2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro
Lake Guntersville - Birmingham, AL, Feb 21 - 23, 2014

An open letter to Mr. 150-to-1: Tim Johnston

“db, I figure B.A.S.S. gave me a bat, gave me a chance to be, at bat, and you know what, I’m going to take a swing, swing for the fences.”

Mr. 150-to-1, swing.

Launch to win, leave nothing behind.

There are moments in every sport that transcends the sport itself:

The batter limps up to home plate, as he loosens up he favors one leg, as he swings there is a hitch in the swing as he adjusts for two bum knees, and yet he manages to jack one out of the park, and as Kirk Gibson rounds the bases in the 1984 World Series he pumps his fist in jubilation.

How about almost 200-to-1 odds…that was the book on the 1999 NFL St. Louis Rams chances of winning Super Bowl XXXIV. In 1998, they finished in last place; on January 30, 2000, the Rams were Super Bowl champs.

It is for these kinds of moments that we watch sports – us, a nation of just regular guys and gals, who somehow manage to succeed against all odds.

As Tim and I sat talking, Ken Duke, the Bassmaster writer who made Tim the 150-to-1 angler came by and I told him what the story was going to be about. Ken and I are good friends; we just see differently on odds. And I know he has nothing personal against Tim; in fact, after joking around with both of us, as he left,he said, “Anyone can win this tournament.”

To all the 150-to-1s out there,

the odds of being an astronaut are 13,200,000 to 1,

yet we have footprints on the moon.

To all the 150-to-1s out there,

the odds of winning an Olympic medal are 662,000 to 1,

yet as I write this we have 23, 2014 Olympic medals heading our way.

Bowling a 300 game: 11,500-to-1 but a couple of my in-laws do it all the time.

A hole in one: 5,000 to 1 but I saw my father do it TWICE.

To the 150-to-1s out there, here are the only odds that matter,

I read once that the odds of life forming on Earth were something like a billion, trillion, gadzillion to 1,

basically, we shouldn’t be here,

but we are,

so in fact the odds of us being here are,

1-to-1, because here we are.

And here, we beat the odds.

And here, when we tell a dude from Montana, that he basically faces the longest odds to win,

he still launches,

when it is his turn at bat, he will still swing,

because we live on a planet,

with 1-to-1 odds,

where all of us,

given the chance,

given the hope,

can win.

Good luck Mr. 150-to-1, wherever you may be,

may the spark,

may the spirit inside of you,

beat all the odds.

“…drag your spirit down.”

“Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down”

Eric Bibb, Maria Muldaur, Rory Block