They pay me, get over that.
Have they ever asked me to bend a story their way? No.
Would I? No.
I have put everything on the line for journalism integrity and walked away from a barrel of money, and I would do it again, part of the deal my family signed on to a long time ago.
I have seen all the Internet chirping out there by folks with no skin in this game but the cost of a keyboard and laptop.
And on the record I’m saying I think you are missing the point of this here gig in Houston…God bless the bosses at B.A.S.S. for taking a chance when in fact most of corporate America plants their heads in the sand or in the butt of popular opinion.
Above my desk at home is one simple sign that I typed out 35 years ago on an old Royal manual typewriter and it says simply this:
“…and on the 10,001 try, the bulb lit.”
I will grant you this, if you grant me something myself. Your grant:
There has been a massive amount of hype on this Classic, I see that. Would that have been my way of doing it? Probably not. I’m an “is what it is” kind of guy. You put numbers out there, you don’t hit them, people will light you up. It is human nature for those who lurk in the shadows and shoot arrows from the safety of cover.
So be it.
Now my grant: We chased a dream, please no matter how this Classic goes, give us props for dreaming.
You B.A.S.S. members out there be proud that you’re not sending your bread in to a company willing to just sit back and do things as they have always done it.
Friday, sometime in the afternoon, one single fish will be placed on a scale, and that one fish will seal the dream. That one fish will show you we have the cojones to come to you, to lay it all on the line, to symbolically bring bass fishing to America’s pastime, baseball.
And with all the dreams and blemishes we are not hiding it, we brought it to the fourth largest metro area in America.
Will it work?
It has worked…
We are here, we brought the best who do what they do with us, we did it in a venue unthinkable years ago.
There will be glitches and there will be glory.
Frankly, I think we shot low.
I won’t be happy until my Classic dateline one day says this: Madison Square Garden.
Dream come true you know, think the AFL-NFL World Championship Game…now known as The Super Bowl.
For the first one, one-third of the seats, 33,000 of them…were empty for the game.
How important was it? After the game, which by the way was simulcast on two networks, NBC and CBS, both networks bulk erased all the game tapes.
Halftime featured trumpeter Al Hirt, two college marching bands, 300 pigeons and 10,000 balloons.
Combined viewership on both networks, 51-million…a 22 rating.
The last Super Bowl was a 45 rating with 172 million people all over the planet watching.
One man dreamed it, brought two leagues together, changed the game of professional football…Pete Rozelle.
Do I think B.A.S.S. will ever be the NFL? No, it would be nice, but no. I don’t even think MLB is the NFL.
Do I think B.A.S.S. dreams? Yes I do, I know in fact they do.
As do you for what it is that B.A.S.S. will be.
Dreams happen when both the ownership and the fans dream together.
Give this a shot, hundreds of people are working their butts off to make this the biggest and the best, that’s the PR line, in truth those folks dream too and are fans like you too.
Never accept from us that we stand pat, that’s the easy way. We could book Guntersville from now until the next century…you really want that?
Or do you want us to push the limit knowing that sometimes the limit will push us back?
I sat in Minute Maid Park today and to be honest it was the first time I bought 100 percent in, a stadium being prepared knocks your socks off.
It ain’t about stepping on the grass here…it is about stepping up to the plate and swinging for the fences.
Be proud of the sport you love swinging at the high inside heat.
Be proud and enjoy the dream, watch as we work out the little things knowing we took on the big thing.
Dream with us.
Push us to dream.
Support the failures, support the gains.
And remember, remember…
…on the 10,001 try…
…the bulb lit.
My 2 cents.