The four part ESPNU version of the show Being Bret Bielema opens with Bret takin’ out the trash. This is the kind of image that might be a cliché, were Bret Bielema not the kind of dude who looks completely natural in a pair of shower flops and gym shorts taking out the trash. BTW: that is a Bret Bielema superpower. No matter where he is, and no matter where he goes or what he wears, he always appears to be wearing a pair of shower flops and gym shorts.
See? He’s not even wearing them there, and yet it appears to the soul’s eye that he is. It’s a superpower.
2. Locker room shot of Bielema after the LSU game pointing at the rivalry trophy and yelling “THERE’S A NICE-ASS BOOT RIGHT OVER THERE.” That’s Nice-Ass Boots, a Bielema collection accessory available in shoestores and fine Arkansas retail outlets in spring 2017.
Suspicious amount of vegetables on the plate, Bert. Respect the healthy decisions against brand, though. You even eat to the beat of your own drummer. By the way, a lot of this initial episode is people asking Bert how he got the crazy idea to say whatever he is thinking out loud, like that’s an unusual thing for a human to do, i.e. to say that kneeling on the one is “borderline erotic.” It is, he’s just stating facts and it shouldn’t be weird to say that your favorite football things make your pants move a little bit. We had one of the most satisfying erotic experiences of our life watching the 2006 national title game without removing a single piece of clothing. Thank you, Florida Gators d-line, for that.
4. The scene where he’s fondly recollecting winning enough money gambling to eat at Lone Star Steakhouse and get the house cab with Mark Stoops. Even in recollection he sounds REALLY excited about going to any steakhouse after winning a lot of money gambling, which is how you know Bret Bielema would not be out of place playing “Red Foreman’s war buddy #5” in an episode of That 70s Show. Red Foreman may seem funny as a character, but do you ever think about how he slit the throats of like fifty Chinese soldiers and regrets none of it? You probably don’t.
5. Random quote: “Lets have a satellite camp on Cabo.”
6. 9:40: “Don’t lie, they’re gonna write what they wanna write anyway.” There’s a pretty decent Hayden Fry imitation in here, but it also reminds you that Bielema has a pedigree, coaching wise: Hayden Fry, to Bill Snyder, to Barry Alvarez. Take out the Spurrier, and he’s got a lot of the same bonafides as Bob Stoops. He’s not bad at football coaching, either, even if he gets opposing coaches to talk shit about him anonymously. Point of fact: Houston Nutt won 23 games in his first three years, and Bielema has won 18. This is a comparison that can probably mean whatever you want it to mean, and in 2016 Houston Nutt will be on your campus in five hours with a suitcase if you need him, college football team.
7. Random quote, again:
Also noted from the day off sequence: Being Bret Bielema involves a lot of luxury golf carts and bobcats, which is a hallmark of all high-end Southern lifestyles, but is definitely a huge component of Arkansas hilljack royalty existence. There’s an offroad golf cart thingy in here with what appears to be like, 12 seats. Your quality of life is basically trash if you live in Fayetteville and have less that 12 seats in your golf cart, is what we’re saying, and if you don’t have a baller-ass albino catfish in your pond like this dude has. Bielema tries to catch it with a hot dog, which we’re guessing is his chosen bait for every single kind of wildlife, aquatic or terrestrial. If you don’t eat them all, guess what: instant huntin’ or fishin’ snack. Farm boys are so smart about life sometimes.
8. If you’re sitting here wondering whether an entertaining but kind of loose mini-doc series on a giant, boisterous, and sometimes kind of oblivious football coach is worth watching: yes, for this moment, mostly. Bret Bielema cannot remember who sings a song; Bret Bielema remembers a relevant fact about this musician and yells “WHO IS NICOLE KIDMAN DATING” into his phone. I like the idea of him believing technology is a.) made for shit like this and b.) should be controlled by yelling.
9. Random quote: “I don’t know if I wanna be good at corn hole, personally.”
10. The episode ends with him eating with the ESPN college football staff. Booger McFarland says he likes Bielema because he doesn’t hold back when they go to eat at a restaurant. “Let’s not come in here and act like we’re on a diet, let’s get to it.” Somewhere, sometime, some brilliant person is going to make the country version of My Dinner with Andre with Booger McFarland, Marcus Spears, and Bielema. It will be 72 minutes of conversation and 25,000 total calories surrounding big things, bigger things, badass cars, big ‘uns, even still larger things, and maybe a few random television shows thrown in for conversation. Bret cries at Undercover Boss. Oh, we are GOING to talk about that in the country version of My Dinner With Andre.
11. WAAAAAAAIT ONE MORE WE ALMOST FORGOT AND NO, YOU GET NO CONTEXT FOR THIS ONE EITHER:
Being Bielema’s second installment airs Wednesday, August 17th at 9:00 p.m.