The week immediately following the Bassmaster Classic gets downright crazy for the winner.
Don't get me wrong — I'm not complaining. It's all good, but the schedule is a time buster.
My family and I didn't get away from New Orleans until Monday afternoon due to media obligations that morning. It's a long drive from New Orleans to Kalamazoo, Mich., but we finally made it Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday, I flew to Bristol, Conn., to appear on several ESPN programs, including SportsCenter and Mike and Mike in the Morning, the latter of which is the biggest sports radio program in the nation.
It's pretty cool to walk around the ESPN offices and run into great athletes and other personalities. I've developed a good relationship with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic over the years. Golic is an outdoorsman, but Greenberg wasn't a big fan the first time I appeared on their show. He wouldn't acknowledge bass fishing as a sport, saying that fishing was all about luck.
But now that I've added to my successes and been there a few more times, he now has a new perspective on what we do. He's treated me well the last few times, and I consider him a friend.
Golic and I have been trying to hook up on a fishing trip when he's at Notre Dame, his alma mater and where his son now plays. Notre Dame is only about an hour from me but our schedules never seem to mesh.
One big change I've noticed since the last time I was in Bristol is ESPN's involvement with internet and social media. I did as many of those interviews while there as I did TV. Big companies are really taking that segment seriously.
I flew from Bristol to Harrisburg, Pa., to help Bass Pro Shops kick off its Spring Fishing Classic. The store was jammed and everyone wanted to talk about the Classic. They asked a lot of questions about what they saw on the live broadcast on Bassmaster.com. Again, it made me realize how important the internet is to our sport.
From there I drove to New York City to appear for Bass Pro Shops Saturday morning on Fox and Friends. It was cool. They had a trout pond outside in the Plaza, and kids were catching trout. I bet they don't see that every day in New York.
I got home in time to spend Sunday with my boys in the woods. It was my first chance to breathe.
We looked for antler sheds, removed the trail cameras I put up last fall for the hunting season and practiced calling turkeys prior to our April season opener. It was fun to get out with the boys since I couldn't spend much time with them at the Classic.
Tuesday I was back on a plane, flying to Little Rock to tape the Classic follow-up segment for The Bassmasters before heading to Florida where we kick off the 2011 season.
As much fun as I've had with the appearances, I'm ready to get back in the boat and catch some bass.
Remember: It's all about the attitude.