View Full Version : Chiefs Who Really Like Super Gnats?

07-23-2008, 07:58 PM
All these rhymes made me think of Nolan "Super Gnat" Smith, one of my favorite childhood players. He sure was fun to watch. The following article was written back in Dante Hall's glory days.


NFL ready to douse Dante's inferno
By Ralph Wiley
Page 2 columnist

Dante Hall's progenitor was Nolan "Super Gnat" Smith (there really are no new things), another diminutive, unstoppable kick returner for the Kansas City Chiefs, circa the late '60s.

Dante Hall
Every special teams player in the NFL will now have Dante Hall's picture tacked up in his locker.
Gnat came out of Tennessee State, and he once ran neat 9.5 100-yard dashes in the easy way you play solitaire on your laptop. His 40 time was irrelevant. He ran more than 40 yards every time he touched it. The first time he returned a kick in NFL/AFL competition, he went 75 yards with a punt against the Raiders for a touch. Terrorized special teams in the league for the better part of two seasons until they had meetings on him. He was subjected to The Punishment Factor, and they broke him up.

Forewarned is forearmed, Dante. When it ain't there -- duck. Get down.

Super Gnat had another claim to fame -- maybe the best sporting cameo in the history of motion pictures. He was in Bob Altman's "M*A*S*H*." We didn't know Altman was a fan, but there Gnat was, stealing the big football game scenes, running back a kick for a touchdown against the 4077th, then getting hyped with morphine during a pileup and becoming hilariously useless, except as sideline entertainment. Higher than a kite, he assumed the sprinting position in imaginary starting blocks, then ran helter-skelter into a bevy of cheerleaders, including Hot Lips, at the report of the halftime gun.

We are not halfway through the 2003-04 season, so there is no gun going off yet, but all teams will be looking to shoot down Dante Hall in the coming weeks. Like the Super Gnat, Dante seems to be a sweet, agreeable kid with blazing straight-on speed, but more importantly, an outerworldly jab step and and the ability to change directions like a fish, or a Nicholas brother. But I know the tendencies of these NFL gunners; what they cannot catch, they try to destroy. Dante is in their crosshairs now. Here's hoping they miss.