GREENVILLE, S.C. — When Alex Rodriguez walked up to the plate for the New York Yankees during his 2007 MVP season, it was to the tune of Jay-Z and Linkin Park's "Numb/Encore." Derek Jeter has been known to stride to the box with Eminem blaring from the Yankee Stadium speakers.
But when Bassmaster Elite Series angler Timmy Horton entered the arena on the first day of the 2008 Bassmaster Classic, it was to a slightly different tune. The opening strains of Shania Twain's "Looks Like We Made It" floated over the crowd who had gathered to watch this year's anglers display their catch. Not exactly a shot of adrenaline, but each angler at this year's Classic was given the opportunity to choose the song that would play as they rode into the arena. That meant a choice of music as varied as the fish that inhabit Lake Hartwell, where the anglers spent the majority of their day.
The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year from 2007, Skeet Reese, may not have caught a limit, but he did work the crowd with his choice of "Low, Low" from rap group Flo Rida. Takahiro Omori, Japanese native and winner of the 2004 Classic, showed his sense of humor was almost as well-developed as his fishing skills, when he strode to the stage to the tune of Carl Douglas' 1974 camp hit "Kung Fu Fighting." And it seems Boyd Duckett took the word "classic" to heart with his choice of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog."
But it may have been Alton Jones who made the most powerful personal statement when "Voice of Truth" by the Christian band Casting Crowns came on as his boat was pulled onto the arena floor.
"It's one of my favorite songs, but it also says what I believe and my philosophy on life," Jones said. "I want to live a life that follows Christ, and I don't always do a great job, but I try."
As for the efforts on the water, one of the best of the day belonged to Little Rock, Ark. angler Scott Rook, who stood in second after Day One. He triumphantly rolled in to face his fellow competitors and the crowd with Eminem's iconic "Lose Yourself" pulsating from the stadium speakers; the chorus seemed to sum up the feelings of each angler in this year's Classic:
"You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go.
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow — this opportunity comes once in a lifetime."