In his eighth year, with a rebirth as a new and lighter sack specialist on the horizon, Bubba surveys the panorama of pro football and sees a vast collection of little kids in big boys' suits, and yes, he sees the humor.
"I feel like telling the fans, 'Hey, we're the same little fat kids who used to break windows in the neighborhood,' " he says. "I'm playing against the Dallas Cowboys in the nationally televised Thanksgiving game in 1983 and my mind's in limbo. I'm thinking, 'I wonder what Mrs. Jones thinks, watching me now. I let that lady's seven cats out once. And how about that guy whose porch window I busted with a baseball when I was 11. Is he thinking, 'Hey, I didn't charge you for it then. Now I'm gonna bring you up before People's Court'?
"I remember seeing Mike Charles of the Dolphins on film, an awesome sort of man, about 280, 290 pounds. I used to squeeze his head when we were kids in Newark. What if he walked up to me on the field and said, 'Hey, you're the guy who used to squeeze my head'? I thought, 'What if I tried it now?' And then ran away. He's probably the only guy in the NFL who couldn't catch me."