Seems as though I say this every week, but a few more days pass and we inch closer to finalizing our deal with ESPN/B.A.S.S. Nothing happens quickly it would seem, but a step back never happens either. If you want this to happen, be encouraged because we're almost there.
I have written this blog for six or eight weeks now for several reasons.
I've wanted to touch all members of B.A.S.S. from grass roots to Elite pro and find out what your concerns and needs are. Sure, I already knew many of the answers before I asked the questions. But I needed to hear it from the horse's mouth, and I appreciate your responses.
I wanted to know who you are but also this blog was to tell you more about who I am. After all, any day now, along with Jim Copeland and Don Logan, we could be operating your B.A.S.S. organization. We could be the folks running arguably the most important fishing organization that exists.
So, you need to have a good feel for all three of us; and so far, all you really know about Jerry is he sings to his dog. Wow ... what a start!
If I were running for governor of your state, here's some personal things you'd find out about me.
When I was 10 years old, I wrote a school paper saying that my goal in life was to be a baseball player and have my very own bass fishing lake. As it turned out, I ended up playing a few years in the Oakland A's organization and now have one of the neatest 12-acre bass ponds you've ever seen.
I'm the most superstitious person you'll ever meet. On several occasions I've caused all kinds of turmoil while traveling because my hotel room had a No. 13 involved or was on the 13th floor, etc.
I am a huge sports fan and a bad loser. It will take me weeks to get over Arkansas's loss to Alabama this past week. The St. Louis Cardinals are my #1 team, considering all sports.
My mom and dad were wonderful parents. I mean wonderful. They taught me to be honest, not to smoke or drink, go to church and most importantly, hate the Chicago Cubs. I'm not kidding about that. If Illinois is the state in which I'm running for Governor, I probably just shot myself in the foot.
I love collecting antiques. In fact, I am an antique but that's another story. You should see my antique fishing lure collection.
Even though I'm 74 years old, I'm still a pain in the fanny on a racquetball court. I use to play at a very high level, but a bad knee has dropped that level down a notch or two. However, it does not slow down my playing time.
Eight years ago I had a heart attack during a racquetball game. Not knowing what really happened, I rested for 2 or 3 minutes, finished the game and then headed for the hospital.
I have three sons, one daughter, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Although I am the world's grouchiest grandpa, I love 'em all dearly.
My kids are all in the television production business. My son Mike produces Bassmaster for ESPN, and my daughter Shannon produces outdoor programming for Versus. We're talking "keeping it in the family," wouldn't you say?
My favorite meal is anything Italian with a good salad and topped off with pineapple upside down cake.
How about movies? My all time favorite — hands down — The Natural. Loved every part of it, especially the music.
Best movie in the last 12 months? Again hands down, Gran Torino and again, the music — this time over the closing credits — was the clincher for me.
And speaking of music, here's my last favorite. Most favorite music/performer and I know this will surprise you. In probably the ol' timey era, it would be Earth, Wind and Fire. In the modern area, although I do love country, I'd have to go with... get ready for this — Eminem.
However, I have a voice that overshadows them all, and it's certainly not someone who you would think to be on the top of a bass fisherman's list. That would be the late Luciano Pavarotti.
So, now with all this knowledge about me, and the promise of bigger purses and lower or no entry fees, 15 more pages in Bassmaster Magazine and no more spraying to kill grass in your lake ... would you vote for me for governor?