From Rod Smart to ‘He Hate Me’


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.