From Rod Smart to ‘He Hate Me’

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Some athletes play with a chip on their shoulder, others with a target on their back. However, nobody wore their motivation like Rod Smart.

Smart signed and played for the Las Vegas Outlaws in the XFL’s lone season in 2001. He went on to finish with the league’s second-highest rushing total (555 yards) in 10 games, but became known for the back of his jersey, which read “He Hate Me.”

Smart played college football at Western Kentucky, where he finished his senior season with 1,249 yards. He went on to sign with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2000, but the team cut him before the season began. From there, Smart looked to the newly-founded XFL.

Once the XFL crumbled, Smart rejoined the professional ranks with the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers. He only had two rushing attempts in six games for the Eagles, but he found better success in Carolina. He had just 27 carries over four seasons, but scored his first and only career touchdown on a 100-yard kick return against the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 5, 2003.

The 49ers are making players do ladder drills up an insane man-made hill

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Running sucks. Running hills suck more. But running ladder drills up a 35-foot man-made hill sounds like torture.

Correction: It is torture, the 49ers are making their players do it, and we can confirm:

“The Hill,” which is 60 feet long and has a 30-degree incline, was installed by strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright and looks every bit as painful as it sounds. Earlier this week, the 49ers made players who did not participate in team drills run the ladder on the ramp.

This hill is significantly larger than the hill that existed on the practice field in 2009 during Mike Singletary’s tenure as head coach, which looks like a small mound of grass compared to the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the right:

There’s no doubt the reviews for Shanahan Hill won’t be positive, but nevertheless, owner Jed York took a turn up the monster. And if the boss is doing it, you better not complain.

O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing draws ‘hundreds of letters’ regarding case

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O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing in Nevada on Thursday drew nationwide attention, and the Board of Parole Commissioners demonstrated that by showing the “hundreds of letters of support and opposition” for Simpson.

The commissioner noted that a majority of the opposition letters asked the board to consider Simpson’s 1995 acquittal in the murder case of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman and the subsequent civil case that ordered Simpson to pay $25 million to the victims’ families. But the letters were not considered in the case, in which the board paroled the former football star after he was sentenced to nine years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping in 2007 when he attempted to retrieve memorabilia that he claimed belonged to him.

The commissioner displayed what appeared to be five stacks of letters and said that the board “always encourages public opinion.” The parole hearing received widespread public attention, broadcast live nationally and drawing hundreds of reporters.

Simpson could be released as early as October.