On the second round of the bracket, Jordan again handily overtook his opponent with 10 pounds, twice the weight of his competitor. Jordan seemed to be a man possessed. Cool, calm and collected on the outside but on fire for the win on the inside. He sat just one more day of competition away from his end goal, the Bassmaster Classic. To make for a more poetic story, this Classic would be on his home lake of Guntersville.
Now it was time to see who he would be competing against. Shane Powell, Jordan’s longtime friend and fishing partner, eliminated his competitor by a margin of 3 pounds. Against all odds it would be Auburn versus Auburn yet again. Brother versus brother from another mother.
This time, however, there was a certain feeling in the air. A scenario that not even the greatest writer could fathom. No script could be written to create more drama. It just seemed destined that Jordan Lee would win. Not to say that Shane didn’t deserve it. Not that Shane hadn’t earned it. Not that he hadn’t yearned for the same things that Jordan had.
But there’s a saying that is used all too often and all the more true. When it’s your time, it’s your time. Nothing can stop fate nor interfere with destiny. As we stood on the ramp awaiting take-off for the final round, one could almost feel the stars aligning in Jordan’s favor. Too much had led up to this moment for their to be any other outcome.
A year earlier, one brother had to watch another walk away with his girl. The girl he thought he was meant to be with. But then, in a strange turn of events, his true love came along. The Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville. Never has there been or will there ever be a better-suited event for Jordan Lee.
In the final round of competition, Shane Powell gave it all he had. He didn’t lie down. He didn’t concede the victory simply because he knew what it would mean to Jordan. Because Shane also knew what it would mean to himself. And he knew that if he didn’t give it his all he’d regret it for the rest of his life. I rode with Shane on the final day as his cameraman; and let me tell you something, Shane, you have nothing to regret.
Despite his best efforts, fate wasn’t with Shane on Day 3. The day belonged to Jordan Lee. Jordan brought in 12 pounds even – enough to eliminate Shane and leave Jordan as the lone angler standing. On September 29, 2013, in his last event as a college angler, Jordan Lee won his date with destiny. Jordan Lee will be competing in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville. As I type these words, I can see him reading them and a chill shooting up his spine.
Jordan, it’s finally your time. Fate is on your side. Your destiny awaits you. You may not win the Classic. But you damn well might. And I can honestly say it’s been one of the greatest honors of my personal fishing career to have shared the boat with you. Congrats on an awesome college career, and I look forward to being there to congratulate you for many years to come.