When we found out that Ron Zook had an evil twin big brother, we couldn't help ourselves. We had to find him. Three weeks - and more than $1200 in private detective work - later, we found Bobert Garthe "Bob" Zook lounging on his corner lot at Uncle Bob's Self-Storage in Pensacola, Florida, enjoying a cold Busch N/A on a warm Florida afternoon.
We talked. We listened. We absorbed the Zookiness. We found out he's an avid bowler at Pensacola Lanes (where he's known as "Da Meat Hook"), he drives a Ford F-250 pickup named "Goliath," and he moved to Uncle Bob's Self-Storage after his houseboat was lost in a grilling accident. We laughed at stories of Bobert giving Ron regular beatdowns as a small child. We cringed at stories of Ron exacting revenge by taking Bobert's beloved Florida Gators and running them into the ground. According to Bobert, they haven't spoken since the 2004 Outback Bowl.
As we were wrapping up, a truck on nearby Interstate 110 belched a nasty cloud of smoke into the air. We all buried our noses in our shirtsleeves to avoid the stench. All of us, that is, except for Bobert.
"Doesn't the smoke bother you?" we asked.
"Not really. I was born without a sense of smell," Bob replied. "It's known as 'Russian Reversal syndrome,' because in Soviet Russia, the government smells YOU! I've gotta hand it to Ron. He found out about my condition, he educated himself, and he developed the finest sense of smell I've ever witnessed. He can smell the slightest hint of jasmine or lavender, especially when it's in someone's shampoo. He developed his keen sense of smell just to help me get through the world." A single tear trickled down his cheek.
We immediately asked if he would like to help us and, in the process, reunite with his brother. After a few moments, in which he finished his Busch N/A and smashed the can on his head ("I taught Ron how to do that," he said), he agreed to become the BHGP correspondent at Big Ten Media Days. For the rest of the afternoon and through tomorrow morning, Bobert will be chronicling the press conferences, the prepared statements, and the general malaise that surrounds this least exciting of conference events. Bob Zook: In Chicago so you don't have to be!