Before there was DeSean Jackson there was Dave Smith.
During a Monday Night Football game in September 2008, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson flipped the ball behind him before crossing the goal line during a game against the Dallas Cowboys, negating what would have been Jackson’s first NFL touchdown.
In 1971 Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Dave Smith committed a similar blunder while celebrating prematurely during a Monday Night Football game against the Kansas City Chiefs. After Smith caught a pass from Terry Bradshaw he had a clear path to the end zone. But he put both hands up to celebrate before he crossed the goal line, and the ball fell out of his left hand and rolled out of the back of the end zone as Smith slipped to the ground. The Steelers would go on to lose the game, 38-16.
According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Smith passed away this past week, per Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), where Smith is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame, having been enshrined in 1987. Smith played football, basketball and baseball at IUP, excelling at football and basketball in particular.