By Earl Bennett
If you know or have met Kyle Long, you know he does not hold any punches. Kyle is straight forward and gets right to the point. After he was drafted we saw how well he meshed with the team. His personality was needed in the locker room. What I will never forget is our conversation on the road for an away game.
After losing a few key guys on the offensive line, we needed a tough SOB like Kyle. In my opinion this was a draft pick that the Trestman era got right. We knew he was tough and once he got comfortable in the offense, he would help anchor the line. But, on his first away game Kyle saw me on the floor of our hotel.
He approached me with a visibly frustrated look. We locked eyes and he proceeded to ask me a few questions, “Earl, my man you headed to eat?”, was the icebreaker. Then Kyle asked me if I had “a pack man” in the area. Being from the hood, I knew what a pack was. So I wanted to clarify we were on the same page so I asked “weed man?” Kyle responded yes and I was now confused.
No where in the world did I have “a pack man.” I was of little help to the rookie. Not sure if he found a person, but this conversation would always be one of my favorites because of the strange look he gave me when I clarified “weed man” as “a pack man.” That was the last time he asked me, and we laughed about it after the game.
Marijuana has garnered a lot of attention in our society. More players are exposing their usage to help with calming, pain and rest. Football is a tough sport and guys are trying alternative approaches to assist their body instead of Opioids and other medications that can have adverse effects on the liver. Whether Kyle plays another down for the Bears, or in the NFL, I want him to know that I absolutely loved his game and I still do not have “a pack man.”