GREENVILLE, S.C. — Out of all the soundbites captured over past Bassmaster Classic media days, never before has a group of anglers and media-types chanting "leave the pig tails" ever been heard.
With Women's Bassmaster Tour pro Kimberly Striker handling the shears, partially shorn Elite Series pro Timmy Horton humbly acknowledged the shouting crowd with his signature smile and a simple nod.
This media day happened to correspond with the one day Horton had designated to publicly cut his sun-bleached locks of hair for donation to Locks of Love, the Florida-based organization providing hairpieces to financially-disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss. For about a year, Horton had been growing his hair long for the organization.
With ESPNOutdoors.com's "Hooked Up" live Internet show providing the snip-by-snip coverage, this kind of attention was exactly the reason why Horton had chosen this day for his public shearing.
After Striker neared completion of Horton's head by isolating different bands with rubber bands, everyone grew eager for the actual cutting.
"Okay, everybody," Striker announced loudly. "We're getting close."< With those remarks, those assembled grew closer.
Flashes flashed. Anglers jumped atop chairs to snap their own snapshots with their camera phones.
As the blades slowly grew closer, angler Alton Jones edged close to record his own memories. Horton then patted the top of his
segmented hair one last time.
Next, he picked up a spoon, holding it inches from his forehead.
"Hold on, lemme get my mirror," Horton said.
"You won't need a mirror after this, Timmy" shouted a member from the press. "It won't matter anymore."
Other anglers began to chime in.
"Save me a strand?" Elite Series pro Jeff Kreit asked with a smile.
"I got $100 dollars for a Mohawk," Gerald Swindle yelled. "Or you can go corn rows with it—all Snoop Dogg."
While taking obvious delight in her work, Striker placed the final 10-inch length of hair on the table. Locks of Love requires a minimum of 10 inches of hair from end to end.< "Look," Horton said, picking up one lock of the table. "I got the summertime and the wintertime look." He was referring to the different color strands throughout the length of the hair strand.
When Horton's head was cut clean, save the last few remaining strands towards the back of his head, the crowd began chanting about keeping the pig tails.
Just then Gerald Swindle returned to the action to chime in one final time before the haircut was complete.
"He's looking now like Britney Spears," Swindle said, referencing the fallen pop star who also sported an interesting haircut last year. His comment resulted in instant laughter.
"Say goodbye to your beautiful goldie locks," Striker said. "Going, going, gone." And with that she removed the last strand.
Horton rose to his feet and immediately began rubbing his head with both hands.
"Now that," he said, "feels better."
As the angler started walking away from the table, Horton pulled a black, Elvis-style wig over his new, sporty 'do.
For his donation, Locks of Love is certain to thank him, thank him very much.