When I was younger, I couldn’t decide which day was my ultimate favorite day of the year – Christmas or my birthday. On the one hand, there’s cake and presents. On the other hand, there’s candy and presents. Tough choice, right?

As an adult, I still have two favorite days of the year, but they’ve changed. After all, when you’re 29, your next birthday is not exactly something you’re looking forward to. This past weekend comprised one of my favorite days in the entire year – Meet the Bears.

This day is at the top of the ultimate favorite days of the year because – well, it’s obvious. I love Baylor more than any other place in the world, and I love Baylor sports with a love that most people reserve only for their children, pets and weird foods made with bacon.

So, Meet the Bears is the fall scrimmage before the season starts, which is fun. And, it is, more importantly, the day when, after the scrimmage, the players are all available to sign autographs and talk to the fans. Last year, my friend Casi, my sister and I went to this glorious event together. We had fun because Casi and I picked out all the cute boys for Abby to potentially date (which was met, of course, with eye-rolling, sighs and zero appreciation) and because Casi actually was the stalkee for a while instead of the stalker when a player recognized her from Twitter.

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This year, I had a less-giggly but equally ardent companion in my husband. So, while there were a few references to the #bilc (Brother-in-Law-Club, more on this in a later post), for the most part, our time was spent in referencing Twitter posts, common links and backgrounds.

My favorite moments/players:

– My very favorite player Jason Osei, my go-to London expert and winner of the most charismatic player and best accent awards. It was great to see him interact with every person in the line, and of course, it always feels great to have a celebrity recognize you, instead of just creeping on them and surprising/shocking them with your memorization of their Twitter posts).

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– Eddie Lackey. I have loved this kid ever since he transferred to Baylor, because he is such an outstanding defender, and defense is what we need to move to the next level. He has a little nephew that is going through some tough stuff, so it was nice to see him and let him know they are in our prayers.

– Antwan Goodley. Antwan’s little son was with him, so I asked him to sign my poster also as a future Baylor star. He did, and he was so cute! I love it.

– One of the players (bad, but I don’t remember who, but he played defense, looked at my poster, which already had about 50 signatures on it, and said, “Wow. You really got around.” The immature outburst of laughter (from me) was not appreciated (by me). Seriously, Natalie, grow up!

– Chris McAllister. I got to meet Mr. MACnificent’s mother and grandmother last year. So, this year on my poster, I got him to write something about being a fellow San Antonian. He obliged with this and I adore it:

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– Ahmad Dixon. If you haven’t heard of Ahmad Dixon, then you must not be a college football fan. He committed (kind of) to multiple schools, settled down in his hometown and is well-known for his talent, both as a fierce defender and as the creator of unforgettable one-liners. Case in point: up until this year’s Big 12 media days, he was immortalized by this tweet: “NO D(@# RIDERS TO THE BOWL GAME.” But then, he came up with something better. So, when I saw him, I said, “How many hookers is God saving this season?” Without missing a beat, he laughed and said, “I hope he saves them all.” Excellent.

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Photo borrowed from twitter.com/baylorbearmada

So, there’s the day in a nutshell. Lots of driving, but totally worth it (especially since I just slept in the car the whole way there, thanks to my insomnia the night before). There were so many nice players, so here are just a few more shoutouts to some of the best ones: Cyril Richardson, Jay Lee, Kyle Fuller, Kaleb Moore, Tre Von Armstead). Sic em Bears and welcome to an exciting upcoming football season!

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