Updated: Jul 23, 2022
Photo Credit: AP photo by Scott Audette via/ news4jax.com
On Saturday, July 9th, the ever so popular and rapidly growing Twitter accounts @SpoonOfZeke and @SagED_UP hosted a featured Twitter Space interview with Jacksonville Jaguars legendary Wide Receiver Jimmy Smith. The interview was so unique and honestly very refreshing to be a part of. These two hosts gave their followers a platform to ask questions that they really wanted answers to from the man himself. But these aren’t just followers; these people are members of a community full of sports fanatics, aspiring journalists, and people who have dreams and aspirations to live a life with sports as the focal point. Zeke and Sage brought a dream to life for me and many others. So for that, we are all very thankful.
To start things off, Zeke and Sage introduced the man, who needed no introduction, Jimmy Smith. Sage opened him up with a question regarding Jimmy’s ability to endure the pain and preparation of the every day lifestyle that is the NFL. Jimmy answered very thoroughly. He touched on the fact that the NFL was a much more dangerous game when he played. Wide receivers had to deal with much more physical cornerback and safety play than receivers now due to rule changes. Jimmy said he was getting toradol shots for pain before games but was skeptical of the long term affects he would have to deal with later on in life from it. He asked Jacksonville Jaguars head athletic trainer Mike Ryan of the side affects and he told him it’s possible that he could suffer from dry mouth later in life. So Jimmy stopped taking the shots, but unfortunately, he admits, he didn’t stop soon enough as he suffers from dry mouth today. “Before I go to bed I have to have three or four bottles of water because I suffer from dry mouth.” Jimmy says. It was at that point he decided to go all natural. He learned about hydrating himself through electrolytes, taking customized vitamin supplements, and going through IV therapy. He even went on to say he hired a home care nurse who developed the proper protocol that he would need to succeed at the highest level, naturally.
His journey began at HBCU, Jackson State University. In this tell all interview, Jimmy says his decision to commit to Jackson State was a personal one. He turned down offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Mississippi, Texas, and Tennessee to commit to Jackson State, not only was it 15 minutes from home, but his father went there. Jimmy says, “My dad went to Jackson State with Hall of Fame DB Lem Barney and Bob Hughes who played for Atlanta, and they were great players. My dad played in the NFL for a couple years for Cincinnati and they all had sons. Their deal was they wanted all their sons to go to Jackson State and we all did.”
Jimmy recalled that his best friend on the team was Keenan McCardell, but Jimmy Smith and Fred Taylor were just as tight. Jimmy says, “Me and Fred used to call each other ‘The Wonder Twins’ because he was number 28 and I was number 82. Before we left the locker room, we would give each other a fist pound and say, ‘wonder twins activate’.” They procured the nickname from the cartoon ‘Legion of Doom’, where the wonder twins would do the same.
We eventually got to talking about Jimmy’s thoughts on the 2022 Jacksonville Jaguars. When asked about what he expects out of this young roster he seemed very optimistic. He talked up Coach Doug Pederson and believes the guys are in a better place now that the culture is beginning to swing. “Don’t be surprised if we are in a position to get a playoff birth this year”, Jimmy says.
Jimmy was asked by Twitter user @WindyCityDig, what the thought process was behind Jimmy deciding to retire after posting his 9th 1,000 yard season. And he’s right in his question. I mean, he hadn’t slowed down one bit. If anything, he was in his prime years, as crazy as that is to say about a player who was 37 years of age when he retired. He says, “The Jaguars were trying to trade me when Jack Del Rio got there. The Jaguars were trying to trade me to Baltimore for a second round pick. Nobody really knows that. So I felt like that was going to be my last year anyway. I didn’t want to go play anywhere else.” He was unhappy with Del Rio and the fact that he was coming in and getting rid of all of Tom Coughlin’s guys that developed under him. Especially Mark Brunell, a teammate Jimmy believes never had a fair shot. But he admitted later in the interview, that he wished he would have talked to Del Rio to understand where he was coming from before he decided to hang it up. But nevertheless, Jimmy knew he was done. He says, “There’s a saying in the NFL. Always retire one year before you have too.” So he did just that.
Then there was the Adam Pacman Jones story… I was honored to ask Jimmy for a story or a moment between him and a teammate or an opponent on the field that Jimmy could tell the fans. His response was pure gold. “I can tell you this one story about Adam Pacman Jones his rookie year in Tennessee,” Jimmy says. Jimmy knew that Jeff Fisher drafted Pacman to stop him. “I had to fist fight this dude for four quarters while I’m running my routes.” Jimmy recalls a legendary exchange between him and Pacman when he says, “I remember this one particular play. It was a 3rd down play, I was running a curl route and he was in press coverage. We were beating the crap out of each other as I ran my routes. He got a holding penalty on me and he was complaining to the ref. We broke the huddle and went on to the next play, lined up at the line of scrimmage and he ran up to me, pressed in my face and said, “I was made for this shit!” And he had my respect then. That penalty didn’t phase him. Those were his exact words.” Jimmy exceeded all of my expectations with the answer he graced all of us with.
I followed up with @SpoonOfZeke after the interview about his takeaway from the experience and this is what he had to say.“Jimmy gave me a goat interview. He was so gracious and gave such amazing stories that he put me in awe just listening to him. My favorite story was how Pac-Man earned his respect!” I think we can all agree with Zeke, when he says Jimmy had us in awe. It was truly a memorable experience and interview.
If you would like to listen to the actual interview, you can do so by going to Spoon Of Zeke on YouTube.com and finding the video titled “Jacksonville Jaguars Legend Jimmy Smith Interview.” But don’t forget to subscribe to his channel! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this Zeke and Sage and a big thank you to Jimmy for being the person he is in agreeing to do this. Also would like to shoutout these Twitter handles below for all participating in the interview and asking amazing questions!
@SpoonOfZeke @SagED_UP @OutOfPoSports @CoachLHurlbut @FarlinMC @corbitt_randy @KennethShinn9 @WindyCityDig @philadelphiia @IRConfidencePod @ChelseaEbbNFlow @LionBrosPodcast @fsubutch and of course @JimmySmithJags