Houston Texans associate head coach/defensive coordinator Lovie Smith —or rather, his beard — became the primetime star of Thursday Night Football.
The Houston Texans have gotten mixed reviews in recent years: there’s a Bill O’Brien scandal, an unresolved Deshaun Watson scandal, and the general creepiness surrounding Jack Easterby.
But one good thing to come out of Houston (besides that glorious locker room remodel) is associate head coach/defensive coordinator Lovie Smith’s beard. And when Smith’s beard got the prime-time spotlight it deserved, NFL fans took to Twitter to shower Smith with praise.
Texans coach Lovie Smith is praised for his impeccable beard
While the love for Lovie’s beard was overflowing, reviews were mixed on his actual coaching abilities.
Smith was the longtime coach for the Chicago Bears from 2004-2012, leading the Bears all the way to the Super Bowl in the 2005 season. That year, Smith won Coach of the Year, but tumultuous years followed amid many leadership changes and a mistaken trade for quarterback Jay Cutler. Smith actually interviewed for the Texans head coaching job in 2013 before settling for a disappointing season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014.
Still, Smith is remembered for being the first Black coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl, hours before Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy became the second. While Dungy made history for becoming the first Black coach to win the Super Bowl, Smith will always be remembered for his own historic NFL coaching contributions — and, of course, his illustrious beard.