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Thursday, November 12, 2009
Atlanta fans just fine with Smith

By Pat Yasinskas

Daniel Cox has the story on a group of Atlanta fans who are raising money in support of coach Mike Smith. The fans realize they can’t pay the $15,000 fine Smith has drawn for his involvement in a sideline incident with Washington’s DeAngelo Hall on Sunday.

That would be against NFL rules because fans and teams can’t pay fines for individual coaches or teams. Smith will have to pay the fine on his own, but the fans want to use their money to show support for Smith and donate it to a charity of his choosing. Not sure the NFL will allow that either, but I don’t see anything wrong with it.

By the way, this might be the best $15,000 Smith has ever spent. Smith already was very popular with his players. But standing up to Hall (and standing up to Tampa Bay’s Antonio Bryant earlier in the season) sends a strong message to the team that Smith really is behind the players. I’m also guessing owner Arthur Blank didn’t really mind seeing his coach getting fiery with a former Falcon who played his way out of Atlanta and has taken some shots at the organization.