In what was a year filled with a mixture of controversy and adversity, the Washington Football Team found a way to manage itself into the playoffs by winning the NFC East with a 7-9 record.
Chalk it up to 2020 or just chalk it up to an incredible story of a coach’s strength and a quarterback’s grit.
As mentioned by NFL.com‘s Grant Gordon, “Captained by the uplifting tales of head coach Ron Rivera coaching through cancer and quarterback Alex Smith’s unbelievable comeback, Washington (7-9) is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015, which was also the last season in which it won the division.”
It all came down to a NFC East battle between the Eagles and The Football Team to see if Washington could fight its way into the playoffs. A game Alex and his family never thought they’d see coming after what’s been a strenuous, trying few years for them.
‘I’m a nervous wreck’: Before the big game, Alex’s wife, Elizabeth, posted this picture:
That is truly a work of art, a trophy that was made from Alex’s leg stabilizer as he recovered from a severe injury.
“Waiting for this game and I’m a nervous wreck,” Elizabeth Smith said. “I look up at our bookshelves as a reminder of where we have been and the hard work to get to this moment. No matter the outcome, Alex has already won. He has beat the largest challenge life has thrown our way. I am incredibly proud and will be cheering loud. Let’s go Washington! Special thanks to Cold Hard Art for transforming a symbol of hard times to a trophy of triumph we can proudly put on our shelves❤️❤️❤️.”
Per the artist who welded the trophy, Elizabeth gave this trophy to Alex as a Christmas gift:
The ‘nervous wreck’ probably turned into pure glee after watching her husband throw for 162 yards and two touchdowns, leading his Football Team to the playoffs.
“A lot to be grateful for,” Alex Smith said following the game on NBC per the NFL. “Starting with those guys in the locker room…We had some bumps early and continue to keep fighting and getting better and here we are.”
To keep all this in perspective and what this means, here was Elizabeth’s post on Thanksgiving:
“Two years ago on Thanksgiving our lives changed forever. Alex laid in a hospital bed with so many unknowns and a heavy weight of despair. The one thing that was evident during that time was our lives were FULL. Regardless of the outcome, we were grateful for all of our blessings and loved ones. Never in our wildest dreams did we think two years down the road alex would be playing in an actual NFL game.”Elizabeth Smith, Instagram post
And now in 2021, Alex gets to play in a NFL playoff game. That’s something he knows a thing or two about. Smith has been to the playoffs five times. Four years with the Chiefs and one with the 49’ers. This will be his sixth playoff appearance with a third different team.
It was a journey for the Smith’s. Add supporting Alex now in the playoffs as another chapter in the journey. Because there were many chapters filled with pain. One of the chapters included Alex’s rehabilitation journey:
“We are eternally grateful to The Center for the Intrepid – a rehabilitation facility for our military past and present who have succumb to devastating limb injuries and amputations,” Elizabeth said in a post on Veteran’s Day 2020. “Without their knowledge and courage, Alex could not have returned to the game he loves. We have decided to partner with Attitude is Free – a positive mindset brand that encourages people to never give up. 100% of the Alex Smith line will be donated to the Center For The Intrepid to continue their amazing work for our veterans and active military.”
If you’d like to help support Smith’s partnership with the rehabilitation facility for military members who “have succumb to devastating limb injuries and amputations”, The Center for the Intrepid, you can do so here as 100% of the Alex Smith clothing line will be donated to the center.
Amidst what’s been a tumultuous 2020 for this team, at least you can feel happy for Smith and Rivera after all they’ve been through.
As Elizabeth said, it was “transforming a symbol of hard times to a trophy of triumph”. Now, who knows? Washington snuck in to the playoffs. It’s anybody’s game. Maybe, just maybe, Alex can collect another trophy to that bookcase in 2021.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
- 1 Alex Smith’s Wife, Elizabeth, Proud Of Her Husband, Shares Trophy Made From Rehabilitation Equipment Pieces: ‘No Matter The Outcome, Alex Has Already Won’
- 2 ‘I’m a nervous wreck’: Before the big game, Alex’s wife, Elizabeth, posted this picture:
- 3 Per the artist who welded the trophy, Elizabeth gave this trophy to Alex as a Christmas gift:
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