Akili Smith's toughness questioned

article by Mike Petrie Calgary Herald
I was in the locker-room doing interviews and didn't see the CBC post-game show. But I was told that Daved Benefield and Sean Millington questioned Akili Smith's toughness and suggested he should have returned to the game, rather than missing the second half with a groin injury.
That's a serious, dangerous accusation.
When this came up, I went back to the Stamps' room to get Smith's reaction. His body language suggested complete surprise, disbelief and then irritation about the comments.
Smith said he wanted to calmly discuss this with Benefield and Millington. I guess he wanted a chance to defend himself. But they had already left the building.
"My groin was throbbing," said Smith. "They want me to play when my groin was throbbing? I don't know how to respond to that."
Head coach Tom Higgins stuck up for Smith.
"That's very unfair," he said. "Nobody knows exactly what someone else feels. He felt and knew that he couldn't go back out. That's not a fair statement and I don't think it's something that should ever be questioned. You put yourself up to not looking very good."
The Stamps are off Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Smith said he was told that he should able to practice when the team returns to work on Thursday.

If there are 2 people on these panels that know about playing hurt and toughness it is Diesel and Mr Furious. Im not in a position to know if the comments are fair or not but it gives you something to think about and debate for sure.

I don't recall what Benefield said--I'll have to check the video.
But Millington was really down on Smith.
And I suspect it was quite unjustified.
A few of the announcers, Millington and the play-by-play/colour combo repeatedly stated things like, "how do you have a mild or minor groin pull".
That seems to say to me they believe you either tear the groin completely apart or it isn't injured which is a ridiculous statement from the get go.
The "groin" is a muscle group just like any other and you can tweak it, slightly injure it, or severely tear it--just like any other muscle group and Millington and Co. showed why they do not have medical degrees with their comments.

Just like a guy with a "mild" ankle strain, or "mild" shoulder injury, it may not be serious enough to keep the guy out indefinately, but bad enough that he couldn't play last night.
And for a bunch of guys in the press box, who don't have a clue as to the severity of the injury to be commenting on the guys "toughness" was very dissappointing.

There is the question of further aggravation too . It is not as though Smith was the star QB who was going to necessarily be the difference in the game either. This was a first start for him too just like Nealy. Having just lost Burris last week , the Stamps could not afford to have Smith get injured even further in a game where there appeared to be little chance of a win at that point anyway.
So dumb to suggest he should have played hurt. Better to recoup for the rest of the season.

Those 2 can barely speak the english language.

Those kind of comments are very irresponsible.
I can see Benefield saying them, because he is new to the panel, a rookie, if you will. But marble mouth has been there a while, he should know better.

Agreed, game was over by the 2nd quarter. Better to let Smith rest. With Smith as the starter the Stamps may win 2/3 more games. With Smith out with a severe groin injury, highly unlikely to have the same success with Nealy. However he looks like a great athlete.

Let me be even more direct... ABSOLUTELY UNCONSCIONABLE!!!
The Groin has two major flexors and any injury to one places strain on the other. Smith could not hold his proper posture on the sideline, an indication that he was already beginning to have swelling in the area.
If you want an example of the damage that can be done by playing, ask Mark Gastineau of the Sack Exchange. He ended his career because he did not allow his groin pull to heal.
I am beside myself to hear these two say this. Millington at least has a history of saying what's on his mind without thinking, but David, I had given more credit to.

Yup the groin can become chronic. The right call was not to play. TV guys get dazzled by the lights sometimes and talk for the sake of talking....here was one of those times

Meatball comments, I'm not sold on Smith but I do not question his fiber or desire. There aren't many pulls more painful or debilitating than a groin pull. Millington and Benefield should know better having played the game.

I hope Smith returns and can harness his talent and relax back there. I not optimistic but the guy was a first round NFL pick at one time, that has to say something about his ability.

Feel the force Akili

Thats face it the guy is playing for the fun of it. He is wealthy and does not need the job. He is playing for the love of the game. He has no pressure to perform. I think after a couple games under his belt he will start playing better.
Now these two clowns saying he could or should play with an injury is just plain stupid and really what do you expect from them. Surely the CBC can find some one knowledgable about football then Walby and Millington. :roll:
My vote goes for Arius and Piggy! Those guys are the smartest football people I know! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: insert crying :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Just maybe your right, about Smith not needing to play for the money. What is his motivation then, maybe the meat heads were thinking along the same lines as you, and that was what they were alluding to. Why should I play, I have a boo boo. Just throwing that out there for you.

Piggy tell me have you ever pulled your groin? I doubt it with that statment.

Money be dammed, Smith is playing because he loves the game. A number 1 NFL draft pick who does NOT need the money doesn't come to the CFL just to hold a frigging clip board.

He pulled his groin plain and simple, and anyone who has ever pulled a groin knows the searing pain it creates. You don't dick around with it.

If Smith is guilty of anything it maybe that he was not in top game shape physically because he has been holding a clip board. A groin is very easy to pull going from 0 to 60 when your not used to it.

Well I do not agree even though you are in clip board mode you still work out. He is playing because he loves the game nothing more. What he gets from the Stamps is beer money. It is important to stretch them prior to playing and obviously he did not do enough to prevent the injury.

Pulling your groin hurts like hell... And yeah, its good that Akili isnt broke... Some athletes as we all know dont manage their money so well...

We'll agree to disagree (-: game conditioning is very much different than practice conditioning. Lets not forget who was getting all the reps in practice.

I do agree that he may have not warmed up enough.

In fairness to Millington and Benefeld, it was announced several times that Smith “voluntarily pulled himself out of the game due to a slight groin pull”. That’s the information they based their comments on. Could it be that Akili didn’t want to risk getting hammered by the ravenous BC defence and threw in the towel?

A slight groin pull should not keep a QB out of the game, especially when the team is already down one QB and his replacement is a green-as-grass rookie, whom he would be throwing to the Lions…? But he pulled himself out anyways.

It now turns out he’ll be fine and will resume practicing with the team on their first practice after the game.

What do not mean to call you (insert dumb person name). But most players with injuries pull themselves out that is as dumb as the two on tv.