Frederickson: Aldon Smith, full of football potential, is wrestling with something scary
You don't remember me, but we met once at a
house party in college a few years back. I remember because it looked
like you were wearing the living room. Your hand was massive, twice the
size of mine, when you stuck it out to shake. More importantly, I
remember you seemed like a genuinely decent dude.
can't help but think of that encounter when I see you on TV, stalking
NFL quarterbacks just like you did at the University of Missouri. And I
can't help but think of it when I scroll through Twitter and see you
took another step down a dark and scary path.
I'm concerned, and I don't think I'm the only one. I hope those
close to you are making it known instead burying their heads in the
sand. When I read you practiced today -- hours after police
said your blood alcohol content was nearly twice California's legal
limit to drive -- I couldn't help but wonder which approach your team,
the San Francisco 49ers, is taking.
Sometimes a DUI
related arrest is just a mistake, a costly misstep. Sometimes it's a
warning sign. A second is always the latter.
And there have been other signs, footnotes
that have piled up at the bottom of
the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Together, they paint a
Your arrest for suspicion of
drunken driving and marijuana possession Friday morning is now linked to
your arrest for suspicion of drunken driving last year in
Meanwhile, there is this troubling lawsuit
that stems from a gang-related party at your house in June 2012. You got
stabbed there, and a man who got shot in the leg claims you were drunk
and firing a gun.
Then there was that other incident
on your old college campus in November, the disturbance at the late
night Mexican restaurant where glassy eyed students gather when the bars
close. You denied
a report that said you were involved in a fight, but a
restaurant employee said you were there, and somebody called the
Why do you keep finding yourself in these
Is there a theme behind the unpleasant
What reward is worth these
People are piling on. Your Instragram account
is flooded with comments like ...
everything anyone could want and millions of fans around the world. How
could you do something so stupid again?"
"You need a
life coach or a handler or something dude"
nonsense will catch up to you one day and believe me when it does regret
will be your best friend."
They have a
point. No one wants to see you sabotage a career that seems to have no
ceiling. You are the linebacker who can't be blocked, yet you seem
intent on stopping yourself.
But forget about
This is bigger than that. This is about
your life. This is about grabbing hold of demons before they get too
big, too powerful to stop. This is about saving yourself before you
Good luck, Aldon. I think you are a good guy,
and I hope you find
You can follow Ben Frederickson
on Twitter (@Ben_Fred), or contact him at