Smith says abuse by fans may drive him out of Miami

October 23, 1991

Miami Dolphins running back Sammie Smith, upset by profane fan reaction to his goal-line fumbles in successive games, says he may request a trade after the season.

As Smith walked to the locker room after Sunday's 17-13 loss to the Houston Oilers, the crowd chanted. It drove him to tears.

"What bothered me was my wife, little girl, my parents, my brothers and about 25 or 30 of my best friends had to listen," Smith told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. "I've heard the verbal abuse before. I've read the attacks before. I've dealt with it when my ability has been questioned.

"Realizing my 4-year-old daughter had to listen to those types of things being said about her father brought the situation to a new low in my estimation. As far as I'm concerned, what happened Sunday will never sit well with me."

Smith's remarks, published yesterday, were his first public comments since the game. He skipped Monday's light practice without permission, but is expected to return for the team's next workout tomorrow.

"When the season is over, I'll take a long look at things," Smith said. "I don't know if I can manage to stay in Miami."

* BILLS: Still scrapping after all these years, James Lofton continues his climb in the NFL record book by playing some of the best football of his 14-year NFL career.

A career-best 220 yards in Monday night's 35-16 Buffalo victory over the Bengals cut almost in half the number of yards Lofton needed to catch the NFL leader in career receiving yards, Steve Largent.

Largent finished with 13,089 yards. Lofton, whose performance Monday night moved him past Jerry Rice into the league lead for receiving yards this year with 699, needs 428 yards to become No. 1 all-time.

* 49ERS: The blood alcohol content of linebacker Tim Harris was more than twice the limit for being legally intoxicated in California when he was arrested and charged with drunken driving on Oct. 11, lab tests show. Capt. Alan Wolochuk of the California Highway Patrol in San Jose said Monday that lab tests revealed Harris' blood alcohol was 0.19. The legal limit in California is 0.08.

* SAINTS: Linebacker Vaughn Johnson will miss New Orleans' game against the Bears on Sunday because of a sprained left knee he sustained last weekend against the Buccaneers, the team said.

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