October 21, 2017



“Yes Tracy, I’m okay. And… ahhhh… thank you for your help!!!”

Tracy could bench-press your house, your car, and your dishwasher – he could juggle them simultaneously while eating an apple – smiling. He could bench over 400lbs (181.5 kg) and stood at 6’8″ (204 cm).  He was tough and he knew it.

In Tracey’s youth he was a well-known breaststroke swimmer before his enormous size and strength steered him towards a full-ride scholarship at New Mexico State University. My coach claimed that Tracey was raised near Houston, Texas (Yates High School), by his angelic aunt on a shoddy house built on wooden stilts (that’s right, on water). He was generally a quiet man, one who possessed that similar smile and physical presence which actor Michael Clarke Duncan had – John Coffey from The Green Mile. I still don’t know where or when Tracy earned his middle initial  ‘B’ (Ware) but it certainly never surprised me after I shook his enormous hands the first time we met.

Fast forward to New Mexico State University (1989)…

A friend of mine had gotten himself into a scuffle at ‘Sports Connection’ – one of our more popular university bars in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  I caught sight of the little skirmish happening from the corner of my eye and quickly realized one of my close friends was involved. The situation did not look particularly precarious, but as a precautionary measure I immediately stood up to go stand behind my friend.  Generally speaking I am not a fighter, nor quick to fight, but that instant I knew I needed to help protect my friend. 

Somehow, to no real surprise, the situation promptly defused itself. The two of us were quite obviously no match for the now disgruntled antagonist standing there before us – and I suppose immodestly with my size, strength, and quickness what could you honestly expect… I was absolutely super proud of myself – it felt genuinely great. It would have been unfair and a totally lopsided event.

Next, my pride and I confidently turned to return to my seat.  Me, ever so proud of my Mohamed Ali ‘float-like-a-butterfly, sting-like-a-bee’ moment; my bar-fighter presence. However, as I spun around I surprisingly stepped directly into Tracy ‘B’ Ware’s massive chest – what the ?!?!

With Tracy still gazing clearly over both my friend and me, he quietly said (never looking at me), “Pootz you okay?”  

My alpha-male pride was crushed, humiliated, as I was shocked to learn the hard truth.

Tracey had popped my brawler balloon… my man-pride, my newly found self-confidence as the bar ‘enforcer’ – all of it – crushed – mocked – shelved and put away.

I laughed at myself continuously for the rest of the night – and still do to this day.

 “Yes Tracy, I’m okay. And… ahhhh… thank you for your help!!!” 

Actual Video Footage – 4 minutes

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