Bryce Holmes was my assistant coach. A fine player and coach, he did cause a problem. He Black, me white, both southern, and we both loved to talk. Bryce is funny and we did laugh a lot. And during practice.
A friend once admonished me, “…Parham, shut up and let us talk some; we’re drunk too.”
I never met Bryce’s friend, Ted, but he was one of Bryce’s favorite topics. What made him interesting was ” he would accept any challenge.” I remember two Ted Tales from Bryce. A $200 prize was offered to anyone who could survive 2 minutes in the ring (cage) with a the county fair’s “gorilla”. After watching several failed attempts, Ted collected the entry from the gang. The gorilla had a plan. Above the entrance to the ring, he observed from a platform. As his unwitting opponents entered the ring, Mighty Joe would pounce on him from above and pin him immediately. At this point in the tale Bryce would interject that Ted took pride in his own guile in these ventures. So, upon entering the ring our hero gave a mighty fake step in, then backed up as the gorilla landed on the ground in front of 260lb Ted, now the new king of the ring and two hundred bucks richer.
Branching out, our Lexington, NC adventurers find themselves international. At a bullfight in Mexico. Ante is upped to $500 , as well as the risks. To win, the entrant must tie a pink ribbon on the bull’s horn. What’s the plan?
Bryce said to everyone’s amazement Ted simply walked straight at the bull. Half way there the bull began to paw the ground viciously. Still Ted stared him down. Ten yards to the bull. Ted stoops into a lineman’s stance and began an even more pronounced pawing, all the while staring into the bull’s eyes.
The bull, as well as the crowd, only looked puzzled as Ted tied the ribbon around the bull’s horn. Ted turned and walked back to get his money, as the bull ambled in the other direction. Though delayed, there was then a standing ovation. OLE.
I was begin to wonder about these accounts. Players who listened in would say out of earshot, “Coach –you don’t really buy that do you?
Then the call.
Primetime and the phone rings. Bryce: “Coach, channel 5, a program called SURVIVOR, turn it on”. Honest Injun—there is Ted on Survivor. From Thailand.
How in the hell, Bryce? My buddy said Ted told his wife he had to go to Thailand on business. Told his bosses he and his wife were on vacation to Thailand. Hopped a plane, applied to try out for the show and qualified.
That night Ted won. Go back and check it out! Not only that he won twice more. We were collecting quite a Ted following. The teams spread the word to ELON, then to nearby Greensboro, and growing. Semi-finals next, we think Ted is the best choice. However the gamblers asked for inside help. Bryce called Ten in Thailand.
Ted told Bryce, “…Hommie, don’t let the boys put any money on the semis. You know ain’t no prime time American TV network, gonna miss a chance to show a black man getting his ass whipped.’
Lots of complaints about TV nowadays. My wife says can’t believe you watch that mess.
“Wicked Tuna”, alligators and crocs, shark shows, even Duck Dynasty. Maybe, maybe, Ted will strike again.