Zona packs lightly, supports locals

When it comes to packing, Mark Zona makes less a lot more

Mark Zona in a Florida airport
Alan McGuckin
With recent stops in the Sunshine State, Mark Zona has added to his Gator wardrobe.

I travel an insane number of days to cover the Bassmaster Elite Series trail. In fact, I spend about two days out of every week in an airport. But what might surprise you is that I don’t like to take clothes when I travel.

Packing a suitcase bothers me. So usually I just buy my clothes when I touch down in whatever city I’m landing in. Not just any threads. And don’t get the wrong idea, I don’t buy expensive threads.

Nope, the Z Train is all about college apparel — and the cheaper I can get it, the happier I am. Right now, I have more than 15 universities represented in my wardrobe, including Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and South Carolina, to name a few.

That’s just a few of the teams in my collection; so don’t get all rattled and rabid if you don’t see your team listed there. Let me admit something else: Sometimes I have to buy apparel from the lesser cheered-for school in a given state simply because it's cheaper than the school that most of the fans root for.

I spend a lot of time working in the heart of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and I’ll promise you, those people are on a whole new level when it comes to living and loving college football.

And really, that’s why I do it — for the fans. I want to stir excitement and have fun with the people who graciously show up to cheer at the Bassmaster Elite Series events in all the various states where we hold tournaments.

And let me tell you something else, bud — those are a passionate group of people, whether it’s a negative emotion or a positive one. They’re gonna let you know who they cheer for and who they root against, whether we’re talking football or fishing.

Seven years of co-hosting for B.A.S.S. has taken Tommy Sanders and me to a lot of great places in America. I just choose not to pack a lot of clothes for the ride. It's easier and it's more fun to sport the local university's colors.

Oh, and when it comes to pro sports apparel, I only wear one. Go Bears!

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