Published: 7/30/2016 5:44:52 PM
Modified: 11/12/2008 3:10:12 PM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — When the Patriots made veteran tight end Bear Pascoe a late addition to the training camp roster earlier this week, they were looking for a serviceable blocking tight end. Turns out they also got a skilled ranch hand and competitive steer roper.

Pascoe, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound tight end, would be tending the 1,200-acre California ranch owned by the family of his wife, Katie, if the Pats hadn’t picked him up a few days ago. 

“When everybody was doing OTAs and stuff, I was home bailin’ hay and putting hay up and helpin’ on the ranch,” Pascoe said after Saturday morning’s practice.

Pascoe is a genuine rancher who grew up branding cattle and learning to rope them. When he played hooky as a kid, it wasn’t to goof off or watch The Price Is Right.

“I faked sick so I could stay home and work on the ranch,” Pascoe said. “I wanted to go and help my dad as much as I could.”

Even before he started playing football, Pascoe was competing in rodeo sports and is still a team roper. This is an event in which two ropers, each on horseback, attempt to tie up a steer. One goes for the head (that’s the “header”), the other for the feet (that’s the “heeler”). 

What’s amazing is that a man who unironically earned the nicknamed “Bear” (given name, McKenna Sean Pascoe) can ride a horse at all. Never mind a horse with the speed and agility necessary to compete in rodeo events. 

“You saying I’m pretty big for a horse?” Pascoe joked with reporters. “I’ve got a big horse. You need a fast horse and I’ve got a big horse that can move and is athletic.”

That stallion, a “really pretty” quarter horse with a name tailor-made for Boston, is called “Fairlea Wicked.” Pascoe refers to him as “Wicked,” for short, which is appropriately awesome.   

Dave Brown covers the Patriots for the Monitor. You can follow him on Twitter @thatdavebrown.

AP photo

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