Seahawks Insider

The post-Super Bowl craziness for Malcolm Smith finally ends

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:51 am with 20 Comments »
February 14, 2014 10:51 am
Malcolm Smith's Super Bowl pick-six is one of the biggest plays in Seahawks history. / AP photo
Malcolm Smith’s Super Bowl pick-six is one of the biggest plays in Seahawks history. / AP photo

No shrine has been built yet.

When Malcolm Smith walks into his Seattle digs, two footballs sit on a table near the door: the one he intercepted to seal the NFC title game and the one he returned 69 yards for a pick-six in the Super Bowl.

The latter was a big reason Smith was named Super Bowl MVP, which sent him on a post-Super Bowl whirlwind.

Monday morning after the Super Bowl — following an expansive party at the team hotel with owner Paul Allen playing guitar — Smith was next to head coach Pete Carroll holding trophies. Smith showed off his MVP hardware, Carroll sat with the Lombardi Trophy.

They’ve known each other since Smith was in fifth grade, before Carroll coached him at USC, then the Seahawks.

“Obviously, I’ve learned a lot from him as my coach,” Smith said. “He has to be considered one of the greatest (football) coaches and teachers in history now. I think it’s pretty cool.

“It wasn’t like we had some moment in awe. I think we both agreed it was pretty cool. Not amazed, but realized it was special. You have those moments where you get to realize you accomplished something.”

Smith was hanging out with Mickey Mouse the day after the Super Bowl. / AP photo
Smith was hanging out with Mickey Mouse the day after the Super Bowl. / AP photo

Later that afternoon, Smith was going through Disney World in Orlando, Fla., with Mickey Mouse riding shotgun. He’s been on Jimmy Kimmel Live with Richard Sherman, and even approached by TMZ when leaving a Los Angeles-area P.F. Chang’s.

Though, TMZ didn’t rattle the Los Angeles native. He’s said it’s a byproduct of living there he’s accustomed to.

It has been a rapid change for Smith, who was rarely on the field prior to K.J. Wright’s foot injury in Week 14. He rarely left it after. He has moved from the fourth linebacker who hardly played in Week 13, to making two of the biggest plays in Seahawks history.

As part of being Super Bowl MVP, Smith won a Chevrolet Silverado. He’s giving it to his mom, which is perhaps his favorite thing to come from the Super Bowl run.

“Giving the car to my mom is pretty cool,” Smith said. “I think it will actually be pretty awesome when it shows up at her house. Having my brother (former New York Giants receiver Steve) on the field with me after we won the Super Bowl, that was cool. Just getting to be able to enjoy the parade with the linebackers, our group. I think that was pretty cool.”

One of the most rewarding things for Smith was the success that came following extra work. He said the linebackers would hold their own meeting every Tuesday, which is a day off for players.

“We’re scheduling meetings as a group and we’re writing on the board so when the defense comes in they can see stuff,” Smith said.

In a week, Smith, 24, will be relaxing and the NFL Combine will be at its full hypothetical best. He wasn’t invited to the Combine when he came out of USC, something he graciously pointed out when asked after the Super Bowl what his 40-yard dash time was there.

Smith is giving the truck he won for being named Super Bowl MVP to his mom. / AP photo
Smith is giving the truck he won for being named Super Bowl MVP to his mom. / AP photo

As the 242nd overall pick in 2011, Smith can be added to the ever-increasing line of Seahawks passed up in early portions of the NFL draft.

“They will draft guys in the first round who will be busts and never have the careers they expect to have because of human nature or weaknesses they might have,” Smith said. “Learning, dedication, passion. Those are things that can’t be measured, so you don’t really blame those people.”

Any talk of the draft naturally leads to a conversation about Michael Sam, who, if he is drafted and makes a team, will be the first openly gay player in the NFL.

The day of Sam’s announcement, Smith tweeted, “There is no room for bigotry in American sports. It takes courage to change the culture.” He wasn’t just speaking specifically about Sam.

“It was about the fact the Redskins’ name is what it is; the fact that Jonathan Martin doesn’t feel comfortable; the fact that Marcus Smart is being called names on the sideline,” Smith said. “It was more about all those things than just him. I think that’s just another example, Michael Sam coming out. We need to face things head on and be a little bit more responsible about the way we see things.

“Beyond the way people feel about it, how teammates will accept him, the fact is he’s a good player. He deserves his opportunity to play in the NFL. Everything else is secondary.”

The NFL is the most cutthroat and violent league in America. Lockerroom interaction often reflects that. How that environment will adapt to Sam — and he to it — is one of the main questions around Sam’s coming out.

“I think it will naturally work itself out because in the lockerroom you develop these relationships with people personally,” Smith said. “You know them. You don’t just call them a (swear word) from across the room because it’s a random guy you’ve never met before. You have conversations, so you feel like you can say that.

“I think if he has a problem, I think he’s a man and he’ll voice the fact that something is being said, and he’ll let it be known. I think it will be squashed. There’s always conflict between people and they’ll talk it out, usually, in the lockerroom. I think that’s how it would be handled. He’s obviously a guy who knows himself well and is pretty confident. I’m sure he can handle those issues.”

Smith also points out another factor.

“He’s a big, strong dude. I don’t think he’s going to be afraid of anybody.”

Finally, Smith’s media tour is over almost two weeks after the game ended. He’ll relax a bit, maybe head home to Los Angeles, before starting to work out again. No more late-night talk shows or tours of fantasy lands.

“Back to the norm for me now,” Smith said.

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. CDHawkFan says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the MVP vote a call in/text message vote? If so I got to believe it was rigged. I’m thinking the people voting D would have split votes between Smith, Kam, maybe a few for Avril. The usual position to win is QB and it’s not like RW had a bad game, I figured he would have had more of the offensive vote which I think more people would vote for.

    I blame the Kearse drop in the 2nd quarter for RW not winning the MVP. Why do I care, I had money on RW winning the MVP.

  2. Todd Dybas says:

    CDHawkFan,

    Select writers at the game vote. There is no call-in or text message vote.

    — Todd

  3. CDHawkFan says:

    Ah thank Todd, I thought I saw a call in vote deal towards the end.

    Did you have a vote? If so did I you pick Smith.

  4. daveboling says:

    I had a vote and it was really tough. Kept track of big plays on a separate notebook. Percy first for his two big runs, and an exclamation for his TD return. Kam early for his big hit and pick. Smitty for pick-six. As you said, CDHawkFan, the defense had a lot of candidates. When we got to the fourth, I noticed RW’s stats. ALthough they were padded in the second half, I thought it had to be rare for a QB to have a rating over 120 and not be MVP. I thought back to my pregame prediction. I expected a somewhat easy Seattle win (double-digit), and thought the only way they could lose was if Wilson made mistakes. He did not, and Pete later called it “flawless.” I was torn, but saw real value in RW’s management the first half and pouring it on in the second. I voted for Wilson, but thought Kam, Smith and Harvin were very close.

  5. Assuming this is right –

    “The fan vote counts for 20% of the overall vote while a media panel of 16 sports writers and broadcasters determines the remaining 80% of the vote. Fans were brought into the voting process at the 2001 Super Bowl XXXV where Tom Brady earned the honor. ”

    Tom Brady’s first MVP, Peyton Manning’s MVP and Eli Manning’s first MVP were lazy MVPs to give out. Figures that’s when the fan voting began.

  6. Danny O’Neil was a voter and voted for Kam Chancellor.

  7. Great that Smith went on record about the need for tolerance in the NFL, unlike a bunch of whiney off the record execs in the SI article.

  8. Dave: I voted for Wilson, but thought Kam, Smith and Harvin were very close.

    Thanks for the input on how you thought – I felt that it HAD to go to a defensive game since it was the defense that set the tone and controlled the game from start to finish. Wilson didn’t make any big mistakes but I also don’t think that Wilson did as many spectacular things as other guys.

    For me I was hoping Kam or Smith – I also thought that Avril should have gotten some love since he was the actual cause of the 2 INTS.

    I would have put Harvin in front of Wilson,

    In the end I don’t think you could have gone wrong with any of those choices. But I feel the MVP needs to have their best game or close to it and I don’t think that RW did that.

  9. Todd Dybas says:

    CDHawkFan,

    I did not have a vote. If I did, I would have voted for Chancellor. I thought his early plays (hit and pick because he read everything right) changed the game and were a microcosm of the win as a whole.

    — Todd

  10. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I like Wilson, (just ask chuck) however when it comes to MVP of the Super Bowl it has to go to someone on the Seahawks defense because it was the greatest Super Bowl defensive performance of all-time imo.

    I think our Defense helped Manning find a whole new career path as a possible addition to Duck Dynasty.

  11. Just got the Super Hawks book, looks awesome!

  12. While most commentators are willing to acknowledge that the Hawks super bowl D was one of the best all time none are willing to say it was the BEST! When you consider the Broncos offense was supposed to be the BEST all time ever in history of NFL (something all the same commentators freely gave before the start of the super bowl), how can those same talking headsnot acknowledge this D when it wasn’t just another super bowl team but “THE BEST OFFENSE ALL TIME” that we completely dismantled and the pre game so called “greatest QB” all time that we flat out not only made look perdestrian, but flat out PATHETIC!

    Next yr when we do it again to nest yrs best, maybe once we best another team even worse than we beat this bronco team, they’ll acknowledge what the hawks D really is in their place in history.

  13. freedom_X says:

    Denver got some praise for being “the best” because that offense set several all time NFL records for offense. If Seattle’s defense had set all time records for defensive stats, probably it would have gotten the same praise.

    The thinking fan can try to compare apples to oranges and figure out if Denver’s offense lived in an easier era for offense or Seattle’s defense lived in a tougher era for defense, but we’re talking TV sound bites here. All time records are easier to fit into 5 second blurbs.

  14. doubledink says:

    The MVP needed to go to the defense. My pick was easily and instantly Kam, as soon as I gave it a thought. After Malcolm got it I understood why they voted that way, but to me Kam was the reason the D dominated. He was the tide that raised the rest of their boats.

  15. Southendzone says:

    Skip Bayless voted for Peyton Manning.

  16. I remember when Randy White and Harvey Martin shared the honors. I wish there was some way that Kam, Smith, and potentially Avril could have shared in the honors. Either way, it’s not a big deal because the only thing any of us care about is that the Hawks won the Super Bowl. The other stuff, like MVP, are just meaningless details. For the record, I wish Wilson would have won MVP because I would have won almost a grand on the game instead of simply just over $100.

  17. Manning make strong case for SB MVP. Like he was 13. man of Seattle defense.

  18. emperorzook says:

    CDhawkfan – Kearse did not drop that pass in the 2nd q the Denver CB in the best form of the LOB punched it away.

  19. not that it matters, but I thought at the time that Kam was MVP. You could feel momentum leave the Broncos in the stadium when he made that big hit, and the int was lights out. Smitty played great too no doubt, but it was Kam who exemplified the D that day.

  20. CDHawkFan says:

    Thanks Todd and Dave for the input.

    Zook, I know it was a good D play and not JK fault, I had money on it and was kind of kidding. I will gladly leave it as is, as I wouldn’t want to change anything about the game.

    My point wasn’t that the D wasn’t worthy, it was that I thought they would have split the vote between Avril/Kam/Smith and anyone voting for offense (typical winner) would have gone with RW.

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