Robert Smith was an atypical football player from the start. Blessed with a brilliant mind and deep vocabulary, Smith wasn't one for giving cliche answers to questions during his pro career. And when it came to his sudden retirement, there was simply no answers given.
Smith walked away from what many thought was a sure-fire five-year $25 million contract after the 2000 season and rarely gave explanation. When VU broke the story the night of the Super Bowl, most thought it was a prank, a lie or just wrong information. Ten days later, an e-mail to a Cleveland reporter made it official and final.
In Smith's new book "The Rest of the Iceberg: An Insider's View on the World of Sports" Smith tackles such issues as his playing career, why he stepped away from the game, his future plans and his take on the athlete as celebrity.
In the book, Smith calls Randy Moss "a young kid with a big mouth" but says his strained relationship with Moss wasn't a contributing factor to his walking away. He also said he considered coming out of retirement twice -- once as a tribute to fallen friend Korey Stringer and the other when Denny Green went looking for a new job. In fact, had Green taken a job somewhere other than Arizona, which needs a serious overhaul, and to a team that had a chance immediately to win a title, Smith likely would have come out of retirement to play for Green.
Much of the book is devoted to the role athletes play as celebrities and role models for kids. He also touches on the race factor and how white America views the black athlete.
Smith will be at Vikings training camp as part of his promotional tour for the book and VU will try to get an interview with the elusive star to get answers to some of the questions that have gone unanswered over the last four years.
Viking Update Top Stories
VIDEO: Zimmer on final preps for EaglesMinnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer discusses some key players for Philadelphia, his defense and if Jake Long could play.
Viking Update12:02 PM
Vikings have 3 receivers on injury reportThe Minnesota Vikings could be getting Stefon Diggs back in the lineup, but he is among three receivers on their injury report.
Viking Update11:37 AM
Notebook: Walsh ‘past the bad things?’The Minnesota Vikings are preparing to play “quite possibly the best special teams unit across the board that we've faced so far this year.” Plus, the Vikings are doing much better…
Viking Update8:49 AM
Hard-core stats: Vikings at EaglesThe Minnesota Vikings will look to exploit some of the weaknesses the Eagles have shown lately, including one strength for the Vikings and one weakness. We go deep into where the…
Viking Update5:04 AM