Apparently having one of the most generic names in the United States has its perks.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday released a list of 108 players and coaches nominated for the Class of 2018, 13 of which were wide receivers. The wideout crop includes serious studs from the 1990s and 2000s like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Hines Ward and Steve Smith.
There’s one problem, though: It’s not the Steve Smith you’re thinking of.
The former Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens receiver was named to five Pro Bowls and ranks seventh on the NFL’s all-time receiving list. But he just retired in January, meaning he’s not Hall eligible. (Players must be out of the league for at least five years.)
Yet that’s no typo on the Hall’s list: There really is a Steve Smith nominated. The other Steve Smith.
That Smith had a remarkably average NFL career. He had one Pro Bowl season with the New York Giants in 2009, posting 1,220 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, but didn’t record more than 574 yards in any other campaign and lasted just six years in the NFL.
So, how the heck did Steve Smith 2 get a Hall of Fame nomination? It turns out he was nominated by a fan.
The Hall allows fans to nominate any player who meets its minimum requirements — playing at least five years and reaching one Pro Bowl — and Smith just barely passed muster. Sure enough, there’s the other Smith on the NFL’s fan vote website, sandwiched between Phil Simms and Rod Smith.
That Smith obviously doesn’t have a shot of making it past the initial voting round, but at the very least, his nomination is a painful reminder of that time you accidentally drafted “the random Steve Smith” instead of “the good Steve Smith” in your fantasy league.
Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images
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