I find it very interesting that Charles Haley is inducted into the Hall of Fame at the same time that Aldon Smith gets popped for another DUI. Both guys are phenomenal pass rushers. Both had major character issues that caused problems in their lives. Haley’s issues ran from pissing in Carmen Policy’s potted plants in his office to taking a shit on Steve Young’s car to countless other run-ins with teammates and opponents to the point of pissing everyone off. It got so bad that Eddie D, in a fit of hubris, decided to pawn off the problem child to hated foe Dallas, thinking he’d cause a shit-ton of problems over there. Well, that backfired in about the most horrendous way possible for Eddie and the Niners as Dallas reeled off 3 Super Bowls with Charles in charge on the defense.
Haley has been very forthcoming about his diagnosis with bipolar disorder, and how he hid from it most of his life. Never asking for help as he would feel weak to do so, etc. He has also said ‘I’m done saying sorry as I’ve spent the last 4 years doing that, and how many times can I say it?’ Which leads us to Aldon Smith. He’s a very smart kid who comes across as thoughtful and eager to move on past his earlier problems. He has said all the right things lately, and has kept his nose clean. Til now. Smith was arrested by the Santa Clara police for DUI hit and run and vandalism charges. I’m assuming the vandalism is due to damage from his car tearing shit up, but there are no details as of now as to what happened.
Smith has already come out and said he isn’t in the wrong, but really, to admit guilt would result in his immediate suspension. Here’s Aldon’s response this morning:
“The people who are faithful remain faithful,” Smith said. “Simple as this: Justice will be served, the truth will come out, there’s no DUI. I’m sorry for anybody I let down, I’m sorry for the way this whole thing . . . I need to speak and I want everybody to understand, this wasn’t a DUI, the situation I had could have been handled differently and I apologize for everybody I did let down and I apologize for how it all played out. But as far as everything is concerned, it will work out the way it’s supposed to work out. That’s all.”
Aldon’s either in full-blown denial, or he’s a real shitty driver, or I don’t know, he’s a magnet for trouble.. Point being, this goes beyond football. He needs to take care of himself and figure out what is really going on. He seems to not be able to avoid driving drunk and doing stupid shit. Problem is, the league refuses to do anything to players before court dates and this could be stalled out for a season.
So what do the Niners do at this point? They are ‘not rushing to judgement’ but this could very well play out like the RayMac situation where you have a guy on the hook for various crimes, yet without his day in court, he gets to play. Shit, Smith was on the field hours after being released from jail for his last DUI. Beyond that, Smith was fucked over by Goodell what he voluntarily went into rehab following that arrest. Goodell still levied a hefty 9-game suspension on him. So, do the Niners cut their losses now? Go the ‘due process’ route? Wait for Goodie Goodell?
Frankly, I’d have a talk with Aldon and say look, we’re going to release you. You haven’t held up your side of the bargain that we JUST struck. Get your shit together now. Admit you fucked up, and start on the road to getting past this. We’ll talk in 2016 when you’ve gotten your shit together. I’d tell Goodie as well. Just say I’m voluntarily suspending myself, so don’t go ahead and suspend me next year when all this plays out.
Thing is though, due to Goodell’s previous actions I can see Smith playing out the string until the league does something. Whether that’s here or elsewhere is a question. But you KNOW he would be on the open market for about 24 hours before some other team would sign him to a deal.