I am not one for “stats.” I think numbers are boring and that, in sports, “stats” are basically, meaningless.
And every sports fan on the planet will call me a moron for that sentence, and will of course support it with a “stat.”
Show me a “stat” that takes into account, spirit, heart, determination, then I’ll listen, until then…..zzzzzzz.
So I was shocked as I looked at the rankings of the Elite’s Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race (AOY from now on, ok) the other day.
Shocked that I wasn’t reading the names, but was reading the numbers, the points…my wife back in Connecticut won’t believe that sentence BTW.
But I was. Just like this:
412…my buddy, Mark Davis.
411…friend, Greg Hackney.
390…great friend, Aaron Martens.
382…WHAT, wait a minute, go back….
…390…22 points out of first, Aaron Martens…
So I do this, bam, bam, bam 3 w’s and then Google and I start searching, searching for any story this year that mentions Aaron creeping up on the AOY leaders, Aaron possibly putting back-to-back AOY titles together, anything like that.
Spent about a half hour doing it which is 15 minutes past my attention span.
And I come up with nothing.
Now what comes in the next couple of hundred words, please do not take it to be smack against Mark Davis, Greg Hackney or the 101 other Elite anglers fighting to be AOY.
Take it to be smack against me.
Take it to be smack against the media who once again have written the bejesus out of the obvious, and nothing about the subtle.
I told Aaron what I was going to say here next, and he just smiled, but I think one of the reasons Aaron runs under the radar so much is because if you are 15- to 20-second soundbite looking for journalist…
…Aaron ain’t your cup of tea.
I love him, but when I interview him, I have to put a little Schnapps in my tea afterwards.
“…to them quiet looks like weakness…”
Back a few years ago I did a story trying to explain Aaron as best as I could…here’s the story called, “Thousand Voices.”
Basically, if you ask Aaron a question, you will always get an answer, but it will be in a very roundabout circle kind of way.
Example: Yesterday, I asked Aaron, “What’s up with you and all this talk about drop shot?” When I just wrote that I stopped, looked at my watch and said that sentence out loud, timed it… it took me 00:06:23 (I coughed during it).
To answer that question, Aaron started by telling me what exactly was in his tacklebox…when he was a child 38 years ago.
I’ll paraphrase; the dude had more than drop shot in there, and still does.
Trust me when I say his answer wasn’t a 15- or 20-second soundbite.
And, to me, that was the absolute beauty of it.
He went from childhood, through teens, to adulthood telling about all the lures he used, uses, it was an explanation that was a symphony of detail.
If you think this is just a drop shot guy, you are not even in the same ballpark as him.
When he was done telling me all of this, all I could do was smile, was chuckle, and tell him this, “Aaron, buddy, please don’t ever change, please don’t.”
“…crowded hallways are the loneliest places…”