Lovie Smith will have his hands full turning around a Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad that went 4-12 last season, but that daunting task pales in comparison to what he faced during his year off from coaching.
Smith coached the Chicago Bears eight seasons before being fired in 2012. With some unexpected free time on his hands, the 55-year-old took a much-needed vacation with his family to Costa Rica, but his relaxation time quickly turned into an episode of Survivor.
In a recent interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Smith recounted his vacation with words no tourist guide should ever include in a pitch: howler monkeys, machetes and killing.
We’ll let Smith take it from here:
“First couple of days we were there, we heard some little small, white-faced monkeys. About Day 6, we heard the howling monkeys. Day 8, we had the back door open, and they come in. A few days before, you think you’re ready to take on anything to protect your wife, my son [Mikale] said, ‘Dad, a monkey is four times stronger than a man, so be careful.’ So about that time, I kept a machete in the back just in case. You’re out in the rain forest and I had my wife there. About Day 9, I had barbecued a little bit earlier in the day. I look up, and there are two big male monkeys standing up on the table with their teeth showing. I thought ‘OK, this is not going to end well.'”
“Anyway, I got a broom. I didn’t have to really kill one of the monkeys. I pushed him out of the house, and we packed up that day and got out. That’s a true story. I had the machete. I was ready. Have you ever heard a howling monkey? No one here, I guess you’ve been in Tampa most of your life. They’re kind of a terrifying sound. I didn’t have to kill any monkeys, and we were able to get out of there. We left on Day 9 of a 50-day stay. Mary Anne said ‘OK, let’s go somewhere else, we’ve got a little bit of time.’ I said, ‘Hey. We’re going to Tampa.’ We’re down on the beach down here, spent a little bit of our time down here.”
“As it turned out, I thought it was going to end a little bit differently than it did, to say the least. We got out of it alive.”
Let’s hope Smith gets out of Tampa Bay alive, too.
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