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Where did former Panthers player “He Hate Me” go? Police want help finding Rod Smart

Scott Fowler, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Football

Where did "He Hate Me" go?

That is suddenly a very serious question, as the Lancaster County (S.C.) Sheriff's Office has issued a missing persons advisory for Torrold "Rod" Smart, who played for the Carolina Panthers in the early 2000s and was known widely in the football universe as "He Hate Me."

Smart, 42, was last seen six days ago at about 10:30 a.m. in Indian Land, S.C., about 20 miles south of Charlotte, N.C. A release issued by the sheriff's office called Smart a "missing endangered person."

"Mr. Smart is driving his silver 2016 Nissan Maxima with NC tag PJR1759," the release read. "It is unusual for him to be out of touch for this long. Mr. Smart's family is worried about his safety and well-being."

Anyone with information is asked to call the police at (803) 283-3388.

Smart was a popular figure for the Panthers, especially during the 2003 season that led to the team's first Super Bowl appearance.

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"This is shocking news and I just hope Rod is OK," Al Wallace, a teammate of Smart's with the Panthers, said in an interview Tuesday.

"Rod has always been one of the biggest personalities in any room he enters. He's hilarious and full of energy, and as a player he was blazing fast. He was one of the few guys who could break Coach (John) Fox down, literally in tears of laughter, with the things he would do and say. When I think of that Super Bowl team, he's still one of the guys that stands out to me."

While playing in the short-lived XFL in 2001, Smart had the words "He Hate Me" plastered on the back of his jersey instead of his surname. He was that league's second-leading rusher that year, so he became one of the XFL's stars.

This memorable moniker was Smart's own invention, making fun of the lack of respect he said he got.

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