In 2009, Alex Mack and Shaun Smith were teammates in Cleveland, going head-to-head in practice every day. In 2010 Smith had moved on to the Chiefs, and when they met on the field Mack accused Smith of grabbing his genitals.
Now Smith is playing defensive tackle for the Titans, and Mack is still the center for the Browns, coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2010. They’ll meet again on Sunday, and Smith says he’s planning to treat Mack the way he always treated him.
“During his rookie year, I used to tell him he should give his money back. I used to tell him he wasn’t worth a first-round pick,” Smith told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “It’s nothing personal or anything like that. That’s just how I felt. . . . He didn’t say nothing. I mean, I was kicking his [butt] the whole camp and I had a good game when we played them last year.”
Yes, Smith had a good game against Mack — except the whole genital grabbing thing. How does Smith explain that?
“You can’t believe everything you hear,” Smith said. “The league sorted it all out — no fine.”
It’s true that the league didn’t fine Smith after Mack’s accusation, but that was because they couldn’t find a replay angle that definitively showed Smith grabbing Mack’s junk, not because they cleared him of wrongdoing. And considering that a week later another player made the same accusation against Smith, and this time there was video and Smith was fined, Smith probably shouldn’t be too gleeful about the whole thing.
Smith says he was “a little bitter” when the Browns cut him, but he adds that “I got the last laugh at the end of the day.” As Mack prepares to play against his old teammate and nemesis, he’s hoping he’ll be able to say the same thing at the end of the day on Sunday.