It has been said that envy is the ugliest of sins, but on a recent sunny morning in Texas, it was not only a beautiful thing, but also an entertaining one.
Sharing a boat on the Lakes of Danbury, a fishing club near Houston, were Deion Sanders, winner of back-to-back Super Bowls with the 49ers and Cowboys, and CITGO Bassmaster Classic winner Michael Iaconelli. The two were taping a segment for ESPN's The New American Sportsman, hosted by Sanders.
Each man has won his sport's biggest prize, but spending time with them, you come away with a sense that something is missing in each of their lives. Iaconelli, while at the top of his sport, would like the chance to enjoy some of the attention and perks that come with being an NFL superstar. And perhaps for those very reasons, Sanders prefers a day on the water.
"When I'm on a lake, I'm thinking about nothing but bass fishing," Sanders said. "No cell phones, no nothing, just peacefulness and tranquility."
Iaconelli is slowly beginning to learn that a price comes with newfound fame. "Since I won the Classic back in August, every day has been a challenge," said Iaconelli. "It's been so much attention, so much work. More business work than I've done in my whole life.
"This is the fun stuff that I get to do, though — like fishing with Deion Sanders. If you would have told me a year ago that we'd be fishing together, I would have said, 'WHAT? … Come on.' "
Sanders was just as excited to be out with the Classic Champ. "I've got a lot to learn," he said. "Watching this guy cast is intimidating. I'm going to start calling him 'Cast-a-nova.' "
Sanders, who excelled at major league baseball in addition to pro football, appears to have found yet another passion: "I want to be fishing bass tournaments soon," Sanders said. "I want a shirt like Mike's, with sponsors all over it."