A happy Mickey Mouse birthday to Malcolm Smith

Posted Jul 5, 2014

Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, who turns 25 on Saturday, has gone from a compensatory seventh-round draft choice to Super Bowl MVP.

Malcolm Smith is not officially listed as a starter for the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, but the fourth-year linebacker is making a habit of being a finisher.

Like in the NFC Championship game, when Smith was there to intercept the pass that All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman deflected in the end zone to ice the Seahawks’ six-point victory. Like in the regular-season finale, when Smith’s 37-yard interception return for a touchdown helped the Seahawks defeat the St. Louis Rams to clinch the NFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Then there was his MVP-winning performance in Super Bowl XLVIII: a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown that made it Seahawks 22, Denver Broncos 0; a recovery of a fumble forced by cornerback Byron Maxwell; and nine tackles.

“He’s really fast. He’s really smart. He’s really confident,” linebackers coach Ken Norton, Jr. has said of Smith, who also played for Norton and coach Pete Carroll while at USC. “And he can be a weapon on the field. Malcolm has a great combination of size and speed.”

Saturday is Smith’s 25th birthday, another indication that the former seventh-round draft choice – with a compensatory pick no less – is just getting started.

Smith’s MVP performance in the Seahawks’ 43-8 romp over the Broncos capped a postseason where he had 22 tackles – including two games with a career-high nine tackles – and a season where he had a career-best 50 tackles.

It also left him in a dream-like situation the day after the Super Bowl, when a sleep-deprived Smith made the traditional MVP trip to Disney World in Orlando.

“I was sitting in the car, riding with Mickey, and that’s when I realized, ‘I’m that guy that’s doing this this year.’ It’s crazy,” Smith said the day after riding down Main Street with Mickey Mouse.

So, we wish Smith a happy Mickey Mouse birthday on yet another special day in what already has been a special year.