Carolina Panthers

How the Panthers discreetly tweeted the lyrics to ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

Actor Will Smith starred in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” from 1990 to 1996.
Actor Will Smith starred in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” from 1990 to 1996. Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

It can be hard for pro sports teams to engage with fans in the offseason, but the Carolina Panthers found a way to break the monotony of the NFL’s summertime on Twitter this week.

Following a series of seemingly ordinary tweets of past highlights, countdowns to the season or promotions on their website, the Panthers encouraged followers to read the first word of their tweets from the last three days Friday morning, revealing diligent effort and execution.

[Read the Panthers’ tweets]

It did not take long for people to catch on scrolling through the Twitter feed, and by the end, everybody probably had a familiar tune stuck in their head: “Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air.”

Yes, the first words in 40 consecutive tweets made up the opening lines to the theme song for “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” The iconic NBC sitcom starring Will Smith ran from 1990 to 1996, with its last season on air conciding with the Panthers’ first season of existence.

Most of the lyrics were easy to disguise into a grammatically reasonable tweet, though some had to be forced. The word “upside” went with a childhood highlight of first-round draft pick Christian McCaffrey, “prince” led into an old photo of Cam Newton’s cleats honoring the late artist known by that name and a bell emoji signaling a mini helmet giveaway took the place of the word “Bel.”

Still, nobody realized what was happening until the Panthers’ social media team finished the job and showed off the fruits of their labor. Now, those creative minds can pat themselves on the back and hopefully enjoy a well-deserved restful weekend.