Why now and why the Syracuse area? Well there's a couple possible reasons.
#1 - Mother Nature is done with us
Global warming...wasted resources...freshman leaving early for the NBA draft before they're ready...the animals have had enough. The sharks have the Pacific handled. The gators are taking care of business in Florida. In Upstate NY, this is bear country, bitch.
Wasn't anyone else studying those "When Animals Attack" TV specials? What did you think they were for...mindless entertainment???
Lock your doors. Turn off the lights. Bring in the trash. The end is nigh.
#2 - Mitch Browning
Before Syracuse Offensive Coordinator Mitch Browning arrived? No roaming bears. After Syracuse Offensive Coordinator Mitch Browning arrives? Bears all over the fucking place. Spare me your lack of faith...this is no coincidence. He's spent all off-season slimming down the one group of people big enough to wrestle the bears into submission if it came to that. He comes to us from Minnesota, where's he's likely spent the last few years living among the forest creatures...learning their secret language...gaining their trust...becoming one of them.
And how do we know those paw prints aren't from Mitch himself? Have you seen that man's hands? It's like two rows of Vienna sausages come to life.
And for the sake of argument, take a look at the reports themselves. Imagine if we swapped out "6-foot black bear" for "Mitch Browning." Tell me if it makes any less sense:
If you find yourself face to face with Mitch Browning, do not run. Make as much noise as possible by yelling or banging pots together (I assume you carry pots with you at all times, I do for just the occassion). If you are with other people, stand together to present a more intimidating figure, but do not surround Mitch. That will only make him more nervous. The intent is not to harm Mitch, but to scare him from the area and restore his natural fear of people by providing a negative experience. Then again, that's going to happen in September anyway.
Update: Onondaga County 911 reports a caller said that Mitch Browning at was seen at 2:16 p.m. on Merriwether Drive in Camillus. The report is unconfirmed. - 3:50 p.m.
Update: Mitch Browning tracks have been found in the backyard of a Geddes residence, according to a Department of Conservation officer.
Early this morning, two people called 911 after seeing Mitch Browning running through the neighborhood. A Geddes police officer confirmed the Mitch Browning sighting about 6:45 a.m.
About 1 p.m., DEC Officer Rick Head confirmed the presence of Mitch Browning prints in the backyard of 130 Stanley Drive. "He's not a cub," he said.
He estimated Mitch Browning was one to forty-seven years old. He was probably migrating north when he came upon the highway portion of Route 5.
"He got caught at the highway and is trying to make it through," Head said. "He's around here, and if we leave him alone, he'll move on."
Head said Mitch Browning often travel at dawn and dusk. "He's got a good place to hide and is waiting for nightfall."
Mitch Browning isn't considered dangerous by the DEC. "If schools and parents are doing their normal care, that's all that's needed," Head said.
Officials warned people not to corner Mitch Browning and to call 911 if Mitch Browning is spotted.
Officers have no intention of trying to sedate and cage Mitch Browning. "We'd rather have him go about his business," Head said. -- 1:04 p.m.
It's all making sense now, isn't it??? People of Geddes...God speed.
(Update: The beast has been captured and it turns out that it was just a bear all along. I would like to take this moment to apologize to Mitch Browning, an upstanding citizen whom we welcome with open arms. Teach us the ways of a balanced offense, Mitch, and we shall grant you passage.)