Something To Say

One couldn't blame WVU quarterback Geno Smith for getting a bit philosophical on Monday, only two days removed from what he called the worst performance of his football playing life.

Smith had, no doubt, heard the criticism some Mountaineer fans had been directing at just about everything associated with the football program in the wake of the team's 19-14 loss to Syracuse last Saturday.

Those folks had taken their frustration out in any way they knew how -- booing the West Virginia coaches as the team's offense stalled again and again in the second half before going a step further in the days after and publicly questioning whether certain members of the Mountaineers' staff would (or should) have job security heading into next season.

While Smith and other players live in relative isolation, (that comes with the territory, as they spend several hours of every day in the fall in the Milan Puskar Center, surrounded by the same people) especially for people with the big fame that comes with being a sort of "celebrity" in a small city like Morgantown, they do hear what the public thinks.

And while the sophomore quarterback later clarified he wasn't just referring to WVU football fans, he shot back in a very public manner, taking to his Twitter account and crafting a status update to reflect his own frustration.

"How can you fairly assess something from the outside looking in? Majority of the time you'll be wrong," Smith typed into his phone Monday afternoon.

That update reached Smith's approximately 1,900 followers and quickly gained notice. Mountaineer teammates like Scooter Berry and J.T. Thomas "re-Tweeted" the message, a sign of support for the sentiment. Some fans and other observers did the same.

So the question was worth asking when the quarterback met with the media earlier this week: does Smith feel as though West Virginia fans are judging aspects of the football team without complete knowledge of the subjects on which they speak?

"I think people in general, just everywhere [are guilty of that]," he said. "You know, you look at the Presidents and say, ‘Well, President [George W.] Bush did a horrible job.' You don't know what President Bush actually did when he was in the White House. If you look at it from the outside looking in, you can have a lot to say about something when you don't actually know what's going on."

That's not to say that Smith doesn't understand the frustration fans feel with the offense's inability to produce points in Saturday's loss to Syracuse.

Indeed, the quarterback tried to take all the responsibility for that defeat in the immediate aftermath, pointing to his own mistakes on the three interceptions he threw and what they did to give the Orange points and end chances for WVU to score.

Smith said he wished he could make fans -- the same ones who were booing the team at several points in the SU game -- understand things more intimately.

"I just take it as it is. I don't look at anybody differently, but people should understand that if you don't know what's going on [behind closed doors], you can't really have a correct say on it," Smith said.

"I wish I could [explain things to those people]. I wish everyone would have the same mentality that I do, but unfortunately, we all don't."

And what, exactly, is at the core of the mentality the Mountaineers' quarterback would like to share?

"Just to understand that, you know, in life, you know, certain things happen you have no control over," Smith said. "You've just got to take it for what it's worth."

It's some serious stuff for a college sophomore to be thinking about, but losses tend to make football players get a touch philosophical.

But lest you think Smith is taking things a bit too much to heart and has been unable to shake off his rough outing from last week, consider another one of his Tweets, this one from only a few hours after our interview on Tuesday evening.

The quarterback was watching "The Lion King" with his friend and WVU teammate, wide receiver Stedman Bailey. The movie's main character, the young lion Simba, got Smith thinking again, and he took to Twitter to make another observation:

"Was Simba Justin Beiber before his time or am I trippin.." Smith wrote.


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