On the first day of Bears's minicamp, I watched Jay Cutler rear back and fire a pass to a monstrous, sleek, big-handed receiver wearing the jersey No. 83. "Holy god!" I thought to myself. "Who the hell is THAT?"
I scanned the player guide the team had given the media and spotted No. 83: Martellus Bennett. I knew his numbers from Dallas and the Giants, and I knew he was a big dude, but seeing him in person weaving between much smaller linebackers and DBs and snatching passes with hands like Trapper Keepers gave me another perspective altogether. When a professional football player stands out among other professional football players as being "big," you notice.
But while I knew Bennett's background on the field, I knew nothing of his personality. The Black Unicorn, the Cap'n Crunch video, the fact that he wrote a children's book about bees—thus far, it had all eluded me.
You can imagine where this interview was going …
I'm curious to hear about the new guys, and their transition stories into Chicago.
Am I a new guy?
OK. I'm just asking if you consider me to be a new guy.
Why wouldn't you be a new guy?
I've been here like 10 weeks, or however many weeks I've been here. It's old now.
Do you feel that way already? Like an old guy?
I moved around a lot when I was a kid, so I'm used to making friends and going to new places. I'm like a chameleon. I fit in in most environments. So I think it's been a good transition for me.
Where'd you move around?
When I was a kid? I'm originally from San Diego. I lived in Seattle, Texas, Louisiana. In eighth grade I went to three different middle schools, so I'm used to moving around. I got the family settled. Other than that, just learning how to get around is the biggest thing.
Where are you living?
I live [pauses]—I can't tell you that, because then people will come to my neighborhood and look for me. I'm the only black person in the neighborhood. I won't be that hard to find. [Laughs.]
Well regardless, what have you seen in Chicago so far?