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Let’s talk about Mike Smith’s beard

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It’s the star of Super Bowl week thus far.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Mike Smith recently announced his formal retirement from coaching, and he arrived to Super Bowl LIII festivities in Atlanta with his new full-time focus on display: Beard.

Yes, former Falcons head coach Mike Smith is now sporting a full beard, one that hugs his jawline like a fresh dusting of snow on a winter morning. It’s a comforting yet rugged look, one that says, “I struggle to curse in public but I’ve been in a bar fight or two.”

The Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots may have addressed the media today, but Mike Smith’s beard is addressing the world; letting you know that, yes, he has a Dremel tool you can borrow.

Coach Smith may have famously derided the value of sacks for a defense, but with his new, grizzled appearance you’d never know it. You’d think the guy wakes up just to blitz the mailman. He’s not in the playoffs, but Smith is looking like a Game 6 Stanley Cup starter. Can he even ice skate? Irrelevant, really. Facial hair of this sort crafts monuments — it rises to any occasion.

Like he vanquished a Balrog on the bridge at Khazad-dûm, Mike Smith the White has finally returned to Atlanta. Enjoy the Super Bowl, and try not to get too much ketchup and mustard in that thing.