Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - A person's actions will generally tell you everything you need to know about them, but some young men need a wake-up call to mature and head down the right path in life.
Others need a little tough love before the light goes off and many more -- far too many, in fact -- never get "it" no matter how many people reach out to try to help them.
The denouement of Aldon Smith's life has yet to be written, but let's just say the actions foreshadowing it aren't pointing toward a positive outcome.
Smith, one of the NFL's best pure pass rushers, was detained by police at Los Angles International Airport on Sunday for "being uncooperative with security personnel."
A witness who observed the kerfuffle told the Bay Area News Group that Smith was waiting for his Southwest Airlines flight when he was approached by several police officers who led him away from the gate.
"I heard him say, 'I did nothing wrong,'" air traveler John Egan said. "The whole thing ratcheted up from there. The cops were trying to calm him down. He wasn't out of control, just agitated."
Egan, however, didn't see what led up to Smith's clash with the authorities. The trouble began at the Southwest ticket counter where Smith began arguing with an agent who told the belligerent 2012 All-Pro that he would not be allowed on the plane. From there, Smith made it through security despite uttering some kind of "bomb threat" before being taken into custody by five officers.
"At approximately 1400 hrs, a 24 year-old Aldon Jacarus Ramon Smith, a resident of San Jose, California, was going through Terminal 1 screening where he made a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb," LAX airport police said in a statement.
"Los Angeles Airport Police made contact with him in the gate area where he became uncooperative. After conducting their investigation, LA Airport Police took suspect into custody and transported him to LAPD-Pacific division where he was booked for California Penal Code 148.1(a) - False report of a bomb threat."
The 49ers issued what has now become the all-too-familiar statement in these types of matters:
"We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith," general manager Trent Baalke said. "As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment."
As serious as this all may sound, when it comes to Smith's off-the-field resume, it's run-of-the-mill stuff, an ill-timed "joke" by an immature moron who evidently has no concept of the world we live in now.
And it was likely fueled by alcohol.
Sgt. Karla Ortiz of the airport police told the Sacramento Bee it appearedvSmith had been drinking earlier in the day although the police did not check Smith's blood-alcohol content.
"It was not an issue that would affect the detention or the arrest," Ortiz claimed.
Perhaps, but Smith's sobriety or lack thereof is certainly something paramount to the 49ers.
Last year, he had to take a leave absence from the team to seek help for a substance-abuse problem after a Sept. 20 arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana after he was found passed out in his pickup truck in a residential yard that wasn't his own, something the Mizzou product still faces charges from.
Then in November of last year, Smith pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon on charges stemming from a June 2012 incident.
While the back of Smith's football card reads 42 sacks in 43 career NFL games, his police blotter is even beefier -- two DUIs, weapons charges and now terroristic threats. And that doesn't include a rollover car crash and an incident where he was stabbed at his own party.
People around the NFL now think the 49ers have a very tough decision to make because Baalke must decide by May 3 whether to exercise the fifth-year option on Smith's rookie deal.
The reality is it's not tough at all.
It's time for San Francisco to cut bait and send a message to a locker room piling up black eyes for the franchise.
Smith's LAX disturbance comes on the heels of quarterback Colin Kaepernick's and receiver Quinton Patton's involvement in a Miami-area investigation involving a "suspicious incident" with a 25-year-old woman.
Meanwhile, linebacker Ahmad Brooks was investigated after hitting a teammate in the head with a beer bottle last summer, while cornerback Chris Culliver was recently arraigned on two counts of misdemeanor hit-and-run and one count of possessing brass knuckles after knocking over a bicyclist with his car last month -- things that make center Daniel Kilgore's arrest for public intoxication back in February seem trite in comparison.
Example is often leadership and Smith's final act in San Francisco should serve as Baalke's example.