You may keep up with Sporting Kansas City on the pitch, but what about away from the field?
Just Because, presented by Hallmark, is a feature series on SportingKC.com that provides an exclusive look into the lives of players outside of soccer—because everyday moments are sometimes worth celebrating just like a game-winning goal.
In the first edition of Just Because, we catch up with Sporting defender and Colorado native Graham Smith, who joined the club in 2018 out of the MLS SuperDraft.
What is the best part about living and working in Kansas City?
My favorite part is actually where I live, which is the Crossroads. It’s a really cool area with lots of stuff to do.
What is your favorite place to eat in Kansas City? What do you order?
Q39. I don’t go too often but I get what’s called the “No Jacking Around” sandwich with pulled pork and pepper jack cheese. It’s good!
Other than soccer, which sport would you want to go pro in?
Golf. I’m not the best but I enjoy it a lot.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Probably my parents. Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from them.
What athlete did you look up to growing up?
I was a little different. I didn’t really look up to athlete when I was growing up. My favorite team was Chelsea and I really like (former defender) John Terry, so that’s probably the closest.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Graduating college at the University of Denver.
Who is your favorite musical artist?
Red Hot Chili Peppers.
If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Otherside by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
What is your favorite movie?
Pulp Fiction. It’s a great one.
Are you hooked on any TV shows?
I just finished binging Barry and I’m on Billions right now. I’m into HBO shows, so I was really into Game of Thrones.
What other professional sports teams do you support?
The Denver Broncos. I’m a Colorado guy so that’s a big one. Also the Nuggets and Avalanche—so just any Colorado team.
How hard has it been being a Broncos fan in Kansas City?
It’s quite hard. You get a lot of slack. I just got a Joe Flacco elite shirt, so when I wear that around it’s tough. You get some slack from everybody. I might still get that slack if I was in Colorado at this point.
What is your favorite place to travel to for a vacation?
Southern California—somewhere like Santa Monica.
What is the coolest place you have visited?
That’s a good question. Probably Panama City earlier this year when we played in the Concacaf Champions League.
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?
A comedian named Norm Macdonald.
Which of your teammates is a must-follow on social media and why?
Kelyn Rowe is the most talked about. I don’t know if “best” is the right word, but he’s a good follow for sure.
If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be and why?
Bald Eagle, because they can fly. And also America.
On your University of Denver bio, it says your favorite player is Marouane Fellaini. Do you think you’d be able to pull of his old afro?
No, for sure not. That’s aged kind of poorly. If I could grow my hair out I would try, but I don’t have the genes.
You enjoy your coffee shops. Which local KC coffee shop is your favorite?
Mildred’s in the Crossroads is probably my favorite.
Are you a skier or snowboarder, and is one really better than the other one?
I’ve skied probably three times in my life, so I’m a skier in that respect. People get really upset with snow boarders on the mountains, so I think skiing is better.
You’re a big Curb Your Enthusiasm fan. What’s your favorite moment from the show?
If I had to pick one, the Fatwa’ed episode was really funny.