida on DUI charges with B.A. levels of up to .194. He greatly needs to examine his priorities and limit, or completely shut down the social activity. His alleged frequency at these 100+ people parties with reported drug use and not-so-reputable people cannot continue. It reflects a displaced focus, painting the picture that Smith sees football as an occupation rather than a passion.
He's a young, single, well-built millionaire; he should be out having fun but be smart, don't allow yourself to get caught up in situations that could escalate to such a degree. DUI's happen -- wrong place, wrong time, sure -- even Jim Harbaugh has one to boot. But two people were shot during his most recent nightlife outing, so something needs to change.
In my opinion, I believe Aldon is a good kid who just kind of got caught up in some fast living for a moment. I believe the night itself will act as a wakeup call for Smith -- that and the fact that Trent Baalke, Jim Harbaugh and maybe even a few veterans get involved at this point. Smith should be well aware that he has a very good thing going for him and it would be a shame to ruin it.
I'd like to see Harbaugh or Baalke call Lawrence Taylor and see if he'll come deliver a motivational speech. Either way, I foresee this as the final incident Smith will have.