Interchangeable ESPN Anchor: As we know, Panthers receiver Steve Smith will miss training camp thanks to a broken arm suffered while playing in a flag football game. Smith is reported to be out for 10 weeks, but will likely be back in time for the season opener against the Giants. Here to discuss the story is ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter. How’re you doing today?
Cris Carter: Good, good.
ESPNite: So what do we make of this? Should Steve Smith have been taking part in something like this during the offseason?
Carter: Oh, absolutely not. If I’m Steve Smith, I’m thinking, “what am I thinking?” I am an elite receiver in the National Football League. What am I doing putting himself in a position where I endanger a season, or even my career? Why am I playing games for free? I am a professional athlete. I say save that stuff for when I’m retired.
ESPNite: You’re saying players shouldn’t take part in other athletic endeavors outside of practice?
Carter: [Condescending laugh] Just look at we got this offseason: We got Ryan Clady, HURT. We got Steve Smith, HURT. Those are core players on their teams now missing time because of mindless exercise. I mean, you get hurt in practice, can’t nobody say nothing. That’s practice. That’s part of what you do. But outside stuff? Careless.
ESPNite: So, what then? Players take part in practice and otherwise go about their everyday life without exertion?
Carter: That’s not going nearly far enough. If you are out in public, if you are doing THINGS, then you are subject to injury. Careless, stupid injury.
I’m talking immobilizing yourself. I’m talking getting a padded cell and manacling yourself to the walls. You have one of your boys show up every so often to feed you your three squares. If you he suggests anything other than plastic silverware, you need to cut that man off. He is detrimental to your life as an NFL star.
ESPNite: What of muscle atrophy? Wouldn’t prolonged non movement lead to that?
Carter: Look, I’m not a science doctor. I’m here telling you how I would go about avoiding serious injury. What are we talking about? We’re talking about NFL players getting hurt doing THINGS. Do we have players sidelined because of muscle atrophy? I don’t hear of any. Must be all right, then. Atrophy is just a media created boogie man. It’s the doing things that will get you. I mean, if I were in the NFL right now, I wouldn’t even pick up a newspaper that had serif font. Those things is pointy. Liable to punch yo’ damn eye out.
ESPNite: Okay. Would you care to comment on this file photo we have of you playing a pick-up basketball game when you were with the Eagles?
Carter: Well, that’s a different era, man. We just did things different. If we had known what we know now, I probably would have done things different.
ESPNite: Like what?
Carter: Like not broached this argument.