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."

NFL Films pioneer Steve Sabol dies

Check out a photo gallery of highlights from Sunday's NFL action

SI's Peter King: Replacement refs making NFL games a joke

Soccer player tosses live grenade

soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Obnray

    @ Bayousara – How could you miss the point of this very touching story. He lost his brother and held it together enough to play an outstanding game in HONOR of his brother who he clearly loved dearly. Show a little respect!

    On a side note – I drive a motorcycle and it is usually not the driver of the motorcycle that has the issues – it is the people in the cars that don't notice the motorcycle that cause the wreck. RIP – your family loved you and will miss you!

    September 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2001 suzuki intruder 1400

      Umm...... cars you drive, motorcycles you ride !

      September 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. neken7

    As a Patriots fan, I don't think I could have simultaneously been as happy and as angry to see a person play well.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leigh

      Thank you from Baltimore. It was a tough game and one of the most gut-wrenching emotional games for us Raven's fans. It's so nice to see support for one of our team-mates outside of Maryland! I missed the minute long BS chant and just saw a video.

      Torre Smith – We're so proud of you and know your brother will always be remembered when we think back to this game. Raven's Nation!!

      September 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Noe

    Condolences to the family. Sad news when a young life is lost. We all gotta check out some time. At least he died doing something he loved doing. As a fellow rider myself, i am familiar with risk of possible loss of life at any given second on two wheels. But the feeling of elevation, liberation and freedom is worth it (at least in my eyes). RIP Tevin Smith

    Life should not be a journey to the grave with
    the intention of arriving safely
    in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke,
    thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and
    loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

    September 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Judge Dredd

    Way to play favorites NFL. I never heard anything about Marcell Dareus's brother being killed and he went on to play last week. But then again it's Ratbird fans complaining that the NFL hates them. Yep they sure hate you, 5 prime time games this season.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Hand

      Very Classy Judge. Is this really the place to air your petty greivance?

      September 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whitney

      classless, dude...totally classless

      September 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Well for one it was not a nationally televised game (I doubt that any Buffalo games are) and secondly Marcell played a week after his brothers death...so there really is no comparison.

      September 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mr. Hand

    I'm almost 30 years older than Tevin, but he went to my high school and was a classmate of several of my neices. They were very down yesterday. RIP, thoughts are with the family.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Greek American

    Yes they did mention the death of Marcell Dareus's brother, multiple times during the football game in which he played. I believe that it didn't happen the same day of the game though, so maybe that's why it was or seemed more pronounced last night.
    And I read last night that Smith's brother's accident did not involve speeding or drugs or alcohol, according to the police investigation.
    I don't think he is disrespectful in what he did. I feel that sometimes people need to be surrounded by others or have an outlet through being with others, in order to deal with a family death. The football team gave him this closeness and outlet to deal with this tragedy.
    That's just my opinion. My condolences to the family.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CueBallSTL

    Very sad... It was obvious last night that he definitely played an inspired game. I thought it was a little callous, though, for the post-game interviewer to ask questions just short of, "You're taking this so well, didn't you love your brother?" I thought her tone and the content of the questions was inappropriate and tried to sensationalize what should have been a very short interview. I think they would have shown a lot more class to just say, "Very sorry for the loss of your brother. Congratulations on an amazing performance and a well-deserved Game MVP". Then let the poor guy go grieve.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • MajeztyRene

      I agree.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Carole

    Sooooooooo.... sad; and I just found out that he was born the same day as my daughter. Saying a little prayer for him so that his soul rest in peace.

    September 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tct

    You could see how he inspired the whole team and how much many wanted to comfort him, when he spoke he came across as someone you want to know well. His brother passed young, but his life impacted many people.

    RIP

    September 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MajeztyRene

    BOY did that young man play last night !!! I was crying and cheering at the same time. May God bless this young man and his family. Losing someone you love dearly is devastating no matter how you lose them. I'm sure Tevin is smiling on Torrey and his entire family !

    September 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dre is wrong

    Dre, have you ever heard that people grieve in different ways??? Have you ever thought that how you would react to a situation may differ from someone else, and that both of you can be right? or are you just so trapped in your own ego that you think the way you do things is exactly how everyone else should do them. I have lost loved ones and i know that when they are looking down on me, they would be so hurt if they thought i let any aspect of my life slip up and not keep on shining for them. You are incredibly close-minded and it is pathetic to know that you are allowed to have your opinion be displayed anywhere.

    September 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • dre

      Good job justifying a classless move. You're saying it's normal for some to go play when a sibling you allegedly love has died!? And you don't realize how stupid that sounds?! Welcome to the new, callous, uncaring me me me society we live in. A..holes.

      September 25, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. TexasAnne

    Condolences to him & his family. Manti Te'o of Notre Dame just went thru a similar thing.... his grandmother passed one evenintg & his longtime girlfriend passed (from lukemia) the next morning. He went ahead & played too. Had to be tough for both of them.

    September 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. slipery

    RIP

    September 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bro

    i know its sad to see someone go to be with God, but this is happening everyday and people go about their business dealing with the pain and emotions daily just because this dude plays for the NFL i should give a damn about his life and who died. its ridiculous how much attention this country gives to celebrities and athletes whenever something happens to them but who really gives a rats ass im glad he played a good game after all thats what he gets paid to do if someone died i would still have to go to work and do my best as well this isnt anything special people grow the f up.

    September 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ckendall

      Bro, we pay attention to celebrities & athletes because that's the way it is! If YOU want to be famous, then put yourself on TV, OK?? THEN you will get your desired, precious attention. Got that?? YOU Grow the F Up!! OK??

      September 24, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      But you read the article...hmmmmm

      September 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • achandler

      That was totally classless bro.. and heartless. Seriously dude your the one that needs to grow up.

      September 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Stenny

    God Bless

    September 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6