All for Mr. Bass

Jerry McKinnis

All for Mr. Bass
The way I see it, there's basically three levels of bass fans.

• You used to be a fan but you kind of lost interest. You golf now, but you come out of the closet during the Bassmaster Classic.

• You have just begun to feel the bass fishing bug, and the Classic can really light you up.

• You are the ultimate bass fisherman, through and through, and the Classic is the high point of your fandom. (Is fandom a word?)

If you're any one of those fans, you're probably going to be on Bassmaster.com during the lead up, and/or the actual event.

There's millions of you crazies out there, or should I say, us crazies.

Now I've told this story on several occasions before, and I'm going to try and tell it again, from a different angle. The story is about how a little pound and a half bass, which doesn't have a clue as to what's going on above the water, can be so important to so many fans.

My story goes, what if the bass could think like a human and sense what kind of havoc he was bringing us all. What if Mr. Bass could get out of the water, sit in a really tall chair, and look over the biggest event that he quite honestly is responsible for -- The Bassmaster Classic.

For just a bit, let's set him up in the Expo, where 1,000's of square feet of space will be available to manufacturers to showcase their products Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That'll include many things that are intended to catch this little rascal.

Look at all the people in there with hammers and saws, and other things that make lots of noise. They're setting up the booths and, if there was just one brush pile in the place, Mr. B. would run and hide in it.

But that's alright because he's never seen a fork lift before and here comes one, loaded down with heavy boxes, and headed over to where they're rolling out carpet.

Flash forward a few days and he will see maybe 40, 50, or 60 thousand of his fans, walking up and down that carpet just because of his little pound and a half self. He doesn't realize that most of them are plotting against him, but that's alright.

Let's take Mr. B. to the launching ramp on the morning of the first day take-off.

Imagine he's say things like:

"What do you mean there's a thousand people out here watching these world class bass fisherman blast off?

"Yes, I've heard of KVD and Ike."

"Are you kidding me, half of these guys are running those big fancy bass boats all the way to Venice, La? Why it would take me two weeks to swim that far."

Well, yes it would, and the little green fish is amazed at the effort and passion all of the anglers and fans are investing just because of him.

One last stop for our hero and it's the last day of the Bassmaster Classic weigh-in. He's positioned way in the top of the coliseum and this view of what he has caused tops it all.

The place is packed with 15, maybe 20 thousand people, watching some good country music bands (his favorite music by the way), seeing fancy staging, flags and anthems, the whole spectacle that is the weigh-in.

These are his fans. All kinds of them. They're here because this week is not just a bass fishing event, it's a celebration that in spite of what level fan you are, you have to touch either by TV, the internet, or live face to face.

It's The Bassmaster Classic, and this one and a half pound green fish, Mr. B., is totally responsible for it.

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