I had the pleasure to interview Tye Smith of the Tennessee Titans.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
– My name Is Tye Smith, from Raleigh NC. I’m currently a NFL player
of the Tennessee Titans, going into my fourth year overall as a
professional. I went to Towson University a D1AA school in Baltimore,
MD, where I earned my degree in Sports Management with a minor in
Business. I was Drafted in 15′ in the 5th round by the Seattle
Seahawks where I spent a year and a half before I was released and
finished my second year on practice squad with the Washington Redskins,
after which signing a futures contract to the Titans where I spent my
third year and now going on into my fourth year.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your NFL career?
Every year the Titans have a Turkey Drive, where they tell players in
the team meeting the week of Thanksgiving that they will be giving out
free turkeys and we could give them away as we please. All we have to
do as players is go to the local Kroger that same day and pick it up and
drop it off. All the Vet players who were there for years said they do
it every year etc. So Me as a new Titan, last season; I was in a giving
mood, I went to Kroger that evening. It was a full out event, had media,
cameras, cheerleaders, fans etc. They even had us do an interview
where we wore Turkey gear on our heads, a couple of us danced like a
Turkey and made sounds as well as answers questions for media before
they gave us our box that had the Turkey in it. After receiving
the OK to go pick up our boxes from the Kroger employees, they asked
that we take our Turkey to the facility and drop it off that same
evening. Mind you we couldn’t see the Turkey because it was in
Aluminum Foil, taped up in a box. So I got my Turkey and was excited
because I knew I was doing this for a great cause. So I pull up to the
facility with my box that had the Turkey in it, walk into the facility
where they then tell me that the Turkey needs to go to the back of the
facility near the pool/cold tub where the ice machine was. I walked back
there and see a camera man recording, looking straight ahead I see
previous boxes opened and emptied. I’m thinking “Okay This is where
I take the turkey out”. I sit the box down and open it. There’s a
bag full of ice that is wrapped up in Aluminum Foil, NO TURKEY lol. The
whole thing was a prank. They showed the whole team all the video the
next morning in a team meeting.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are
working on now?
My brand “Simple Greatness” meaning “Cant Be Measured”. A brand
I created from my backstory ( 1 offer out of high school, Cut Twice) the
underdog story. Simple Greatness is in all of us who have been doubted,
underrated etc because of measurable. Simple Greatness are things such
as determination, grit, creativity. It’s comes down to a inner drive
to want to succeed that whatever your heart desires.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor two of the most genuine, down to
earth, respectful and educated people I’ve met in my life. Just their
wisdom on life especially pertaining to being an professional athlete,
educating me an other fellow young guys on what to expect , how to
handle certain things as well educating them on how to build our
personal brands outside of football, how they did it and the lessons
they learned from it.
What would you advise to a young person who aspires to follow your
footsteps and emulate your career? What advice would you give?
I would tell them to understand that It’s a daily process, you have
to fall in love with the process not just the end result of what you
picture may happen. Everything is not going to go your way but that’s
part of your individually story and journey so embrace it.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Through “Simple Greatness” I’ve held multiple events back home in
Raleigh NC, I had my first Annual Simple Greatness Football Camp in
April 18′ where we held 300 plus kids for free, and had players from
around the league come teach and talk to the kids about their journey
and advice they wanted to share. Also I’ve teamed up with Habitats of
Humanity of Wake County in Raleigh NC a couple of times to help build
homes for the less fortunate and we also held a ‘Simple Greatness
bowling for Humanity’ event where proceeds went towards Habitats for
Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your
life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?
Jeff Neese, family friend / mentor. Back in High School, Jeff was the
guy, multiple guys went to for help on getting exposure to colleges. He
took time out his busy schedule to make highlight films for all of us
and send them off to multiple colleges/universities. His work paid off
for me personally because Towson University (Coach Derrick Johnson)
received my film from Jeff himself and Jeff helped marketing me to them,
in which Towson offered me a full scholarship. That offered turned out
to be the only offer I received. I’m thankful for Jeff and all the
faith he had in me.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that
resonate with you so much?
“All I knew is that I never wanted to be Average” — Michael Jordan
That resonates with me deeply, it’s speaks of not just going through the
motions of anything. Doing what’s required will make you average,
going over and beyond will make your great!
Can you Share “5 Work Ethic Lessons That We Can Learn From
5. Simple Greatness
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and
Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in
the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂
Will Smith my favorite actor. I like his mindset on life. He seems to
have a lot of wisdom I would want to learn and incorporate into my daily
Also everyone at SNL — Saturday Night Live, one of my top shows to
watch, everyone up there is hilarious, especially Michael Che, the guy
might be one of the funniest people on TV in this day and age. One of my
goals is to be on SNL one day.