Following his introductory press conference Monday as new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lovie Smith joined several members of the local media for a meet-and-greet at One Buc Place.
There, he detailed what he’d been up to in his year away from football, including a wild adventure involving wild monkeys, a machete (and barbecue) in Costa Rica. This happened last year, after Smith had been let go as head coach of the Chicago Bears.
“Initially, I was like, ‘We’re going to get away,’ so we rented this house in Costa Rica for a couple months. We get out there. It [was] remote but not quite in the rainforest,” Smith explained.
Sounds like a relaxing getaway.
“The first couple of days we were there, we saw a couple of small, white-faced monkeys. About day 6, we heard the howler monkeys. Day 8, they come in, with the back door open, they came in…and a few days before, my son Mikal said, “Dad, a monkey is four times stronger than a man, so be careful.'”
Smith continued, “So about that time, I kept a machete in the back, just in case, because you’re out in the rainforest and I had my wife [MaryAnne] there. So by day 9, I had barbecued a little bit earlier in the day and I looked up, and there were two big, barreled monkeys, standing up on the table with their teeth showing.”
“I said, ‘This is not going to end well [laughs].’ I got done. I didn’t have to kill one of the monkeys. I pushed them out of the house and we packed up that day and got out.”
He then asked, “Have you ever heard a howler monkey?”
(Writer’s note: No, but at this point, the room is howling with laughter).
“They’ve got a terrifying sound.”
(Room is still howling).
“So anyway, I didn’t have to kill any monkeys and we were able to get out of there. We left on day nine of a 50-day stay [laughs]. After that, MaryAnne said, ‘Okay, let’s go somewhere else, we’ve got a little bit of time.’ I said, ‘Hey we’re going to Tampa.’ So we’re down on the beach, down here in Tampa. We spent a little bit of our time down here.”