Leaving the game of football was one of the hardest decisions Emmitt Smith ever had to make. After having one of the most successful careers in NFL history, Smith finally decided to hang up his cleats for good on February 4th, 2005.
With multiple Super Bowl rings, the NFL’s all-time rushing record and an MVP award under his belt, Smith only had one more accomplishment to achieve, be inducted in to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
“The Hall of Fame is the icing on the cake for a guy’s career,” Smith said. “It’s one of those things that you never think about but upon retirement, you start to realize that I may have a chance to get in and it would be great being amongst a group of elite athletes. Being a Hall of Famer sets you apart, it says that you were able to perform at a high level for an extended period of time.”
That final accomplishment came for Smith in 2010 as Smith was voted in to the Hall on his first ballot. During the five years between his retirement and induction, Smith was able to achieve another one of his lifelong goals as he founded his own company, Emmitt Smith Enterprises, in which five other sub-companies ranging from real estate to he and his wife, Patricia’s, charity organization fall under. The charity organization is something Smith is very happy to be a part of as the main goal is to help troubled youth and help them see the other side of life.
“My wife and I share Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities where we raise money for youth in order to create unique opportunities for them,” Smith said. “We think taking a kid out of their current environment and exposing him or her to other parts of the world and show them how the world operates, will help close the gap (between the two environments).”
While Smith is very busy with his company work, he always takes time to spend with his family. Smith has five children and multiple family members that live in the Dallas area where Smith still resides to this day. Even after nearly nine years of retirement, Smith never once thought to leave the city that holds such a special place in his heart.
Smith’s only son, Emmitt Smith IV, is looking to follow in his father’s footsteps as he is currently playing running back and corner back for his 11 and 12 year old youth football team. While Smith sees a lot of talent in his son that he possessed, he notes that his son still has a long way to go before he catches up to his old man.
While young Emmitt still has seven years of development, Smith hopes to see his son carry on the tradition of running in the Orange and Blue for the Florida Gators.
“I don’t know if you’re going to see Emmitt IV in Orange and Blue or not, he’s so young that he’s not sure where he wants to go right now, but he walks around in his Gator gear proudly,” Smith said.
In the fall of 2006, Smith took time out of his busy schedule to compete and win the third season of the hit dance show Dancing With the Stars, something that some people recognize him for more than his football career.
“After I ended up winning Dancing With the Stars, I had people come up to me on the street, in Dallas mind you, that wanted my autograph and would say things like ‘You did such a great job and Dancing With the Stars, we just loved you on the show’,” Smith said. “It really was a great opportunity though that I think came naturally to me through my footwork from football, plus Cheryl (Dancing With the Stars Dance Coach) did such a great job whipping me in to shape real quick.”
Smith looks forward to watching his children grow up over the next few years as well as continue to see his company grow and be successful. While Smith stays busy with work and his family, he still takes some time to recollect on his football playing days and always takes the time to say ‘Go Gators!’ or ‘Go Cowboys!’ to a passing fan.
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