Sports Video shows USFL hopeful De'Veon Smith getting cut by...

Video shows USFL hopeful De’Veon Smith getting cut by Pittsburgh Maulers for wanting pizza instead of chicken salad


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The United States Football League is attempting to find success where other start-up leagues failed in recent yearsbut if nothing else comes from this league, we’ll still have one of the stranger roster decisions ever in professional football.

With the start of its inaugural seasonthe USFL put together a “Hard Knocks“-like documentary series called,” United By Football: A Season in the USFL, “and the recent episode brought us to the Pittsburgh Maulers cutting loose former Michigan running back De’Veon Smith.

Now, there was a lot of buildup to this decision. Head coach Kirby Wilson spoke about how the franchise had zero tolerance for unprofessionalism and disrespect. So, just based off that, you’d think that Smith must have really stepped out of line. He was brought in to the coach’s office, and when Wilson broke the news to Smith, we found out that the whole ordeal was over Smith simply preferring pizza to chicken salad.

“I can tell you what happened exactly Right, I didn’t say anything disrespectful. He said, ‘Is that gonna be a problem?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ That’s it and I walked away. I didn’t think that was disrespectful, “Smith explained. “Me saying. ‘Yes, I do not eat chicken salad.’ I was like, ‘Is there another option?’ Walked in with pizza. I was like, ‘Can I get a slice of pizza?’ He said, ‘No… Is that gonna be a problem?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ That was all I said. I didn’t say no cuss words, no nothing. That’s all I said. “

Wow. At first, it didn’t seem real. Like, it had to be a parody, but no, it was very real. Smith took to Twitter and reiterated that he wasn’t disrespectful. The man just didn’t want chicken salad, which seems like an awfully reasonable thing to not like.

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Smith told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that a staffer told him that chicken salad was the only option and asked if that would be a problem. Smith replied that it would be a problem and that he needed an alternative. Smith said that the next morning he had a text from Wilson.

“I think it was kind of unfair that my coach didn’t seek – I understand the dude went and told him whatever the situation was, and he didn’t come to me,” Smith said of the Maulers head coach. “It was just unfortunate how the situation went down. I thought he would at least want to hear my side of the story, rather than just jump to conclusions.”

Wilson – a longtime NFL running backs coach with several teams – is a first-time head coach at any level.

Despite Smith’s explanation, Wilson – who didn’t do any due diligence, obviously – said that the decision was already made and that Smith had to leave. All that over pizza. Fans could not believe it. And frankly, it was a terrible look for the USFL to essentially end someone’s professional football aspirations over something like that.

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