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Steve Smith Sr. describes emotions of entering Hall of Honor and reconnecting with Panthers

By Max Henson,
Original Article:

CHARLOTTE – “It’s good to be back.”

Words we all have been waiting to hear from Steve Smith Sr. – one of if not the most beloved Panther ever.

He said those words to David Tepper after the Panthers owner FaceTimed him to share the news that he was going into Carolina’s expanded Hall of Honor.

“There’s very few things in my life that really make me emotional to where I want to tear up,” Smith told Tepper. “That penetrates a place I generally don’t go.”

Smith and the Panthers have been gradually reconnecting after the club released him following the 2013 season. Carolina’s all-time leading receiver attended a practice during the 2018 season and served as honorary captain later in the year when the Panthers hosted New Orleans on Monday Night Football.

But he still wasn’t fully back. He is now.

“For some, long overdue. For others, surprised just as much as me. Some maybe didn’t foresee that this would ever come to fruition, the reconnecting,” Smith said.

“All in all, it’s a great day for everybody.”

Especially for Smith’s family. Three of his four children experienced what it was like to see dad dominate on the gridiron. But his youngest knows nothing of it.

That’ll change when Smith is immortalized in Panthers lore.