When a 370-pound man collides with a truck, nobody wins.
In February 2012, new Vikings guard Travis Bond was riding his scooter around the University of North Carolina campus when a Ford Explorer driving erratically swerved into his lane and the two collided. Bond walked away from the incident, but the damage was done on both sides.
"That was a bit of a shock that night," Bond said. "Being hit by a truck pretty much turned my life around when it came to riding scooters. I gave that up immediately."
Fortunately for Bond, he was wearing a helmet because, while it was a low-speed crash, it sent him airborne and he landed on the hood – leaving a dent approximately the size of his upper body. Bond was confused how the accident could have happened. After all, at 6-foot-7, he's hard to miss. It was a day like any other until the accident occurred. He was heading to a team-operated study session.
"I was just going to study hall one night and it just happened," Bond said. "Whoever the guy was that was driving, I don't know if he was drunk or what, but I know that me and his truck got the worst of results."
As bystanders gathered to the scene, Bond got up and dusted himself off as the truck sped off. As he realized what had just happened, he saw that the truck didn't come away from accident unscathed.
"When I got up and looked at it, I was a bit shocked," Bond said. "There was a dent on the front side on the driver's side. I was hurt in the process and his truck had a boo-boo."
Although he would later learn he suffered a broken wrist, he headed to his study session. His biggest problem wasn't pain or a near-death experience. It was explaining to his teammates and his tutor why he was tardy.
"I got right back on the scooter and drove to study hall," Bond said. "When I got to study hall, I had to explain to my tutor why I was late. My friends were laughing at me because I joke a lot and they thought I was playing. I said, ‘Go look at my scooter.' Me and my scooter got the worst end of the deal."
The timing of the accident coincided with another life change for Bond. At the time, his weight had ballooned to 375 pounds and he was in the process of looking to drop significant weight. He lost 40 pounds prior to the 2012 season and the hardest part of it was that he couldn't go home to visit his mother because spending time with his family wasn't conducive to dieting.
"It was pretty difficult because I'm a Southern boy and (my family lives) about three hours from Chapel Hill," Bond said. "My mom and grandma and everyone love to cook. That was the difficult part – having to stay away from home. (I had to give up) fried chicken, barbeque, cornbread, macaroni and cheese – all of that."
With his weight under control at about 335 pounds, he is looking forward to doing damage to defenders as a mauling right guard. He's feeling lean and mean and ready to open holes for new teammate Adrian Peterson.
"I feel like I've got a lot to prove," Bond said. "I love run blocking and we've got Adrian Peterson – a big-time running back – and I want to make sure he has even bigger holes to run through when it comes to scoring touchdowns."
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Lineman gives truck a ‘boo-boo' at accident
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