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Party Foul: Matthew Stafford Walks Away After Photographer Falls, Fractures Spine

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had a nearly flawless post-season that culminated in Sunday’s Super Bowl win. But by Wednesday afternoon, he resembled a novice quarterback at rookie minicamp, fumbling away an opportunity to save a broken play.

Stafford was steps away when photographer Kelly Smiley, on hand for the Rams’ Super Bowl celebration, fell backwards off a stage and fractured her spine. Her sudden drop shocked Stafford, who opted to avoid the situation like a Bengals’ pass rush.

Within an hour of the accident, video of the fall and Stafford’s response went viral.

Early Wednesday evening, Smiley replied to a video of her fall with an injury update via her Twitter account: “That’s me 😰. Waiting at the ER for X-ray results. Both my cameras broke but I’m ok.”

Smiley received assistance almost immediately, including from Stafford’s wife, Kelly. Unfortunately, despite the help, Smiley’s fall didn’t have a happy ending. As time passed, Smiley found out that her cameras weren’t the only things shattered.

“Unfortunately I fractured my spine,” tweeted Smiley, a photo editor who covers the NFL, NBA and NHL.

In response to her fall, friends of Smiley set up a GoFundMe to assist with her medical bills and the cost of her damaged equipment. In less than 24 hours, close to 700 people have donated, and more than $29,900 of their $30,000 goal has been reached.

Since he missed an opportunity to prevent the fall, maybe Stafford should dial up a Hail Mary for the injured Smiley.

UPDATE: Reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Matthew and Kelly Stafford committed to fully covering Kelly Smiley’s medical costs stemming from the injury on Wednesday.

 

Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF

 

Written by Anthony Farris

Anthony is a former high school basketball intramural champion who played a leading role in creating two offspring. He spends his weekends hoping for an MTV Rock N' Jock revival.

Follow him on twitter @OhioAF

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