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

Spirit of the Classic

From left to right: Wendy Jacobs (Mom), Don Barone, Tom Jacobs (Dad), Chris Jacobs (Brother)

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.

“Cause when I look to the sky…”

Dateline:  Past & Future Classics

And it should be blank.

It should hang in the rafters with all of the other Bassmaster Classic flags.

And it should be blank.

In football they call it the 13th man.

And it should be blank.

It should hang in all future Bassmaster Classics, and it should hang for all the young ones to see; it should hang for all those who attend to see, and it should hang in a spot of honor,

and a light should shine on it,

and right before the first boat enters the arena,

slowly, the light should go dark,

and the arena below should go silent for 30 seconds.

And it should be blank.

The lone, blank flag, that honors all the B.A.S.S members who have passed away,

and who loved this sport, and loved to be here but who now are only here,

in spirit.

“…something tells me you're here with me…”

And it should be blank.

And it should hang for all the Daddies, and it should hang for all the Momma’s, all the Granddaddies and Grandmas who put all the fishing rods in all those hands, who held those tiny hands down dirt paths and tall grass to the small ponds that looked like oceans, who put on the worm and who took off the fish.

And it should be blank.

And it should hang in honor, in memory of the last fishing trip, with Daddy, Momma, Gramps or Me-Maw.

And it should be blank.

And it should hang in honor of the rod left sitting in the corner, the reel left on the workbench in the garage, the tacklebox in the bottom of the closet, the favorite lure left behind that will never be thrown away.

“…And you make everything alright…”

And it should be blank.

For Mikey.

For Red Hair & Freckles

A 21-year-old young man, a young angler who fought so hard to be here at this Classic,

but didn’t make it.

Taken from us by cancer, a disease that has taken so many of us from our loved ones.

And it should be blank.

I will remember the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, not by who was there, but by those not.

I will remember it in honor of Mikey.

I will remember it for Penny Berryman.

I will remember it for Jimmy Johnson.

I will remember it for Ed Singleton.

I will remember it for Charlie Reed.

I will remember it for all those other names known, names unknown, anglers present only in memory, only in our hearts.

“…and when I feel like I'm lost…”

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