You might think that it would be uncomfortable for Edwin Evers to look at the AOY standings and see seven-time AOY Kevin VanDam right behind him, but I don't think so. I honestly believe that's exactly who Evers wants chasing him going into these last couple of events. Evers has finished second in the race to KVD twice and certainly wants to get that monkey off his back. He also wants to beat the best at the top of his game, and VanDam is undoubtedly the best. AOY will have a lot more meaning for Evers if he has to beat VanDam to win it. Of course, the other guys chasing him aren't exactly slackers. Martens, Reese and Jones have a couple of AOYs and a couple of Classic titles between them.
I remember when Preston Clark won the Elite event on Santee Cooper in 2006, setting a new cumulative weight record at the time. When asked about the win, Clark said it would have meant more if KVD had been in the field (VanDam, Jones and Randy Howell were all disqualified from the tournament for allowing someone else to run their boat during practice while they scanned the water for bedding fish from the bow) — that he wanted to beat the best. You have to love that kind of competitive spirit. Evers certainly has it, too.