When you are a prestigious SEC football program that starts the season ranked in the Top 10, you are going to be scrutinized for everything that you do.
Arkansas head football coach John L. Smith is the face of the program, for better or for worse. Right now, there is a lot more of the latter, as the Razorbacks have limped out of the gate to a 1-2 start, including a shocking defeat to Louisiana-Monroe and a humiliating loss to Alabama.
Most coaches would be searching for answers, which Smith surely is; he wants the media to keep its spirits up. In fact, to quote the coach himself, he just wants everyone to smile.
That was the message Smith delivered to the media at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, which led to some interesting reactions from fans and analysts on Twitter.
Lewis Hale, a self-proclaimed Razorbacks fan, was not too happy with what he heard from Smith and what it meant for the university in the grand scheme of things.
That's an overreaction, as he didn't make anyone look like rednecks. He gave the world a soundbite to use forever, while just making himself look like a fool.
Patrick Woo, who works as a college football analyst, posed an interesting question to Arkansas sports writer Chris Bahn after seeing the press conference with the now-infamous quote.
@cbahn is it bad that I just can't stop watching the John L Smith "SMILE!" video over and over again?— Patrick Woo (@P_Woo) September 19, 2012
This is what Arkansas needs to embrace. It's not likely that Smith will be around long, but at least he gave the world a viral sensation that can last for a long, long time.
Matthew Marvin, who would appear to just be a sports fan venting, wonders what Arkansas saw in Smith when he was hired, aside from the fact that the university needed someone for the gig.
I realize they were crunched on time. But there had to be somebody better than John L. Smith for Arkansas to hire!— Matthew Marvin (@MMarvin22) September 19, 2012
It's of little comfort to Arkansas fans right now, but you just have to look at Smith as a body that is holding a place until someone better comes along. Bobby Petrino's ordeal put the program in a bad situation, which left it no time to dig itself out.
Self-described "Wonderboy" Seth Allen feels that the Arkansas program is becoming more of a mockery than anything else, which seems to upset him.
JOHN L. SMITH WE DO NOT NEED TO GIVE PEOPLE ANY MORE REASON TO LAUGH AT US #IDIOT— Seth Allen (@SethBrayAllen) September 19, 2012
People are laughing at Smith, if that helps, Seth. Plus, if you are going to go down, why not go down in a blaze of glory?
ESPN Dallas radio host Ted Emrich has a word of advice for anyone thinking about talking to Smith in the future.
But remember, you better smile or else John L. Smith won't talk to you.— Ted Emrich (@tedemrich) September 19, 2012
That's good advice for us all. We all take these things so seriously. It makes sense to let go and crack a smile when you can.
Finally, what better way to conclude Smith's hilariously over-the-top performance with the media than with a simple thought from the world-renowned SEC Logo that pretty much sums up what we are all thinking.
John L Smith is a weird dude...— The SEC Logo (@SEC_Logo) September 19, 2012
Smith is in a no-win situation right now. He knows and everyone around him knows it, so he has to do what he can to make it at least a relatively pleasant environment. He could be like Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and alienate everyone on his team, so be grateful for the little things.
And don't forget to smile.