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Totally Not Fake News: Tracy Smith, Special Teams Wizard

You’re a wizard, Tracy.

Magic up his sleeves?
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HOUSTON, TX – As the Houston Texans enter their bye week, there is much to consider and review. With a combined record of one next-to-last-finish and six second-place finishes, the Texans find themselves pondering not only what this season will bring, but also what the future will hold.

“Damn, we have a lot of silver around here with all those second-place finishes” noted the reigning Game-of-Texans winner Jack Easterby. “Figure we can leverage that and get some good deals.”

“Yeah, we’ve gotta lotta silver-ish and STUFF!” slurred Texans owner Cal McNair. “We should make some dealish…make some tradeds…make some…” [Collapses flat out on the floor, but does not spill his tumbler of “Get-Me-Through-2020-Juice” which Totally Not Fake News has learned is a combination of Southern Comfort (still out of Scotch), Everclear, and the finest Houston bleach on the market].

There are plenty of areas for potential improvement for the Texans. One such innovator is Defensive Coordinator Anthony Weaver. “Already in talks with General Atomics to develop the ‘Aerial GAU’ defense.” When pressed on what that was, Weaver patiently set down the shotgun he had trained on Eric Murray in an ongoing pass defense drill and noted, “Well, I can’t give away the secret, but imagine an MQ-9 Reaper armed with two 30mm GAU-8s, like the one they have on the A-10. We get that baby going, we are gonna have the best pass defense in all of football…anywhere. It will literally blow-away the ’shotgun’ defense.”

Rough conceptual drawing from our crack Totally Not Fake News Scientific Art Department for Weaver’s Aerial GAU Defense

When asked if that will help the run defense, Weaver started reaching for the previously set-down shotgun. The interview abruptly ended.

However, on a different part of the practice facility stood a serene-looking man, almost the total opposite of the now animated and excitable Anthony Weaver. Generally unassuming, one could be excused for ignoring current Special Teams Coordinator Tracy Smith. Yet over the past couple of games, the special teams for the Texans provided some of the biggest highlights. Much of that work can be attributed to this newly promoted assistant coach.

“Tracy’s been doing some good work for us.” noted Head Coach Romeo Crennel. “Had some big shoes to fill after [Brad] Seely left. However, Tracy has been getting the job done for us. Very creative, and very unique in his approach. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a hippo-wrestling session at the Houston Zoo in about 30 minutes. Gotta get my workout in.”

Recent results back up Crennel’s optimism. In the past three games, the Texans have blocked a field goal, seen their opponents go 0-4 on field goal attempts (they are the only team not to allow a successful field conversion in the past three games), including two inside 30 yards, blocked a punt, and recovered an onside kick, which has a current success rate of about 13%.

“We are actually at 50% for onside kick recovery. I’d say that’s pretty damn good.” said special teams player Buddy Howell, the man behind the team’s most recent punt block. “Coach Smith just always seems to know where to put us and just how to get us in the right positions. I would say the dude is a damned wizard or something.”

In interviews with other players, many kept referring to Smith as a coaching wizard/magician. While coaches that tend to do well, especially with innovative results, are often referred to as wizards, no one who coaches in the NFL is an actual wizard.

Or that was the case until Smith came into the league. In a surprising twist of research and creative writing, we at Totally Not Fake News have come to learn that Tracy Smith is, in fact, an actual wizard. While his bio on the Texans’ team website mentions his schooling and professional career, Smith has actually been leading a far different life.

While Smith is American, he spent a good deal of his schooling years not in America, attending normal high school, but as an exchange student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Identified by then Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, Smith apparently received a full scholarship and entry into the school as part of an exchange program back in the 1990s.

In a series of interviews, Totally Not Fake News came to learn more about Smith’s time at his real school. Apparently, he was a member of the Hufflepuff House, one of the four main “houses” where students are assigned during their time as the school.

“I remember the stories about him [Tracy Smith]” stated current Herbology professor Neville Longbottom. “People still talk about this goofy American who came over to this house for a few years. Apparently had a talent for charms and spells that helped sporting teams. Could be very creative. I figured he could have been a Slytherin, but there was the rumor that he didn’t want to be in that house; thought it would help him to be in the unassuming Hufflepuff [House].”

When asked what sports Smith engaged in at the school, Professor Longbottom referenced us to the Quidditch and physical education professor Madam Hooch.

“Tracy Smith? Tracy Smit…oh yeah, the Yank! Strange. The bloke was really talented in sports-type spells. Always talking about how to use them on the field and what he could do. Strangely enough, he kept talking about this game from back home, football. No, not the Muggle England football, but some weird, American game. Don’t care much for Muggle sports myself, but his obsession with it was fascinating.”

When asked if Smith played any sports at Hogwarts, Madam Hooch only laughed. “Him? Oh Lord, no! Wasn’t much for brooms and was no good at all in Quidditch. Kept smashing himself in the face with a bat when practicing with the Bludgers. However, he did show some promise in coaching, as he worked with the house chasers, getting them to use their legs to kick the Quaffle around, not letting them just hand-carry it, which was a good thing, given how weak the Hufflepuff chasers usually are.”

On the Fields of Hogwarts are the Champions of NRG made

“Always working those sports spells in class,” recalled Head Mistress Minerva McGonagall. “Kept telling me what he could do when he got back home to America. Was generally very passionate about spells involving his “American football”. Thought him an okay student…for a Yank.”

After returning from his studies in England, Smith continued to follow his passion for American football at LSU but never gave up on his use of magic. He had to use caution, as all wizards and witches are governed by some international statues about the hiding of magic. Still, Smith had his tells.

His former coach, Brad Seely, recalled, “I could swear there were times I heard him mutter something under his breath, like a strange Latin-sounding type phrase. That and he always seemed to be carrying this strange stick, about 12-14 inches. He always just said it was a pointer, but it was the strangest looking pointer I ever saw. In that game against the Chiefs in Kansas City, thought I saw him use the “pointer” and mutter “blockius maximus” right as [Barkevious] Mingo broke through to block that punt that Lonnie [Johnson] recovered for a scoop and score. If Tracy was using some magic [kitten], why couldn’t he has kept on using it? Ah, whatever.”

Recalled Howell, “Now that you mention it, someone told me that on the sidelines, before I blocked that punt, they saw Coach reach for that pointer and utter something under his breath, like ‘Blockius Booty-licious.’ Man, if he can do that then, why not more?”

When asked about this, Smith just chuckled. “I don’t know what they are talking about. I am just trying to get these players to be the best special teamers they can be. Don’t know what all of this ‘Hog-warts’ [kitten] is. This is just my lucky pointer. Okay, I have used some unorthodox methods, like the call to Papa Romero, but you just do what you can.”

Added Coach Crennel, who had just come back from suplexing three hippos with barely breaking a sweat, “He has done well. Although if he was a damned wizard, why can’t he get DeAndre Carter to actually run faster and score a return touchdown?”

When confronted about this accusation, Smith observed, “Hey, sometimes a player just doesn’t respond to the right spell, er, coaching technique. We are working on it. Got a call in with this specialist, Dr. Hermione Granger, to try to work through it. Hope to have a plan out soon.”

Baltimore Ravens v Houston Texans
Smith still has his work cut out for him...
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

As we turned to leave, Smith called out, “Oh, can you hold still for just one second? I need to do one more thing….” Before we could ask, he exclaimed “Obliviate!!!”

…and thus, we concluded our interview with Coach Tracy Smith, who discussed his innovative coaching strategies and heaped all sorts of praise on his players and assistant special teams coaches. He also pointed out the absurdity of some weird rumors that he had been to a school in England, which, based on his completed honest and unaltered bio, we at Totally Note Fake News 100% agree with. Now, if we could only remember where we were going next and why Smith was in all black robes.