Aug 5, 2011

Remembering Bubba Smith (1945-2011)

Charles Aaron "Bubba" Smith was born on February 28, 1945. The huge six foot seven, two hundred sixty five pound defensive end was a popular celebrity & awesome football player in the late sixties / early seventies hey days.

He was a star defensive player at Michigan State University for the Spartans, having his number retired & becoming a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. The crowds would cheer " Kill Bubba Hill" as a rally cry duing his college football days in East Lansing, Michigan. He was selected as a first round draft pick in 1967 by the Baltimore Colts.

He became one of the games first true modern day pass rushers & quaterback sack artists. He would play under coach Don Shula in Super Bowl III on the losing end but return in 1971 winning Super Bowl IV against the Dallas Cowboys. Smith claimed he didn't wear his Super Bowl ring because the game was sloppily played by the Colts.

Smith would play in two Pro Bowls over those seasons then get traded to the Oakland Raiders in 1973. He played under coach John Madden getting to the AFC Championship game losing to the Miami Dolphins & his old coach Don Shula. In 1974 the Raiders went 13-3 getting to another AFC Championship game losing to the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers Dynasty of the seventies. Smith went to the Houston Oilers & finished his career there in 1976.

Bubba Smith was also a famous TV & movie personality as well as a star of many classic Lite Beer from Miller commercials in the seventies & eighties. His classic line was " I like the easy opening cans", as he ripped them apart.

Smith starred as Moses Hightower in the classic Police Acadamey movies, as well as a part in the Burt Reynolds movie Stroker Ace. He appeared on television shows like Good Times, The White Shadow, Vegas, Eight Is Enough, Hart to Hart, Taxi, Married With Children, McGuyver, Sabrina the Teenage Witch & the short lived series Half Nelson with NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.

Us Odd Couple fans will never forget his classic appearance as himself in episode #69 "Take My Furniture Please" during season three. Oscar Madison is writing a book & he asks Smith what his most embarrasing moment was. He replies when "when my parents named me Bubba".

As Felix Unger enters Oscar office Bubba is being intervied & ends up talking to Felix about decorating, drapes & furniture. Later in the episode Felix refurnishes the apartment & has two huge chairs shaped like hands in the living room. Oscar unhappy with Felix's choices comments the chair " looks like Bubba Smith's hand".



Sadly Bubba Smith passed away from natural causes this week at his home in Los Angeles he was 66.