Tyron Smith's Family Drama: Thoughts from a Former Player

Ryan Riddle@@Ryan_RiddleCorrespondent INovember 2, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 04:  Offensive tackle Tyron Smith #77 of the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 19-13 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Tyron Smith family drama is a pretty fascinating story; perhaps even more so with the illogical mystery and cloudy details surrounding the event itself.

As details hopefully begin to unravel over the next few days, in the meantime, I hope to ignite more comprehensive thinking in regard to the complete story...as opposed to carelessly conceiving premature conclusions while harshly passing judgment.

When I was first exposed to this interesting story, I decided to look into this further, hoping to get a better understanding of the situation.

One thing I indirectly came to realize was that every single story angle or breaking report out there seemed to be a near replica of the one before it, shamelessly spewing the exact same phrases and sentences.

This is what happens in journalism when people want to put out a story that few, if any, on the reporting side know anything about. The basics in the Smith's family ordeal were originally reported in the Dallas Morning News' crime blog section.

We’re also given a bit more background and details later on in the evening by the same news source but different author.

After that article, every related piece which follows is basically a slightly modified version of the same tidbits of very minimal information.

One of the key pieces of information here is that Smith’s family members had shown up last Tuesday to “harass and torment” him “in the pursuit of collecting financial gain.” Let us also keep in mind here the legal history already preceding this event—a detail very interesting unto itself.  

I can only wonder what that event on Tuesday actually looked like. What methods would his sisters and other family members use to harass and torment their NFL star brother?

What does that look like?

Perhaps it includes standing outside on his front lawn launching rocks at windows, or screaming obscenities and desired amounts of money on a megaphone.

Whatever scenarios I imagine from factoring the reported descriptions, my mind is cornered into thinking Tyron’s family must be either extremely desperate for cash, or they're literally psychotic. But all previous reports on Tyron Smith’s upbringing and his family, whom attended the NFL draft green room alongside him, seem to point toward a relatively balanced and healthy upbringing.

So, did his family just all of a sudden turn into raging lunatics at the first sight of gold, like Humphrey Bogart in Treasure of the Sierra Madre?

Or is Smith’s entire immediate family in desperate need of financial salvation for whatever reasons, while Tyron Smith refuses to give into their request?

At what point did a seemingly healthy relationship with family turn into a full-blown living nightmare?

The answer to that question could be: Soon after Smith became a millionaire, a role reversal in his family dynamics took place, putting Tyron Smith as the head and primary protector of his entire family at the young age of 21.

Perhaps his family attempted to control and offer life guidance to Smith with their own best interests at heart.

In my experience immersed in NFL culture, many guys feel responsible to assume the role of financial provider to members of their family. It’s as if playing in the NFL is treated like winning the lottery by many friends and relatives.

In reality, this money is set up to establish lifelong financial security for the athlete long after their playing days are over. Not to be given away or spent recklessly on just anyone with their hand out or mouth open.

Another interesting question raised by this is just how far Smith’s family was willing to go with the financial demands. They must have led Tyron to believe they were/are willing to go dangerously far to get into his wallet. This is all very odd when you think about it.

How do you go from loving and enjoying your family one minute to suddenly feeling as though they’re fully willing and capable of hurting you physically in order to extract money?

It would seem, if it were true, this type of severe concern for one’s safety from family must originate either through a deep-rooted history of mistrust and violence, through a serious threat or a recent physical altercation.

Given Smith’s sheer mass as an imposing 6’5”, 310-pound figure, I would imagine those who’d dare threaten him were at least in possession of weaponry of some fashion.

Keep in mind; this is all speculation on my part here: trying to make some sense of a situation which seems to defy all logical explanations.

What really makes this case unique is not the idea of family members wanting money, but rather the methodology by which it’s being executed and the legal reactions Smith felt necessary to take in defense.

Another angle to this story, however unlikely, could be that Tyron Smith has mistreated his family enough to set off a wrath of retaliation and venomous tactics designed more to hurt Smith rather than get money. Could it be that he prescribes to the "Dez Bryant School of Parental Respect"? After all, they’re teammates.

In most of these family incidents regarding money, the person doing the taking or exploitation tends to do so with kindness and gentle manipulations. But the tactic used in the Smith case seems to be more about an attempt to hurt and lash out rather than a valid method to get a family-earned handout.

This is why I think it’s at the very least probable that the labeling of Smith’s family by the police and media was inaccurately skewed toward the “pursuit of finances” motive. Perhaps the anger and dispute started based on finances, but the “harassment and tormenting” is not believably motivated by the desire to get money; it’s seemingly motivated to directly hurt and attack Tyron on some level, either emotionally or physically.

The reality of his sisters and other family members wanting to physically hurt Smith for money seems far too extreme to be realistic.

Whatever the case may be, it’d be interesting to see how this affects his ability to play on prime-time TV this Sunday night. If he can avoid being distracted by this elephant in the room, he should be able to overcome almost any distraction.

I’m sure details of this incident will emerge throughout the week and will likely be talked about during the football game. Hopefully, things begin to make little more sense.