Playing football hurts.
As a massive 320+ pound interior lineman, Shaun Smith’s job consisted predominantly of absorbing blockers every Sunday. Given his need to be both big and strong, his joints and muscles were routinely taxed over the course of a full NFL season. Having played 10 years in the league, Smith detailed to The Kansas City Star how smoking blunts before games unlocked his ability on the gridiron.
“Yeah, I had a little ritual: Smoke two blunts before every game,” Smith said. “When I smoke, I can focus and actually do the job that I have to do and the tasks. It’s like I’m in the zone. I feel like nobody can stop me when I was out there. It mellowed me out, got me going and it’s the best thing for me.”
The NFL and the NFLPA prohibit players from the illegal use, possession, or distribution of marijuana. Smith said on the morning of game days he would soak in a bath tub with Epsom salt, listen to music and smoke marijuana. Then he would eat breakfast with his wife and kids.
“I’d fire it up on the way to the stadium, go through the bad neighborhoods of whatever team I was playing with to the city and reflect,” Smith said. “That was my motivation. I’m blessed to be in this position to get up and go do what I love.
“By the time kickoff comes, I’m just at ease. I’m ready now.”
The NFL’s policy regarding marijuana chalks up to fake hustle. Currently the policy is more for show than enforcement. The positives of marijuana have been greatly detailed by former NFL athletes, most notably Eugene Monroe. A lot of players smoke weed as a measure of self medication while dealing with crippling pain and vicious injuries. Smith further elaborated how the majority of the NFL smokes, including team personnel members.
Smith estimated that at least 80 percent of NFL players smoke marijuana.
“Shoot, the coaches do it,” said Smith, who told Bleacher Report that he first tried marijuana in the sixth grade. “Personnel people upstairs do it. Quarterbacks that do it. Guys that are your captains, your leaders of the team that smoke. “Everybody has their reason, they are using it for their pain. We’re all big guys and our body hurts.”