Just before the 2013 NFL Draft, news broke that top prospect Lane Johnson had experience wrestling with Bears. After he was selected by the Eagles with the fourth-overall pick, Johnson fielded follow-up questions at his introductory press conference. A story like that doesn't just slip through the cracks.
The barely believable story was almost too surprising to be true, and as it turned out, it wasn't. Johnson later cleared the air and bared the truth about the situation, saying that he wanted to have some fun with the Philadelphia media.
We may never know the true story behind Johnson's past as a bear wrestler, but perhaps some things need to remain a mystery. Now, almost eight months later, Johnson will get to wrestle with the Chicago Bears, and you can imagine his excitement.
"It was a fictitious unfortunately, but the idea is still there," said Johnson. "I'm going to be wrestling some Bears come Sunday night though."
Johnson had previously stated that he wrestled smaller, punier black bears and that he stayed away from grizzles. Say what you will about the Eagles starting right tackle, but he knows his limits. He also knows a lot about the bear population in Chicago, as it turns out.
"The Chicago bear averages from 300-500 pounds, and some of the defensive linemen are about that size, so it's looking pretty similar," Johnson said with an expert tone. "You've got to use your hands against those big claws that they've got."
If it is true that Johnson wrestled bears on his uncle's East Texas ranch, all of the years he spent training will culminate on Sunday night. Johnson will have to bear down and put his emotions aside.