There are some figures within the corner of the cultural universe known as sports that are absolutely infatuating. I can’t get enough stories or tidbits about some of the all-time greats in our beloved niche.
MJ. Bo Jackson. Barry Bonds.
Then there’s one person off the court, field, rink, what-have-you, that also meets this criteria.
A man who draws enormous interest from even the most minute action or proclamation.
A man who could publish a book chock full of just his one liners that would have Stephen King and J.K. Rowling shaking in their boots due to the sales records it would shatter into a zillion pieces.
That man, of course, is Stephen Aloysius Smith.
Stephen A Smith is a guy who just captures my attention no matter what he does. Every part of the core brand he has built interests me, and every additional little tidbit of info surrounding him leaves me begging for more. It’s like when you first learned that Wayne Gretzky would still be the all-time NHL points leader if you took away every single one of his goals, or that the A’s had a million dollar check bounce when Rickey Henderson decided to frame his signing bonus instead of cashing it. You just need to know more.
I learned more about Stephen Archibald Smith today.
Twitter, as usual for me, was the source of this information. I saw a tweet from Stephen A about the Lakers making it to the conference finals this year. Typical First Take stuff, nothing out of the ordinary. I tap on his picture to go creeping on my king. I see he’s following only eight (8) accounts.
Out of the millions and millions of people on Twitter–and probably even more bots–only a group of, dare I say, eight elite people are followed by the big man himself. I initially just wanted to see if he followed his long lost friend Skip Bayless and then move on with my day.
He follows the official First Take account as well as his co-hosts Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim Rose. No surprises there. He follows SportsCenter. Again, all normal thus far. He follows the account for the Stephen A Smith show. If you can’t support yourself, then who can you rely on to do so? He follows Tim Kurkjian, which is honestly one of the last people I’d expect him to follow for some reason. But I love it nevertheless. I’ve always been a fan of Kurkjian and his random little fun facts and I always will be. He follows A.R. Bernard, who I’ve never heard of but appears to be a pastor or educator of some sorts. “Author, Mentor, Teacher at the intersection of faith and culture” reads his bio. That’s all well and good.
So that’s 7/8 accounts that he follows. The 8th and final page he follows is the one that truly caught my eye: the soap opera General Hospital.
“Why on Earth is Stephen Augustus Smith following an account for a soap opera?” I ask myself. I get it’s on ABC, a Disney brand, and Disney owns ESPN. Stephen A’s made it clear that the mouse pays his bills. But not one of their bigger shows? DWTS? The Bachelor? Whatever drama they’re rolling out on Wednesday nights at 10 nowadays? Nope, just a soap opera on its FIFTY SIXTH SEASON. That show’s six years older than Stephen A himself!
So I tweet it out as a lil’ fun fact for my followers to briefly glance at, maybe chuckle, and keep scrolling.
I’m then instantly hit with a duo of reports saying he’s been a guest on the show. Old journalism trick: get two sources to confirm a report; that’s exactly what I did.
I’ve gotta learn more at this point, and that’s exactly what I did. It didn’t just meet my expectations, it exceeded them.
BRICK!!!! What a name!!!! Brick has been on a whopping FIVE episodes out of roughly 32,095,707,821,077,346 in the storied soap opera’s existence. The showrunners can’t get enough SAS talking about backstabbing and unfaithful romances! Stephen Albus Smith is firmly a part of the General Hospital lore and canon and nothing has ever made me happier.
The only thing that would be better than his character being named Brick is if he was five totally different characters on each of his appearances and the fact he’s always someone different is just never addressed. He shows up in the normal suit and tie on the first appearance and wears a pair of Groucho Marx glasses in the second while no one bats an eye. He dyes his hair rainbow colored like Dennis Rodman and it’s taken for granted on show number three while he’s staying 100% serious.
I would be remiss if I didn’t find a few clips of Brick and share it. TAke a look, y’all:
BRAVO STEPHEN A!!!! BRAAAAVOOOO!!!! Do I know the context of these scenes? No. Does it matter? Also no. Get this man a Daytime Emmy for Leading Actor, And no, I don’t care if he wasn’t the lead.
Super smooth in the first one with Carly. That other dude’s gotta watch out because the booty, leg, and hip man is on the prowl. He almost certainly filmed this scene after an episode of First Take with that fit. Either that or Stephen A just wears a suit 24/7.
I applaud Stephen A for doing his best Jimmy McNulty impersonation. Now that I’ve heard him talking about putting people under surveilance, I cannot get the idea of him in the universe of The Wire out of my head.
“Now LEMME just SAY, Max Kellerman, that Omar Little is a BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD MAN!! And he’s the ONLY man who can hurt the DYNASTY….that IS…..the BARKSDALE OrganiZATION!!!!”
That seconds clip is shorter but at least as sweet, if not sweeter, thanks to the first few seconds.
“Aw damn, they lost.”
A 10! A 10/10! They just had to sneak in a sprotz reference to let the audience know that there’s a sprotz man on the teevee. That’s some grade A fourth wall breakin’ folks.
“They,” the team in question here, has to be the Knicks, right? Or perhaps it’s some team he’s less passionate about. If it were the Knicks who lost, he’d be screaming at the dude about the ineptitude of the organization and how everyone needs to be fired since they don’t deserve to represent his team and his city, not about some surveilance.
I may watch every single episode of General Hospital now so I can get the full story behind Brick. In fact, I think I need Brick to get his own spin-off show.
This all goes to show that no matter what the situation is, as long as Stephen Ares Smith has a camera in front of him, gold is created. It’s not always 24K gold, but it’s all gold nonetheless.
Obligatory Mt. Rushmore of Stephen A Smith clips: