Back in the 1970s, presumably when Houston Texans defensive line coach Bill Kollar played for the Cincinnati Bengals, in the days when players had to find ways to make some extra money in the offseason, a PR person called him for the opportunity to earn $50 to take a picture with a bear.
And, well, I'll let him finish from the story he relayed during his induction into the Senior Bowl hall of fame.
"I said, 'OK, that sounds pretty good,'" Kollar said. "I go downtown, I get down, there’s probably 50 people there. I walk in I say what’s going on? They say, 'Somebody’s going to wrestle the bear.' I said, 'What?' They said, 'Somebody’s gonna wrestle the bear!' I said, 'I wonder who the heck’s going to end up doing that.'"
Him, it turned out.
"They said, 'Just stay in tight with it, you’ll be all right, it won’t be a problem,'" Kollar continued. "I start going and I lock up and I take one little step back and the bear just tackles me right? Gets on top and I’m over here kicking and stuff. It’s on TV and I’m thinking holy Christ, this looks bad. So they get the bear off of me and I get back up you know. ...They tie us up again and I just bulled it. I just went and put it over backwards, I’m on top of him now. Everybody went nuts. This bear was probably 7 feet. I told the guy, 'I know how to do it now.' He said, 'We’re going to Columbus next week, we’ve got a Kodiak coming in. Would you like to wrestle him? He's 10 feet.' I said, 'No I’ll end up passing on that.'
"Nowadays these guys walk across the street and they get a thousand bucks."
Ain't that the truth.
Watch Kollar tell the story here. And a huge thanks to Drew Doughtery of the Texans' official website for initially tweeting about this. My day has improved as a result. And I bet yours did, too.