“And if you ever…”
Dateline: Knoxville, Tenn.
“You are what you think about all day.”
For $29.99 right now you can buy a bunch of books on The New York Times Best Sellers list about how to be successful.
I’m going to save you that bread.
There is only one way to be successful, only one way to be great, only one way to rule whatever it is that you want to rule.
The plain speaking secret to success is this: Have fire in your belly for what you do.
You want to light up the world, it’s up to you to strike the match. I’ll tell you later where to send me that $29.99.
In this photo sits the Bassmaster Classic winner, someone out there in all those boats is going to win this shebang come Sunday.
It’s Media Day here in Knoxville, which means the media (whatever that term means) all show up, get some free hats and eats, listen to some politicos talk, listen to some bosses talk, get another round of sweet tea. Then when B.A.S.S. says “go” they descend on all those fishing the Classic and start asking questions while trying to figure out who the “fav” to win the thing is.
I pass on the free hats, not the eats or sweet tea, and then try and stay out of the way of the descending media. For the past 14 years all I do is this: walk up and down the line of boats and shake the hand of those who fish, wish them luck, all the while looking in their eyes.
For the fire.
Dale Earnhardt once told me, “Son, it ain’t the race car that wins these things, it’s what’s sitting in the car that wins the race. Ain’t no race car ever win one without some ol’ boy sitting in it.”
“…let go the doubt…”
“I never could stand losing. Second place didn't interest me. I had a fire in my belly.”
Trust me, these “ol’ boys” have fire in their heart. The elephant in the room here is it’s been said that for many of these anglers this may be their last shot at getting into the Classic since they have moved on in their careers to fish elsewhere.
Um, as far as I know every Classic you may be sitting in may be your last. It ain’t a right to be here, you have to earn it and you have to earn it year after year. If you don’t have the fire within you to make every cast on every tournament day count, knock, knock folks, you won’t be back.
The cool thing with our Media Day is that those who show up at these things with pens and lens are pretty knowledgeable of the sport they are standing in (and for the record I’m not including myself in that), and I’ve been at many “Media Days” at other sports where that is not the case.
I sort of snuggle up to some of the people asking questions and (ear) drop on what they are asking. And you know what, they know their asking stuff. At the Super Bowl when you snuggle up and (ear) drop it becomes apparent real quick that most of these folks have never stepped on the field of play and been smacked upside the head by some linebacker like Jack Lambert.
When it comes to game day technical stuff about what’s going on out there on the field of play, trust me on this, your best info comes from those who have played on game day with everything on the line. Our media folks have that.
They also have what’s even more important … fire for the game. If you are a fan of this sport, I’m here to tell you how lucky you are to have the media you do. No one here today, no one in the booth doing catch by catch, no one out there on those boats with cameras in their hands ever, ever mails it in.
It’s an honor to be associated with them.
“…embrace the fire, don't put it out…”
“That’s why we’re here, to make a dent in the universe.”
I define fire as swinging as hard at the last pitch of the game as you did on the first pitch of the game regardless if you are winning or losing.
If I’m the last batter in a game we’re losing 100 to nothing I’m going to sneer at the catcher, I’m going spit a looey on the plate and look up at the pitcher and give him the “you ain’t got nothing” look.
I’m not taking myself out of this game, jerkwad, you’re going to have to take me out.
Not a one of the anglers I saw out here today has taken themselves out of the game, not a one, when they launch tomorrow every one is all-in on this thing. Boat number 1 is as all-in as the last boat in the line, and here’s why, every competitor is just 15 fish away from having their name in the rafters as a Bassmaster Classic champion.
You ain’t got fire about those odds, get the hell out of the boat.
“…and if you need to, let out a shout…”
“Dreams die hard and we watch them erode, but we cannot be denied the fire inside.”
I wish to all of those who launch tomorrow in this the 49th Bassmaster Classic that you never lose the fire within you that will erupt the moment we announce your name as you head out to fish the river that could change your life.
Know that tomorrow there will only be 52 people on Earth who will take to the water this day in the chase for the Bassmaster Classic trophy and that only one of you will raise it in victory.
Why not make it be you?
Why not make it be you?
Think not of what got you here, you are here. Think not of where you will go from here while you are still here, be here, in here these days with all you’ve got.
This tournament is not about the past.
This tournament is not about the future.
This tournament is about 15 fish caught one at a time.
Catch the first one first, the last one last, no tournaments are won on the first cast, many though are won on the last.
Light the fire within from the opening to the closing bell.
Know this, we may hand you the trophy but we will never give it to you, you have to take it.
Please for all of us in the media, and for all of those in the stands, take it.
And do so with fire out there on the …
“…and show the world what life is really all about.”
There Is a Fire
National Park Radio
“The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.”