A Hero in Disguise 

Logen Myers’ take on Alex Smith’s comeback


Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Logen Myers

It has been a long three years for fans since Alex Smith was once the signal-caller for the Kansas City Chiefs, and an even longer time for Smith himself. When longtime Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was traded to the Washington Football Team in early 2018, Chiefs fans had their doubts about the direction their team was going. Smith was coming off a career year in 2017, posting highs in yards, touchdowns and was an early MVP candidate. The Chiefs had won their division for the second year in a row and had a home field playoff game in the Wildcard. It is easy to say that Smith was held in high regard by many in the Chiefs Kingdom, and it left the NFL world shocked when he was traded away to give rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes the reigns to this playoff contender. 

Now we can all agree that this move was the right one, as Mahomes has started his career better than any player in NFL history: notching an MVP and a Super Bowl within the first two years of his starting career. Even with all the success of this new look Chiefs team, many fans here in KC still love Alex Smith and respect him for what he did for the team. Without him, Mahomes and the entire Chiefs organization would look very different today. Back in 2018, Alex Smith was cruising with the Washington Football Team. 

Going into a week 11 game against the Houston Texans, Alex Smith had led his new team to a 6-3 record and first place in the NFC East. In a close game, Smith was sacked by future Hall of Famer JJ Watt. It was clear immediately something was wrong. During the play, Smith had broken both his tibia and fibula in his right leg. The injury was incredibly gruesome and Smith’s career was almost certainly over. Chiefs fans were hurt to see Smith go down, as they had so much love and respect for him in their hearts. What ensued next was two years of rehab and surgery. Alex Smith underwent 17 surgeries to fix his leg and fought an infection from the many operations he endured. Later that would cause sepsis, a life-threatening infection in his blood. Smith almost lost his leg and could have also lost his life. Football seemed impossible. But somehow, Smith fought back. 

It seemed every person, not just Chiefs fans, in the NFL community was rooting for his comeback. Finally, on October 11, 2020, Alex Smith took the field again for the first time in almost 2 years. Smith would eventually earn the starting job in Washington, and now he’s leading the team in a fight for first place in the NFC East. While Chiefs Kingdom continues to cheer for Smith every Sunday, he actually helped his old team once again. The Chiefs are in a fight for the number one seed in the AFC playoff picture. At the time, they held the second seed and were behind only the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Chiefs kept winning, so did the Steelers, and with the new playoff format in 2020, only the first seed gets a first-round bye in the playoffs. 

So enter Monday, December 7. The Chiefs had just beaten the Broncos a day ago, and the 11-0 Steelers were playing the 4-7 Washington Football Team led by none other than Alex Smith. In a huge upset, the Washington Football Team beat the Steelers. While Pittsburgh still had the number one seed after that game because of tiebreakers, it helped the Chiefs’ chances at getting the first seed immensely. The last two years have been hell for Alex Smith, and his fans in KC supported him all the way. He wears a different jersey now, but Alex Smith still remains a hero in Kansas City.