In recognition of his winning the 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., visited ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Sports, on Wednesday, days after the conclusion of the 2009 Bassmaster Elite Series postseason.
VanDam traveled to the Bristol, Conn., campus from his home in Kalamazoo, and the five-time Angler of the Year made stops at ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning; ESPN's First Take and ESPNEWS. He also conducted a live chat that ran on ESPN.com.
In his first stop, at Mike & Mike in the Morning, VanDam showed his appreciation for the hosts, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg. Golic attended the 2008 and 2009 Bassmaster Classics and again will be in attendance at the 2010 Classic (Feb. 19-21, Birmingham, Ala., Lay Lake).
"Mike & Mike's coverage of the Bassmaster Classic has helped put the sport on the radar with some new audiences," said VanDam, who is also a two-time Bassmaster Classic champion. "It is flattering that more and more people are considering bass fishing a professional sport."
After scoring the AOY in 2008, VanDam also made the trek to Bristol and followed a similar schedule as he did today. With more than $3.6 million in BASS career earnings, VanDam has positioned himself as one of the greatest anglers in bass history.
"It seems the campus is always changing and it's nice to visit Bristol," said VanDam. "Every year, I get recognized by more and more people. I'm a huge fan of ESPN obviously. I drive a lot and I always listen to Mike & Mike and Colin Cowherd and Erik Kuselias in the car."