Ravens' Torrey Smith has inspirational performance hours after brothers' death

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Tevin Chris Jones, brother of Baltimore Ravens’ receiver Torrey Smith, died in a motorcycle accident late Saturday Night. Torrey Smith received the phone call informing him of his brother’s passing a little after 1 am. Torrey would leave shortly after to be with his family. Nobody knew whether or not Smith would play hours after learning of Tevin’s passing. And if he couldn’t play, there wasn’t a soul in the Ravens’ organization who would blame the young man for sitting out.

Instead, Torrey decided to do what he does best. He decided to play football. And what transpired on Sunday night would end up being one of the most inspirational performances in the history of the NFL. Torrey Smith would finish the game with 6 catches for over 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Ravens would win a thriller against the Patriots 31-30. There was no way the Ravens win this game without Torrey Smith. But Harbaugh knows that winning the game doesn’t change what he saw on Sunday Night.

“Coming from a faith perspective, God and heaven work in beautiful wonders, mysterious, and wonderful ways,” said Harbaugh after the game. “I am not talking about winning and losing. I am talking about what you see people accomplish in the face of adversity. That’s really what it’s all about. To me, that’s one of the great things about sports. If we had lost that game; if we had gone that way like last week, we would’ve been disappointed. But it wouldn’t have taken anything away from the accomplishment; the effort.”

Torrey Smith effort was amazing. But his heart and resolve made it hard to root against him on Sunday Night. And after the game, an emotionally exhausted Smith walked into the podium. You could tell that he had cried in the locker room. You could tell that he was in pain. But that pain didn’t stop him from playing football. This was a decision that wasn’t made until a few hours before the game.

“You can’t have anything weighing on you, [to] tense up, that’s going to cause you to drop the ball or have mistakes,” said an emotional Torrey Smith. “I didn’t want to hurt my team. I came [to the stadium]. The more I [ran], the more comfortable I started to feel. I’m glad I came back up here. I think it helped me out a lot. It helped me a lot.”

Players who’ve lost loved ones during the season say that football is a short term therapy for tragedies such as this. And while Torrey obviously didn’t want to talk too much about what occurred on Saturday night, he couldn’t help but talk about how great of a person Tevin was.

“You had to be around him. He’s honest, he had a great heart. A lot of people say that all the time when people pass, but he truly was that person. When you see him mad, you’d always laugh because it didn’t look right. So, to be around him, his big smile and his laugh, which was probably one of the most annoying laughs ever, I’m definitely going to miss him. He laughed so hard at everything, and you know, he’d do anything for you. It’s a tough loss for us.”

As Torrey described his little brother, you couldn’t help but notice how similar the two were. Torrey Smith is beloved by the entire city in such a short amount of time. As a fan favorite, hundreds of fans showed their support via Twitter and text message. And that’s something that Torrey greatly appreciated.

“It was tough emotionally. I didn’t know how I would hold up, but thanks to my teammates and coaches and all the support from really everyone around the league; just everyone everywhere. You know, I was getting texts and people were telling me on Twitter. I just thank everyone on behalf of my family.”

When Torrey finished speaking to reporters, he walked away from the podium and was immediately embraced by his head coach. Harbaugh wanted him to know that his football family was there for him. It was a touching experience that only lasted a few seconds. It shed light on one of the greatest misconceptions in sports. Sometimes, it’s just a game. And sometimes it’s much more.

 

Samuel Njoko. (September 24, 2012). Examiner. In Ravens’ Torrey Smith has inspirational performance hours after brothers’ death. Retrieved September 24, 2012, from http://www.examiner.com.