The Band Smash Mouth Springs To Trent Williams’ Defense In The Wake of Leighton Vander Esch’s Retirement

Trent Williams

As news circulated about Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch retiring on Monday, lots of fans of America’s Team and other members of NFL Twitter were coming after San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams.

Vander Esch struggled with injuries throughout his six-year career, most notably with a nagging neck issue that had plagued him since his college days at Boise State. The 19th overall pick in the 2018 draft only turned 28 last month, so it’s a bummer to see his football prime cut short. Unfortunately, Vander Esch only appeared in one game after Dallas’ 42-10 loss to San Francisco in Week 5 last year, and a massive collision with Williams proved to be yet another devastating setback.

What I’m struggling to see is how the effective end of Vander Esch’s career is being pinned exclusively on Williams. Vander Esch had long medical history. He assumed a lot of risk every time he stepped onto the gridiron as it was. It’d be one thing if Williams had a reputation as some dirty player. We’re talking about the best left tackle of his generation for my money. Look all the way back to Williams’ second season in the NFL (2011). Other than missing the 2019 campaign when he had to have a cancerous growth removed from his head, Williams has played at an elite level with outstanding technique, devastating physicality and exemplary sportsmanship as far as I’m aware.

Somebody with a lot of public sway needed to have Williams’ back, and thankfully, the band Smash Mouth took up Twitter arms to clap back at the haters.

Sadly, Smash Mouth’s lead singer, Steve Harwell, passed away in September at the age of 56. It’s good to see that they’re still together, though, with Zach Goode serving as the new lead vocalist. The celebrated rock band was founded in San Jose, and produced massive hits like “All Star” and “Walkin’ on the Sun.”

Speaking of All-Stars, Vander Esch was a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro selection as a rookie. Again, it sucks that he got hurt so often, because he had a shot to be one of the better linebackers in the league. Meanwhile, Williams has been named to 11 Pro Bowl teams and was a first-team All-Pro in each of the past three seasons. Not bad for a big man who turns 36 in July.

I doubt even Vander Esch himself would blame Williams for what happened on that fateful play. In a rare instance of Williams actually being out of position for a block, he had to resort to chipping Vander Esch in the back as the Cowboys’ backer ran past him. Williams had no way of knowing Micah Parsons would be right there to for Vander Esch to crash into. As great as I’ve deservedly gassed up Trent Williams to be, a split-second plot to purposely injure Vander Esch would take an extra-terrestrial level of anticipation to pull off.

Hopefully everyone lays off of Trent Williams after Smash Mouth’s defense of him. They had a great take on this situation, so I’ll give them props for that. However, in doing research for this article, I stumbled upon Smash Mouth’s take on the Niners’ QB situation prior to Brock Purdy’s arrival.

Good thing music is Smash Mouth’s forte. They can hang their hats on that as an excuse for occasionally outlandish sports takes. Maybe let Kyle Shanahan take care of the offensive play design, fellas!

PS, I was today years old when I discovered that the “All Star” music video was a crossover event with the loaded cast of Mystery Men.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock