Dropping by on My New Friend Named Bear

I still can see and hear him!

It is finally time to take a little trip to my favorite far, far away spot and pay Bear another visit.

Having so many unanswered questions I knew where I should go to ask them. I knew should pay my friend, Bear, a visit because he always has had answers. I was quite certain he understands my love of the Kentucky Wildcats even though I hadn't had time to pay him a visit lately. I thought I should just drop in for a chat before I bombarded him with lots of questions regarding this season.

I wasn't sure if I would find him there today, being the off-season lull in full swing but still wanted to drop in for a quick hello. Conclusions won that since it was almost time for fall practice to start and football games were about to commence, that he would certainly be there. I quietly entered the room where my new found friend was most always watching a football game in some capacity. Be it just studying game film, watching a live game, or a re-watching a classic game, I could always count on football being viewed.

Just like I had hoped, he was there with his attention totally fixated on his monitor. I instantly noticed he had upgraded his screen to a larger one from the one I strained to watch last year. Believe me, I was ever thankful for that. He was alone today and I concluded the temporary off-season wane was indeed universal. I sat there quietly, like I had always done, accessing the situation. Was he deep in thought dissecting plays, or was he just enjoying a casual football game? If he was studying a game, I've always felt it was best to just watch along. One thing I have learned is to never interrupt someone that is enthralled in concentration with the answer to a problem on the cusp of revelation.

I was in luck today, the best I could tell, he was watching a game from way, way back. I could usually judge if he was in the mood for company (or if I should just watch him pick apart a game) by the uniforms of the players he was watching.

My thinking was that the older the uniforms, the more likely he was just reminiscing and not being a coach. Okay, he's probably always being a coach, I will give you that one.

I cleared my throat and spoke, "Hello, Bear. Long time no see."

He replied without taking his eyes off the monitor, "I saw you slip in over there."

"Yeah," I said, "I thought I'd drop in for a little Wildcats talk today, if you have the time."

"Of course I do," he said with a smile. "I've wondered where you have been. I was just viewing some old game film."

"Which game are you watching?" I asked curiously as I moved a little closer to see what was on his screen.

"Little lady, I'm watching an old Cotton Bowl game. The game from New Year's Day, 1952 to be exact. I'm sure you are much too young to remember it," he said without hesitation.

"Do you mean the one that slated Kentucky against the TCU Frogs?" I asked with certainty. "The one where Babe Parilli alone out-threw two or three Horny-toads quarterbacks?"

Bear laughed. "Your young generation cuts no slack when it comes to smash talking long after the game, and especially winning the game." In the same breath he followed with, "I should have guessed you would have known which Cotton Bowl game I was talking about. One thing I can always count on is the BBN being knowledgeable."

I laughed along with him. "Did you just call me young?" I asked with a smile.

"Of course, I did," he replied. "My mother raised me right."

We both smiled on that note and I said, "Thank you, Bear. My mother raised me right as well."

"Missy, what brings you in today? I know the games haven't started yet. I usually don't see you before the fall," he said.

"Well, Bear, I do have some things I want to ask you about, I want to get your thoughts on our new coach, Mark Stoops, the excitement surrounding the program right now, and I especially want to hear what you have to say about 'Bama coming to Commonwealth this year. I thought I would just drop in to say hello for today," I answered. "More than you know, Bear, I would really like to hear your thoughts about the upcoming season. Would it be okay if we discussed it next time I come back?"

"Of course it would, little Wildcat fan. I'm always glad to see you drop by, if just to visit, to chat a while, or to watch a game with me. Sometimes these guys that drop in just want to tell me how I should have done things. You just want to pick an old coach's brain and you always listen. Come by any time," he said with a tad more pep in his speech.

I think this made me smile more than it did him. "Thanks, Coach," I said. "I always look forward to visiting and I'll be back really soon. Kentucky football fever is revving up. I think good times are coming. More than you know, I appreciate your time."

He said with a smile, "Time is something I've finally found I have plenty of. See you soon."

Thanks for reading, Go 'Cats!

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