Home Field dis-Advantage

Don Barone
Trudy Tietje waiting at the end the dock Day 2 of the Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend.

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“You can chase a dream…”

Dateline: Home

"db…this is my home lake, I mean, I wonder, start thinking to myself, what are people going to think of you." Dennis Tietje.

Beyond the smiles.

Beyond the handshakes.

Beyond the congratulations.

Beyond the big red bags,

sat a friend.

Trudy Tietje.

Way down at the end of a very long dock, way down where no one parks, sat Trudy.


Sat alone, waiting on a green and orange boat. Dennis Tietje’s boat. Her husband's boat.

Their boat of dreams.

“We have been married 28 years now, db. I told Dennis that I would support him no matter what, that this is a dream and he should live his dream. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, but it is taking an emotional toll.”

And my friend Trudy, wiped away a tear, and I had to turn away.

Once you get to know these Elite anglers, once you get to know their families, they become family to you. They certainly have to me.

We laugh together.

We goof on each other together.

We cry together.

We bicker, we snipe at each other, we are like a 100-some married couples out here.

We hug each other, and we hold each other up.

There is no couple out here loved as much, cared for as much, as the Tietjes, so when I saw Trudy sitting all alone at the end of the dock, I knew something was wrong.

And I knew exactly what it was,

Home Field dis-Advantage.