As many of you are aware by now, UM defensive tackle Bryan Pata was shot and killed tonight outside his apartment in Kendall.
Having covered Pata as a senior at Miami Central, I got to know him pretty well over the past few years and was saddened to hear of his loss. A few months ago, we hung out for more than two hours for a video project I had come up with: Chillin with the Canes.
It never got off the ground and we decided to scrap it because after filming more than an hour's worth of video, it somehow never showed up in the camera. No picture. No sound. Nothing. Instead, I kept the audio interviews because I also recorded what we shot on a separate audio recorder for sound quality. To listen to me and Bryan chatting in his car and the tour he gave me of his apartment visit our interviews link on our UM homepage or click here.
Aside from what you will hear, I wanted to share what interviewing big Bryan was like. First off, he always greeted me with high-fives. That's the type of kid he was. Friendly, talkative and always in a good mood.
The day I conducted the interview, I met him for lunch on campus then we took off for his apartment where he showed me pictures of his family and introduced me to his dog, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier named Cheerio. Pata shared the apartment with teammate Dwayne Hendricks. There were pictures of Bryan and his girlfriend all over the place along with photos of him and his mom. Bryan told me how happy he was to be a player at the University of Miami. He called it a dream come true. He loved being a Cane.
On the tour of his apartment, he showed me several things including his old jerseys, his clothes and his gun collection. Bryan was a big fan of guns and going to shooting ranges. He told me that if football never worked out and he didn't make it in the pros, he wanted to become an FBI agent or work in law enforcement.
Tonight's news was certainly shocking and sad. I liked Bryan a lot and thought he was a good person. If you guys have your own memories or thoughts on Bryan please share them in this forum.
Aside from the tragic news, I'd also like to get your thoughts on whether or not the team should play this weekend. UM sports information director Rick Korch said the team wouldn't make a decision about on either anytime tonight. Considering most sports tragedies do not happen in the middle of the season and there really is no precedence for it, what do you think the ACC or Miami should do with a game only four days away?