In a grassroots effort, Kansas City Chiefs fans are thanking quarterback Alex Smith for his five years as the team’s signal caller by donating to his charity, the California-based Alex Smith Foundation.
Last week, the Chiefs agreed to trade Smith, 33, to the Washington Redskins for a third-round draft pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller. The trade, which leaves the status of incumbent QB Kirk Cousins unsettled, won’t become official until March 14 under NFL rules.
Smith’s wife Elizabeth tweeted out a message of appreciation on Friday that the charity had collected $45,000 from about 2,500 individual donations, although the surge may have continued and reached $47,000 in that general time frame. The tally increased to $60,000 by Saturday, Smith’s equally grateful mom Pam said, according to the Kansas City Star. In recognition of Smith’s jersey number, many fans are donating $11,
The nonprofit foundation provides resources to help foster teens to successfully transition to adulthood. This includes “mentoring, education, housing, internships, and job and advocacy programs.”
You may recall that Buffalo Bills fans made mass donations to Andy Dalton’s foundation after the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback threw the winning touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17 of the NFL season, thus sending the Bills to the playoffs after a 17-year drought, Sports Illustrated recalled.
Growing up in the San Diego area, Smith played his college ball at the University of Utah. The San Francisco 49ers selected him with the first overall pick in the 2005 draft. After he lost his starting job 2012 to Colin Kaepernick following a concussion, Smith was eventually traded to the Chiefs.
Smith and the Chiefs started the 2017 season strong with a 42-27 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. They tended to falter as the season continued, finishing with a 10-6 record, although that was good enough for first place in the AFC West. The Chiefs lost to the Tennessee Titans on Wild Card weekend, however, by a score of 22-21. Alex Smith finished the 2017 season with about 4,0oo passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Smith is a three-time Pro Bowler and was the NFL’s passer-rating leader in 2017. For his career so far, Alex Smith has tossed 183 touchdowns, rushed for 14, and has compiled about 32,000 passing yards. During his tenure in Kansas City, Smith went 50-26 and 1-4 in the playoffs.
Words can’t express the overwhelming love and support we have felt from #ChiefsKingdom. 45k & over 2400 donations to KC foster youth! ThankU— Elizabeth Smith (@lizbsmith11) February 2, 2018
Parenthetically, the NFL quarterback position seems to be the hardest job to fill in professional sports. Many highly touted college players don’t pan out at all, while other quarterbacks very much have up-and-down careers where they go from starter to bench-warmer and back again, or just hang on as journeymen or seldom-playing backups. Apart from established stars, other quarterbacks function effectively in some systems, but not others, for various reasons.
As Kansas City Chiefs fan donations continue to flow into the Alex Smith Foundation, this story will be updated as necessary.