With the New England Patriots signing Will Smith today, a veteran pass rusher and solid depth player gets added to the fold. Smith, 32, represents a good, yet unspectacular, move; he works best in a base 4-3, which the Patriots are running, and will likely be used in sub packages to spell Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, who both saw a very high snap count last year. At this point he isn't even a lock to make the final roster, but at the end of the day the transaction makes all the sense in the world.
However, I'm not going to be talking about any of that today. There's plenty of time to break down Smith's role on the team as the offseason wears on. The reason I'm here today is to ask you all - no, to IMPLORE you all - to try and pledge to do your very best to avoid making the incredibly clever and never before thought of comparison between Will Smith the football player Will Smith the actor, and then use that connection to slowly destroy the civilized world with jokes, references, puns, and any other low hanging fruit on the comedy tree that may strike your fancy. I know it may seem a bit harsh, but trust me: Will Smith jokes are a whole lot like Dane Cook. Yeah sure, they're kind of funny the first time you hear them, but it isn't long before you'd rather dive head first into the used jock strap bin marked "linemen" before hearing them again. Remember: it's only may. February is a long way away.
So I propose we use this forum, right here and now, to get all the Will Smith/Fresh Prince/Men in Black/Eleventy Billion other movie references out of the way so we can go into the 2014 season fresh and devoid of what I promise you is going to get very old, very fast. I know how tempting it's going to be once the season starts and Smith starts (hopefully) making plays, and I can't even promise that I won't occasionally lapse myself, but maybe if we can just get all of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air jokes out of the way right now, we stand a fighting chance of making it through the season intact.
No, Will Smith will not be doing the Carlton Dance after a sack. He will not look down at a vanquished QB and say "Welcome to Earth." Will Smith does not get jiggy with it. And even though he's a big guy, he doesn't get jiggly with it, either. He doesn't not look more like Uncle Phil now in his old age. He will not introduce you to Ashley (or Hilary; very underrated, in my opinion). When the Patriots play the Raiders in Week 3, it will not be Will Smith and the Men in Black. If he has a great game, no need to mention I Am Legend. We will not be comparing an overpursuit of the running back or a bad game as the worst decision that Will Smith made since Hitch. Vince Wilfork and Will Smith are not a significantly larger reincarnation of Bad Boys. None of these things are true and none of them are funny. The sooner we can accept it, the sooner we can all move on.
I know I'm asking a lot here. And I know that it isn't going to be easy. But I think it's in all of our best interests, not only as Patriots fans, but as football fans and people who appreciate good comedy, to let Will Smith the Patriot be just that and nothing more. So have at it. Let's get them all out and intonow so we can all get on with our lives and turn our focus towards what matters - most notably the draft, mini-camp, and the triumphant return of yoga pants. In the words of the other Will Smith, "I'm gonna give 1000 dollars to the man who brings me Howard Cosell's toupee, dead or alive."
Or something like that. You know what I mean.