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MUSICK: No catching this unicorn

Published: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST
Caption
(Kyle Grillot - kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
Bears tight end Martellus Bennett scores the game-winning touchdown past Minnesota's Chris Cook late in the fourth quarter Sunday of the Bears' 31-30 victory at Soldier Field.

CHICAGO – Finished with his postgame news conference in the bowels of Soldier Field, Bears tight end Martellus Bennett walked off the stage and mock-warned a scribe who was sitting in the second row.

“Write something nice about me,” Bennett said, pointing his finger and trying to hide a grin.

Here, I’ll do it.

Bennett scored the go-ahead touchdown with 10 seconds remaining Sunday to lift the Bears to a 31-30 win against the Minnesota Vikings.

Oh, and Bennett scored the first touchdown of the game, too.

Oh, and Bennett has scored more touchdowns in his first two games with the Bears (three) than predecessor Kellen Davis scored during all of last season (two).

Oh, and Bennett is a weirdo.

I mean that as a compliment.

The 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end is a colorful dresser in addition to a colorful sound bite. After scoring the touchdown that pushed the Bears to 2-0 for the first time since 2010, Bennett reached into his locker and pulled out the following victory wardrobe.

Dress pants, maroon. T-shirt, white. Blazer, dark blue. Chain, gold. Sneakers, bright yellow.

He didn’t look like an NFL player so much as a walking bag of Skittles.

“I’ll try not to curse this week,” Bennett said as he stepped to the microphone.

And as reporters barked over each other with competing questions, Bennett smiled wide.

(ITAL) Martellus (Martellus), at what point with the coverage they were playing … (can you tell us what it was like…) did your eyes open wide… (on the game-winning…)? (END ITAL)

“That’s a competition right there,” said Bennett, a veteran of 78 NFL competitions. “Who’s going to get the question in first? It’s like kindergartners trying to answer till they know.”

More like preschoolers, but let’s get back to football.

The Bears finally have a multidimensional tight end, and defenses finally have someone other than Brandon Marshall or Matt Forte to worry about with the game close and late.

Bennett scored on a terrific pick play with Alshon Jeffery in the first quarter and conferred with Cutler before the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter, suggesting a back-shoulder pass against cornerback Chris Cook if the Vikings showed the proper coverage.

They did.

Throw. Touchdown. Ballgame.

“He went to the right guy at the right time,” coach Marc Trestman said.

Because when it comes to playing football, Bennett can be pretty serious. He injured his shoulder in the first half on a nasty-looking fall in the back of the end zone, but he returned to the game to catch four passes for 55 yards in the second half.

“He’s a one-track mind kind of guy,” rookie teammate Kyle Long said. “He wants to get that ball, he wants to get in the end zone, he wants to get as many yards as possible.

“He’s physical. He’s athletic. He’s somebody I’m very happy is on my team.”

For the record, Bennett knows he is talented.

On Sunday, Cook and other members of the Vikings’ secondary learned firsthand.

“They didn’t know I have jukes out there,” Bennett said. “They told me, ‘How are you so slippery? You’re so big.’ I was like, ‘I’m like Muhammad Ali out here.’ ”

Is he more of a butterfly or a bee?

“I’m a little bit of both,” Bennett said. “I’m sweet. I move like a butterfly, and I sting like a bee. So I’m a little bit of both.

“I like to be the butterfly because sometimes you’ve got to spread your wings. You ever try to catch a butterfly with your hands? You can’t do it. You need a net. They’ve got butterfly nets made just for catching butterflies.”

This is true.

Meanwhile, Bennett continued to talk. The man who nicknamed himself the “Black Unicorn” loves a good audience, and this crowd of two-dozen or so was chuckling at his goofy jokes.

“Hopefully, they don’t make a unicorn net just for catching unicorns,” Bennett said. “Especially black ones.”

I searched Google for “unicorn net” and came up with zero exact matches.

That’s good news.

Perhaps good news will follow regarding Bennett’s shoulder, as well. He declined to offer specifics on his injury.

“I’m not a doctor,” Bennett said. “Although I like to watch ‘House.’ ”

And crack jokes.

And score touchdowns.

And win games.

• Northwest Herald sports columnist Tom Musick can be reached at tmusick@shawmedia.com and on Twitter @tcmusick.

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