The Carolina Panthers were credited by many with winning Twitter on Friday after the team embedded a coded message among three days worth of tweets.
No one noticed until the team tweeted a cryptic message early Friday: “Now go back and read the first word of our tweets from the last three days.”
It wasn’t easy, but those who scrolled through nearly 40 tweets were treated to what has to be one of the most unexpected messages ever delivered via Twitter by an NFL team.
(Spoiler Alert: read no farther if you want to figure it out for yourself.)
It’s “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” theme song.
For those unfamiliar with it, the 1990s show starred Will Smith as a street-smart teen from West Philadelphia who was sent to live with a wealthy aunt and uncle in their Bel-Air mansion.
Why the team sent the lyrics out wasn’t explained. But Twitter had a field day with the puzzle, first deciphering it, then applauding the team for putting fun into the final days of a holiday week. The message revealing the puzzle had been shared more than 30,000 times by mid-afternoon Friday and had more than 2,000 comments, and included responses from the Charlotte Hornets, the Cleveland Indians, SBNation and CBS Sports writer Barrett Sallee.
“The Panthers have just won Twitter,” tweeted Sallee. “Nobody else has a chance. They’re the Globetrotters and we’re all the Generals.”
Said ProFootballTalk: “It’s summertime, so the Panthers figured out a fresh way to use Twitter during the NFL’s slowest month.”
A few fans were confused, not by the puzzle but by what it meant.
“Yes I know it’s The Fresh Prince. But WHY?” responded one fan on Twitter. “Are we trading for someone named Will Smith? Is the Carlton to be Cam’s new TD dance???”