Ravens' Torrey Smith has inspiring game hours after brother's death
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted a photo of his brother who died in a motorcycle accident.
September 24th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Ravens' Torrey Smith has inspiring game hours after brother's death

When Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith showed up Sunday night for the game against the Patriots, he had a lot more on his mind than the AFC championship rematch so many fans were waiting to see.

Smith had barely slept and wasn't even sure if he would play. He had driven home to Virginia after learning hours earlier his younger brother Tevin had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Shortly before grabbing an hour of sleep, at around 5:30 a.m., he tweeted about how much his brother meant to him.

[tweet https://twitter.com/TorreySmithWR/status/249849716655919104%5D

An hour later, as tributes to his brother were pouring in, Smith posted a picture of the two of them together, saying, "I can't say a bad thing about him... proud to have him as a brother. ..."

[tweet https://twitter.com/TorreySmithWR/status/249861582262263808%5D

At 4:30 p.m. Sunday, he finally made the decision he would play - in honor of his brother.

"It was tough emotionally. I didn’t know how I would hold up," Smith said after the game. "I was telling my teammates a minute ago that this is new territory for me personally. I never really had to deal with a death in the family, let alone my brother. In our family, everyone’s so tight. Just like a lot of other families. It’s part of life and, due to my teammates and my family and friends, I’ll be able to get over it.”

When Smith got to the stadium, he said he texted his mother.

"That’s when I really made my decision I was going to play," Smith told reporters at a press conference after the game. "So she was excited about it. She was like, ‘Of course, he’d want you to play.’ He’d admired me so much ... and it’s just a tough situation altogether."

Smith received words of encouragement from everyone inside the club and around the globe. On Twitter, fans shared their condolences. Inside the clubhouse, safety Ed Reed, who lost his brother in 2011, gave Smith a psalm that he hoped would help him through the tough time.

"God’s in control, and God has a plan bigger than ours. We don’t know our time, none of us. We all experience the same things, so I just told him that we’re here for him; I’m here for him," Reed said, recalling his conversation with Smith to reporters after the game.

"I can relate to him. I told him we get so caught up, like our pastor said today, in the physical and what we see. I still talk to my (late) brother to this day because I know there's much more to us than just being here. I told him that he could still have those conversations. Just know that he’s in a much better place."

Taking the field Sunday night, Smith was moved by a moment of silence for his brother.

“That touched me right there, the fact that the organization took the time out to honor my brother, one of my family members, who had absolutely nothing to do with this program besides me," Smith said. "He loved being up here. His birthday was October 6, coming up. He was going to come up Thursday, come to the game versus the Browns, raid my house all week. I’m just thankful (for) the organization; it’s everything I thought it would be. The way they care about you. That’s the reason I wanted to be in Baltimore. That’s the reason I wanted to be a Raven.”

And it seems that Smith wanted to make his team and his brother proud.

He played a spectacular game, with two touchdowns and 127 yards on six catches, despite the adversity and pain. His brother, he said, was everything to him.

"He’s honest, he had a great heart. A lot of people say that all the time when people pass, but he truly was that person," Smith told reporters. "When you see him mad, you’d always laugh because it didn’t look right. So, to be around him, his big smile and his laugh, which was probably one of the most annoying laughs ever, I’m definitely going to miss him. He laughed so hard at everything, and you know, he’d do anything for you. It’s a tough loss for us."

Smith helped lead his team to a 31-30 victory against the Patriots.

In the second quarter, he hauled in a 25-yard pass to put the Ravens on the board for the first time and cut the score to 13-7.

He fell to the ground as he pulled in the pass. After the touchdown, he took a knee and pointed up to the sky. It's a typical move for players, but the meaning was much more personal Sunday night.

"I just said a quick prayer, took a knee. You know, obviously you play with a heavy heart; you want to play for that person," Smith said after the game.

It was the first of Smith's two key touchdowns that helped lift the Ravens toward victory.

"How do you explain it? Coming from a faith perspective, God and heaven work in ... mysterious, wonderful ways," head coach John Harbaugh said of Smith's performance. "I am not talking about winning and losing; I am talking about what you see people accomplish in the face of adversity. That’s really what it’s all about. To me, that’s one of the great things about sports."

The support from his team, rivals and fans helped give Smith the extra push he needed, the player told reporters.

"He seemed like he was ready to play football and ready to go out there and help us get a win," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. "That was great; we all wanted to rally around him and go get it for him."

Getting the win proved to be a tough task for the Ravens, who finally sealed the game with a last-minute field goal. But it was Smith's performance that stood out for most of the players.

"I think he did what his brother would have wanted him to do, and that’s to go out and play like a Raven," running back Ray Rice said afterward. "And what a show he put on for his brother tonight."

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soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. jfk1971

    I don't know how he did it, but he sure did it well. My condolences to the family, they seem like a real great group of people.

    September 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    I got goosebumps reading this story.
    My sincere condolences to Torrey Smith and his family for the loss of their beloved son/brother.
    Know that his spirit will remain with you always.

    September 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rich C

    He played amazingly and showed a lot of poise for what must have been such a tough time. He is an inspiration and I wish him well.

    September 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. This is Weak

    How old was his younger brother? Is he old enough to ride a motorcycle, was he racing, wearing a helmet, doing stunts, on drugs, alcohol???

    September 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mallory Simon, CNN News blog editor

      Our affiliates say he was 19 years old and was riding his motorcycle when he drove off the side of the road and into a utility pole. That's all we know so far. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      September 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raven Fan

      I agree this article is poorly written if it were to cover the ACCIDENT but this article is about Mr. Smith and the inspiring game and how he made it through it.

      Yes it was an ACCIDENT (they happen everyday and I lost my son they same way) no alcohol and was wearing a helmet according to this mornings Baltimore news.

      So before you assume maybe stop and re-read what the article is truely about.

      September 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • petz

      Dearest YOU are weak, what is wrong with you? Does it matter?? Mr. Smith lost his brother and played an amazing game. Nothing else matters. My sincere condolences to Torrey Smith and his family for their loss.

      September 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bayousara

      I see too many motorcycle riders wearing bicycle helmets. This is not going to save your life. Get a good helmet that might give you a chance. I don't like motorcycles because they are dangerous bikes and they hurt other people when they get out of control, which is often. I have seen one intersection accident and the guy was pretty messed up. I saw another one when the rider drove over a wire downed on the road. Wire got caught in wheel, biker got tossed off and hit a fence along the road. He is in heaven apparently, although Smith says his bro is in a "better place," I will bet the dead bro wouldn't necessarily agree with that statement.

      September 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • greg

      You can die with or without a helmet, speeding recklessly or following all the rules of the road. This story isn't about that, you dunce.

      September 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. This is Weak

    Did someone hit him while on motorcycle, was he on the back?

    September 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryB

      What difference does it make one way or the other? Pretty strange for you to care.

      September 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristina

      You know what, why dont you go ask the medical examiner since it CLEARLY matters that much to you. You completely missed the entire point of this article, and youre making yourself out to look exremely stupid and incredibly ignorant. What does it matter if he WAS in the wrong? Is it going to bring him back?! NO. Did he physically hurt anyone but himself?! NO. So quit running your mouth and making holier-than-thou comments.

      September 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. p zombie

    told you heh

    September 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nathan

    What difference does it make how it happened. The guy lost a brother and he caried on with dignity and grace. Isn't that enough story for you.

    September 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ravens Fan

    Can't imagine having to focus on the game after such a life altering day, but he showed the world how much his brother meant to him by playing in his honor. Am glad to be a fan of an organization that plays like a family, plays like a Raven!

    September 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brian Daugherty

    Torrey made his brother and all of Baltimore very proud last night. I can't even begin to understand the pain he must have been in when he got the news. You did good Torrey we all got your back my friend!

    September 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mistamista

    There are times when I'm angry to hear the petty arguments that professional football players seem to create in the wake of their own "greatness", but for the first time in a long time, I think that this man has a legitimate shot at making his mark on the sport and driving the idea that the NFL, while certainly a large portion of their lives is NOT their first family. Tevin, I didn't know you, or even know of you...but your brother misses and clearly loved you. I wish you peace and rest. These words are from A Bucs fan...but also a fan of brotherhood everywhere.

    September 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tammie jones

    Torrey has the heart of a lion, he is an incredibly brave young man! His family has to be very, very proud of him. I know I'm proud he's a Baltimore Raven!

    September 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dre

    Inspiring? Really? To me, playing football AFTER YOUR SIBLING HAS DIED shows a complete lack of regard for human life. What is wrong with you people. You're probably the same jagoffs that could do a tv interview after a loved one's death. Pathetic.

    September 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kinda have to agree

      I guess God decided to take his life in order to motivate his brother to beat the Patriots.

      September 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • greg

      you're a sad, sad little troll all fat and happy in your parent's basement, now aren't you 🙂

      September 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Depends why he did it

      I think he played and excelled as a public tribute to his brother in order to focus the country's attention in a positive way on the tragedy and his brother's memory. If you choose to attribute it to a selfish motive that is your prerogative.

      September 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. blahblah

    Smith seems like a very decent guy. He was more like a father to his siblings. I give him alot of credit. I am also very sympathetic to his situation. Apparently the referees were sympathetic to him as well. Video replay showed that he definitely pushed off on McCourtey to get separation for the final TD. (Someone had to say it.)

    September 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sikkid

    how selfish of you to play your stupid game. This time should be about your brother and family. Does your family really care that you played, or are you the most important person in your family that they are going sit by the tv to watch you instead of grieving for you little brother.

    September 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • dre

      I swear, we are the only two who are thinking this. I guess the family figures, "whatever, we got five or six more siblings, it doesn't matter." Unreal. Just try to pull me out of my bed for a month should one of my sisters die tragically.

      September 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • greg

      yes, you are right. you are the only two to think this....because you're both moderately stupid.

      September 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan I

      As his mom said "of course he'd [the deceased] would want you to play." He played as a tribute to his brother, there was probably some solace to be found. Apparently the whole family was watching just to have something to be excited about for a few hours.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ERR

      Some people grieve in different ways...who are we to judge. It seemed that Mr. Smith played b/c it was what his little brother would have wanted him to do.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dre

    Greg. At least i have loving parents. Haha. That mourning for a loved one does not even register with you says a lot about your parents. Lol

    September 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • greg

      hello dre, meet prozac. prozac, meet dre. may the two never be separated again.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
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