2012 Elite Series - All-Star Semi-final Lake Shelbyville - Decatur, IL, Sep 20 - 21, 2012

All-Star Fan Favorite: Gerald Swindle

Before he could do another long spaghetti suck, Aunt Noreen came to my rescue and took his plate away from him under the guise of “You need more sauce, Sib…”

“Donnie…I didn’t have, never did have the stats of those other guys, but I think it was because of how I played the game…I was a fan favorite…and it was the fans that got me in.”

This morning, once again, I could smell the pasta sauce bubbling, could hear Aunt Noreen humming, smiling at the long spaghetti suck…even though both Noreen and Sib are gone.

And I’m sitting in the brunch area of the Hampton Inn.

And across the table from me is B.A.S.S. All-Star dude, and friend, Gerald Swindle.

I’m sitting waiting for his answer to a quick question, and he is just looking at me smiling.

His smile, I know, is the way he buys time.

All pearly whites behind the goofy grin…but I know that the brain connected to it is moving in high gear.

And here’s why, my simple question: “How does it feel to be elected as an All-star?”

I know how Uncle Sib answered that.

Now, Gerald, it’s your turn…big shoes to fill my friend…big shoes to fill…

“…and he sang from his heart…”

Full Disclosure:  I am not a fan of “All-Star” anything.  Never covered one while at ESPN…and thankful for that.

I think, in theory, “All-Star” events are cool; in reality, though, the events stink.

Full Disclosure Two:  To me, the only “All-Star” is THE GAME.


It is The GAME that makes the “All-Stars,” not the other way around.  And that the honor should be to the GAME.

Gerald knows exactly how I feel about this, “I believe, db, that you should give more than you get; you have to have a sense of obligation to the sport, if you want to get anything out of the sport.”

I put down my pen, look Gerald straight up and say to him, “Dude, don’t you think an athlete should leave the sport in better shape than when he found it?”

My answer to that question is simple. You should leave ANYTHING in a better spot than when you found it; we should always pass on goodness, not garbage.

“db…I think fans…what they see…they see in the athlete the drive to win…to win…but what they don’t see, they don’t see the heart of the angler.”

Now you will.

Gerald’s heart.

“…and he sang from his soul…”

Back to my original question:  “How does it feel to be elected as an All-star…”