Bear Pascoe, 27, grew up in Porterville, Calif., in a ranching and rodeo family. Early on, his football coaches recognized his talents and he was recruited to play tight end at Fresno State. Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2009, he was soon traded to the New York Giants. In 2012, he caught four passes for 33 yards in Super Bowl XLVI, helping the Giants defeat the New England Patriots. Last year, he married Katie Jones, daughter of World Champion Steer Wrestler John W. Jones Jr., and they share a home in New York City.

How much do you get to rope or cowboy with an NFL career?

I’m busy concentrating on football and trying to be the best I can be at that. Even on my off days I’m putting in time watching film trying to get ready for the next opponent. Katie is here in New York working on a demo for her music career. She’s working with an amazing vocal coach so she is really busy with that. So we’ve put ranching and roping on the back burner and we couldn’t be more excited about what we’re doing.

Do you get any chance to take a break from football?

The past couple years I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of Team Weatherby. It’s a gun company from Paso Robles, Calif., near where I’m from. Being a part of their pro team, during my bye week I’ll go on different hunts with them. This year we’re going to Colorado to hunt. When Katie and I do have some downtime, we try to get back to California when we can to visit family to relax and recharge the batteries. I love to get horseback with my dad and my brother and do a little roping. During the season, Katie and I will plan a date night and try a new restaurant and take in the New York nightlife a little bit, whether it’s a Broadway show or something like that. We’re trying to take advantage of living in New York City and enjoy every minute of it.

What’s your best New York City living story?

I haven’t had too many crazy things happen, but a couple years ago I was in a taxi going to meet Katie and some friends. I was on my phone just playing games and texting a little bit and we’re flying down the road and the cabbie changes lanes and cuts off a van. This van just rear-ended us right in the middle of the road. We bounced off each other and just kept on going like real-life bumper cars. I couldn’t believe it. I thought we’d stop or pull over, but we just kept on going.

Do you miss the wide-open spaces of rural life?

There are times after it’s been a tough day at work, you really wish you could saddle a horse and go for a ride or grab the gun and go call some coyotes or something like that. But those moments are few and far between. This is what we want to be doing.

Getting to be around the best in rodeo—particularly your father-in-law, World Champion Steer Wrestler John W. Jones, Jr.—and the best in football, what qualities do those athletes have in common?

One thing is how professional athletes, whether it be rodeo or football, carry themselves not only in public but how they treat the people around them in their personal lives. They treat everybody with respect and are true professionals, doing the right thing. They stay the course and what’s right is right. They’re respectful to everybody around them and they respect their sport and truly love it. Guys like Eli Manning and Justin Tuck and Dave Diehl are guys who love the game of football and are true professionals. They put in extra time studying film and in the eye of the public they’re held highly. From the fans to the media, there aren’t better guys around.

I’ve heard your quarterback, Eli Manning, is a prankster. Have you ever been on the receiving end of one of his gags?

Yeah. He’ll unscrew the lid of your water bottle or put soap on your towel while you’re showering. He’s got me a couple times with that, but I told him turnabout is fair play and I’m just waiting for my opportunity.

You’ve got to feel so blessed catching balls from one of the greats in the game.

Definitely. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the organization that I am right now. You couldn’t ask for a better program. He’s a great person and very knowledgeable of the game of football and our offense. We can count on him to get us a play that will get us out of a bad situation.

What’s after football?

It kind of depends on where Katie is with her singing career. She’s been a big supporter of mine and been there for me in every situation, so I will be there for her when the time comes. Eventually I’d like to get back to California and ranching. I’d love to give rodeo a try, steer wrestling and team roping. My father-in-law Johnny Jones is a legend and my dad steer wrestled, team roped, and roped calves as well, and has always been my hero.

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