After 27 of these Classics it never really gets old watching a new champion hoist the trophy and make a victory lap.
There's just something emotional about witnessing one of the more emotional, time-honored parts of this sport unfold year after year. During the course of almost three decades of watching this unique part of a unique sport, there are those that standout like no other: Takahiro dropping to his knees with emotion; Bryan Kerchel surprising the world and showing his humbleness; Skeet Reese never letting the tears stop; Chris Lane kneeling like Tim Tebow, not in jest but in homage to what that meant to both those athletes.
In years to come, I will add Randy Howell to the list of overly special moments.
Every time you see any Classic champion in that moment, you see the measure of the impact (not from sponsorship and worldly things) of what this title means to an angler, his family, the sport as whole. It's the king daddy of emotional highs that only Classic Champions experience. They often say, "I can't explain it, you just have to be there to get it."
You could see that in Randy Howell on Sunday. It was washed over his face and his body. You could see him thank God with his lips, his arms and his actions and again we saw the measure of a man doing something extraordinary in his own way. You could hear his humbleness and his appreciation for the place he was standing.Again, it never gets old watching this unfold. It just feels better when a champion does it in the same way you would do it, if you dared dream of getting the chance.