“…put up your dukes…”

“It’s a good feeling to compete against the best in the world, KVD, Skeet, Davis, you know the guys, it is a true test of my fishing ability.  I want to fish against them, and I want to beat them.”  Jacob Powroznik

Davis is the Current Angler Of The Year leader, Mark Davis, and yeah, he’s heard the footsteps but I’m not to sure he’s worried about them…check out how he feels about it in this story by Dave Precht, VP of Publications at B.A.S.S.

I’m becoming a fan of this new dude on the tour, Jacob, even if I have no idea how to say his last name.

Jacob PowroznikDon BaroneJacob Powroznik

Some numbers:  Has fished in 8 B.A.S.S. events, won 2 of them, finished in the top 10 4 times, been in the money in ALL of them.  Made a check 4 out of 4 times so far this year.

“Winning at Toledo Bend, winning that Elite Tournament was an enormous relief, got the huge monkey off my back.  I look at it this way, I have 1 in 108 chances to win the lottery, the Elite lottery, and last tournament I hit the lottery.”

Here’s why I like the guy, “db, dude, after I won I was driving down the road and it hit me, HIT ME, I just got a ticket to the Bassmaster Classic, I MADE THE CLASSIC.”

Don Barone
And as he says that, I look into the window of his truck, and sitting there in the passenger’s seat…the trophy from Toledo Bend, just made me smile as did this, “After I won I got 478 txt messages BEFORE I even got back to my truck.”

I wasn’t there when Jacob won his first Elite event, the 4th one he ever played in, but I guess some questioned why he didn’t do handstands on the stage, but I think those looking for that confuse us with American Idol.

Jacob may be quiet and reserved but he isn’t confused by any of this, “All the guys out here are top notch, they do everything right, there’s no edge you can get against them, but, but you can out fish them.”

“…let's get down to it…”

“Bring it on.”

Let’s be honest here, many of the guys on the tour are good, some great, but none, none has a bigger target on his back than the man with just three letters,


“Uh huh, yeah db, they are good, but bring it on.”

The first few years I covered this sport I pretty much ignored KVD, figured the guy got enough pub, figured I would be dealing with a glamour boy who would only talk to me if he wanted something.

I was wrong.

Over the last few years Kevin, and I never call him KVD, and I have become good close friends.  When I was in the hospital both Kevin and his wife Sherry txt’ed me often, called too, his mother and father, great friends as well, and I consider this friendship endearing, and an honor.

I have been around hundreds of the greatest athletes on the planet, some the best of all time, no doubt, but if I stand back and look at “Sports” in the unbiased eyes of a journalist, I put Kevin, and to almost the same degree, Skeet, in the Top 10 of the best competitors I’ve ever been around.”

Competitor, NOT athlete, because to me competitor is a mixture of God-given talent and sportsmanship.


When I talked to Kevin about hearing footsteps he said sure, “…these guys are good, but we are 4 weeks in, lets see how things shake out at the end of this year, see how they shake out a couple years from now, a decade from now.”

That’s the talent part of the equation.

Here’s the sportsmanship:  “db, I think it is good for the sport to have new blood come in and push the guys who have been in it awhile, and I know frankly it is good for me to be pushed, you push me and all I’m going to do is get better, and that’s good, good for me.”

"Bring it on." Kevin VanDamDon Barone"Bring it on." Kevin VanDam
Most may never say it, but I think over the last couple of years the Elites may have been getting a little stagnate.  A little to comfortable, and the worst thing in sports, for the athletes, for the fans, is comfortable.

The greatest thing in sport is when the underdog, the new guy…wins.  When that happens, everything in the game is revitalized.  The competitors, the fans, and the game itself.

After all, it is The Game, that matters.  And the competition within, why we watch, why we suit up and join in.


Knock, Knock.

Both, the lifeblood of the game, the stuff of which makes the game better, the stuff of which makes the competitors, better.

Who knows how the rest of the year will play out, we may never hear another word from the crop of new guys, but I kind of doubt that.  Either way, out here, out on the water, there is a new energy, a renewed sense of purpose, sense of drive, and even if the new guys tank there is still excitement in the air, and the game is better,

because of the footsteps.

Oh, BTW, the moron News Director who asked for the show of hands, she’s a Banquet Manager somewhere in California…sitting on my mantle, three Emmys and the New York Festival World Medal for Investigative Journalism.

BTW2…Richard Jewell,


Footsteps, yeah…

…bring ‘em on.

“…fire away.”

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