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Thursday, September 1, 2011
Bears grant special wish to 10-year-old boy

By ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Bears had a guest of honor break practice on Wednesday, and it was an honor the young man isn't likely to forget.

Collin Wehr, 10, of Northbrook, was at practice as part of the Make-A-Wish-Foundation's effort to let him become an NFL Network Bears beat reporter for a day. Wehr was joined by his favorite NFL Network personality, Tom Waddle.

"We interviewed Lovie Smith, who could not have been more gracious and sincere in making sure Collin had a great experience," said Waddle, a former Bears receiver and ESPN 1000 co-host of "The Waddle & Silvy Show." "He interviewed Julius Peppers, Robbie Gould stopped by, and Charles Tillman was there.

"But probably one of the most exciting parts of the day for Collin came with 30 minutes to go in practice. We were watching with NFL Network people, the Wehr family, and some Bears people, and Lovie Smith comes over and talks to Collin. They had a nice conversation, and Lovie says, 'We have a few more plays to run, in about 20 minutes, I'm going to have to Brian and some of the guys come out and wheel you out to the middle of the field and you're going to break practice.'"

Waddle can't remember that happening before.

"So Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers and Jay Cutler come over and wheel Collin out to the middle of the field, where the whole team surrounds him, and he gets to break practice."

Waddle said Wehr was able to do intros and wraps to his report as well as talk to an NFL Network anchor.

"The Bears could not have been better," Waddle said. "Lovie Smith, sometimes you just don't know who Lovie really is, because you never get to look behind the curtain.

"I've been in Chicago since 1989, and Mike Ditka has done a lot of great things. I've been around a lot of players who have done a lot of great things. I've never been around a guy who was more willing to participate and make sure this was a special day for a kid than Lovie was yesterday. Lovie was engaging. He was completely involved with it. He was very humble and humorous in the interview, and he had a great sense of humor with Collin. It was just a great experience."

The piece is expected to run next week on The NFL Network.