Former Pittsburgh Steeler defensive end Aaron Smith is a Colorado Springs native with at least three distinctions: he played 13 seasons (1999-2011) in the NFL; is a two time Super Bowl Champion; AND has never been on skis which almost is a rite of passage for young men in Colorado.
“People always think it’s funny that I’ve never skied,” says Smith who will be inducted this month into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame. “I always tell them you need to have money to ski. We didn’t have any money growing up.”
Smith has sufficient money now but he remembers a time when that wasn’t the case.
“It was rough growing up,” he recalls. “We didn’t have a lot of things. There was not a lot of money nor food to go around for me, my mother and my three brothers. There were times the phone might get shut off. My mom struggled on her own for a long time after she got divorced and my father died when I was 13.”
Smith was the 109th player selected in the 1999 Draft and is proud to look back at his career and see that only Champ Bailey, Antoine Winfield, Mike Peterson and Brandon Stokely played longer in the NFL than he did.
We at NFL Alumni salute 42-year old Aaron Smith but also have one reminder for him:
as you get older, it doesn’t get any easier to get on skies for that first time!
(See attached for full story regarding Aaron Smith’s background and upcoming induction into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame.)