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. Crocker

    His brother dies and he goes on to play his GAME. Something wrong about that whole deal.

    September 24, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • PriorityMail

      So...what's wrong about the whole deal? People have different ways of dealing with sorrow. If he felt his brother would have wanted him to continue, so be it. He put his family first. His family was behind him 100%. His team is like his second family from what I read in the interviews. If that hurts your feelings or makes you feel sour, go whine somewhere else.

      September 24, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kuta

      Nice try troll.

      September 24, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • debbie

      So..what's he supposed to do in your eyes..sit at home and cry all night.It was his decision and his brother loved watching him play so that's what he decided to do...play a very hard and emotional game dedicated to his brother.Don't judge other people because you wouldn't do the same thing.

      September 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Bundy

      I honestly believe his brother would have wanted him to play. I cannot fault the man for his way of dealing with grief.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dre

      Those of you praising this guy for playing football don't even realize how stupid you sound. Most normal people would be incapable of functioning following the loss of a sibling. Screwed up is society's new norm. Pathetic losers.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tango6531

      Dre, the way most of us see it, everyone deals with pain and loss in differant ways. Personally I think you sound like a little Bit&h and are the only pathetic loser that has commented thus far

      September 24, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. maureen

    torrey good job ur bro wud b happy u carried on. u will c him again, but in the meantime carry on as he wud want u to. God bless

    September 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Well said. Torrey must be made of some good stuff. I'm sure his bro is very proud.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. LOLOL

    Great game, thoughts and prayers to the family. You made your brother proud!

    September 24, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ScottCA

    As a Rational Secularist and Atheist, I value every single human life. This life really is all we have evidence of existing, and this is why every life is of such great and precious value, we are delicate beings, fragile and once we are gone, we are gone forever. Value every moment of life, each precious moment is gift beyond measure of value.

    We do not know what comes after death, but all evidence points to it being exactly like the billions of years before our births. Treasure the time we have, every short second of it. If I could but give my fellow man a few moments more of life, then I would have lived my life well.

    “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

    ― Mark Twain

    September 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gleuropa

    Torrey,

    My prayers are with you and your family. I know your brother would have been so proud of you. Moments like this transcend sports.

    A die hard Patriots fan

    September 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Bundy

      Thank-you. As a Raven's fan, I see you as a class act.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mungle Man

    Torrey great tribute. Your brother would have wanted you to do your best, as always. God Bless you and your family in the time of your loss.

    September 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Vox Veritas

    Torrey Smith, courage be thy name. With strength and dignity, you have shown others what the definition of man is. My heart goes out to you, sir, and your family. Obviously, you come from one that has taught you well the meaning of the word "integrity." Though the pain will always be with you on some level, it will get better. Know that you have shown not only Tevin your love for him, but the world how it is done. Know also that we will all one day be reunited. How proud your brother will be of you. How proud anyone with any degree of humanity within themselves is of you. God bless you, your brother, mother, and your family.

    September 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Bundy

      That is the best post I've read. Bless you.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fryuujin

    I find it beyond believe that he played. doesn't sound normal. It wasn't like he was in the army during a war, it was a Fing football game and like the many thousands played before no different and just as meaningless. My guess he didn't even know his brother and most likely had different dads.

    September 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr DoNothing

      You are everything wrong with the world today and just love to hear yourself talk and everyone else hates you – die alone

      September 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Raider Nation 21

    2 fryuujin- You are an idiot!

    September 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Booyahhayoob

    Aww... RIP, Tevin

    September 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Raider Nation 21

    Torrey Smith was reprint for his family....... Rest in Peace I'll brother

    September 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raider Nation 21

      Representing his family

      September 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Al Bundy

    Lots of great posts here tonight.

    September 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dvv

    Everyone deals with death differently and we should not judge, loss of a loved one is one of the hardest thing to imagine. I have gone through it and I admire Torrey for handling this the way he thought was best for him.

    September 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Marty Curran

    Good call Torrey. I'm a life-long New England Patriot fan. In honor of your brother, you and your family I'm glad the Ravens won. And that you had such a great game. To honor your brother in such a fashion is an honorable act on your part. Blessings to you and your family and may your brother rest in peace and find glory with the Lord.

    Now, Torrey, you know that field goal didn't go through!! 🙂 LOL

    September 24, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cathy

    I echo same sentiments as others who have said people deal with differently. It's not a "cookie cutter" kind of thing. I admire him actually for having the courage to go out and play-and I'm guessing it wasn't a choice he made lightly. Strength to him and his family during the coming days.

    September 24, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
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