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The New Adventures of Henry Josey: Episode 2

After an attempt to stave off bye-week boredom goes awry, our hero finds himself face-to-face with an old nemesis.

Jack Peglow

Bye-Week Battle

Bye-weeks were the worst. Normally, Henry Josey would spend his Friday at the athletic facilities prepping for whomever was unlucky enough to be facing him the next day, but Coach Pinkel had given them the day off. So all Josey could do was sit in his room and study the Indiana game-film he'd snagged after Thursday's practice. He took notes on defensive fronts, linebacker tendencies, and which DBs he thought could outrun, but after seventeen times through even football can become tedious. Henry needed to clear his mind, so he decided to go for a short jog.

- - MUCH LATER - -

Henry leaned against a tree and took a minute to stretch his legs. He checked his iPod and saw that he was quickly approaching the thirty-fourth mile of his run. It had been a long time since he'd gone this far, but anything was better than sitting at home staring at his television screen. Pulling his foot up for a quad stretch, Josey took the opportunity to admire the natural beauty of his surroundings. He marveled at the size of the trees and watched as a squirrel leapt from one branch to another. Suddenly, his squirrel-watching was cut short by a loud bang and some equally loud curse words. Henry was worried that someone could be hurt, so he headed toward the noise.

Making his way through the brush, Henry was assaulted by a manure-like smell that almost knocked him off his feet. He pulled his shirt up over his nose and soldiered on, only to find that the source of the smell and the source of the noise were one in the same. In a small clearing a tent had been erected, and sitting on a log beside it was none other than Bevo, the mascot of the Texas Longhorns. "Bevo! Are you okay!?" Henry asked. "I heard a bang, have you been hurt?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." Said the horned cow. "Nothin' to get all riled up about."

"I'm glad! But what are you doing out here?" Henry asked. It really was a strange situation. Why would Texas' mascot be hiding out in a forest in Columbia, Missouri? It was a question that begged an answer, but Bevo seemed less than willing to provide the necessary information.

"Don't you worry about that, boy." Bevo snarled. "Now go on and head back home. Ain't nothin' to see here." Josey was taken aback. He was just trying to be helpful, why would Bevo be so hostile? He decided to press the issue.

"Let me explain something to you, cow. You're in my territory, which means you're going to have to play by my rules." He took a few steps toward the longhorn. "Now you're going to tell me why you're here, or we're going to have a problem." Fear flashed across Bevo's face for a moment, but the mascot wasn't going to be pushed around so easily.

"I guess we got ourselves a problem, then." The last syllable of Bevo's sentence had barely escaped his lips before Josey was on him. The runningback quickly pinned Bevo's arm behind his back and drove his face into the dirt.

"You want to tell me what's going on now, Bevo?" Henry said, pushing Bevo's arm into an even more uncomfortable position.

"Fine! Fine! I'll tell you, just please let me go!" Bevo pleaded, his eyes welling up with tears. Josey obliged, and sat back to listen to the mascot's story. "It's all DeLoss' fault! That senile old man has me up here scouting your head coach to see if he'd be okay to replace Mack. He has a whole mess of us spread out around the country spying on candidates."

"But why wouldn't he just contact them like a normal person?" Henry inquired.

"That ain't how the man functions." Bevo explained. "He's a sneak. If there's a back alley he can take, you best believe he'll take it. He's got me all strung out, partner. I just wanna go home." Josey brushed the dirt off Bevo's back and put his arm around the mascot.

"Keep your chin up, man." He said, consoling the longhorn. "You can stay at my place tonight and head back home in the morning."

"That's awful nice of you, Henry." Bevo said, wiping the tears off his cheeks. "But ain't you worried about Pinkel leaving?"

"Nah, DeLoss won't want him." Josey said, smiling.

"Why's that?"

"He's a good Mizzou coach, you see." Josey explained, winking. "He'd be an awful Texas coach."