Day two of my Ten Days of Bears recounts a special story in the origin of future Heisman winner Robert Woods. If you have been living in a blacked-out hyperbaric chamber for the last two years (I am not knocking it, I spent 1995-97 in one just because I heard when you come out every day feels like you just left the eucalyptus steam room at the Four Seasons Wailea), Robert Woods is to catching footballs what Mad Men is to old fashioneds. He made it cool again to just catch the ball all the time.
In a slow build up to the Cal game, I want to point out Woods made seven receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns last year against Cal. That’s in one game as a freshman. DeSean Jackson, who never shut up about being amazing, had three games against USC. No receiving touchdowns and 114 yards total. In three years.
Basically, Woods did more in one game as a freshman than MeSean did his whole career against USC, which he described as his “personal rivalry game” because of something that had to do with him not getting recruited the way he wanted. That was probably smart. He did way more work for USC playing for Cal.
Now, to the story…
Chomperstein of the North Woods
Never heard of the North Woods? Good. They’re hell. Men quake at the smell of this place (in fairness, that’s just because bears cook with an ungodly amount of fish sauce and it can be overwhelming).
I was out chasing Chomperstein, a bear composed by an evil bear scientist of evil bear parts, with Robert’s father, who then just went by the name Tomahawk (look, we all had amazing code names in the 70s, especially since I took a time machine to get there and had the benefit of already seeing Top Gun).
Chomperstein had the feet of a ballerina (literally, the evil bear scientist was ridiculously clever) so we couldn’t hear him approach. Armed with only two rail guns, a sawed off and 11 machetes, we never heard him coming. I ignored the cardinal rule of hunting mutant bears: Always assume they have ballerina feet.
I got a few shots off, but Chomperstein was on me like a mutant bear on a guy who constantly talks about killing bears. A quick anecdote… We needed to bring home the head of the beast because we were having a party at a midcentury modern house and decided to do Planter’s Punch and there is no better punch bowl than a mutant bear head.
Tomahawk threw a ninja star at Chomperstein which distracted him just long enough for me to get my lightsaber out (they’re real, fellow Trojan alum George Lucas gave me a production copy) and sever the bear’s head.
It flew majestically probably 70 yards in the air and that’s when I saw it. Tomahawk was dodging trees and jumping over roots on the forest floor running what appeared to be a skinny post. He dove and made a one-handed catch of Chomperstein’s head, which was still biting and chomping. He punched it in the face in sort of a Will Smith “welcome to earth” moment. It was crazy arrogant.
I told Tomahawk to change his last name to Woods that day, in honor of the North Woods, our great battle and his amazing 75 yard reception of a flying, biting bear face.
Tomahawk had a son. His name is Robert.