We’re driving back now, stuck in traffic, just enjoying the warm sunlight and admiring the median with beautiful trees and lush green grass. It’s really a peaceful sight, everything calm, but yet alive and growing. It took us all a few days to get used to the heat, but now I can’t think of anything better than being outside in the warmth of the sun.
We really make fun of the great people living in the South. By “we” I mean the people in the large suburban wealthy towns next to larger northern cities. Throwing around southern accents and laughing about ways to get shot in Texas. It’s a common joke, and also a fear to the “proper” people in our neighborhoods. The words “culture shock” pass through some lips. I think it’s our ignorance of watching too much Duck Dynasty or drunk people on the internet that makes the stereotype a reality to everyone.
Skeet Reese hugged his kids…gave his son a cookie. John Garret stood by his family before launch, embracing the moment. The man I struck up a conversation with hands me 4 Geico Livewell tickets after answering a trivia question. That was one too many tickets, the smile on the face of the high school guy I gave it to a minuite away from entering the stadium. The Lee family hugging. A girl eating cake and watching bassmaster live appearing on the big screen. A map of the world and a sticker to show where you came from…with people from all across the world. I’ll never forget it.
Dave Mercer said fish are better people than some of his friends. But that the fans make the sport, not the fish. The fans are also people. All with stories, all with a life and a background. They all differ, but they all love fishing. If there were any steretypical actions taken, I missed them. Because all I saw is love, fishing, and humans. I learned that people at the Classic are genuine. We all love to fish, and with that comes a love for each other that we cant help. Bass Fishing is like nothing else, and the Classic proves it to me.
Last year I didn’t pick up on what I saw this weekend. But I saw it now. If you havent gone to a Classic, then go. I can’t tell you about the energy of the day one launch, with the lights on the water, and strobes in the sky, with the music playing and the sun rising, streaking some pink behind the clouds of the whole thing. I can’t tell you about the smell of the bass every time an Elite walks down the stage, and the emotion you feel seeing your heros weigh-in 5 feet from you, the emotion on their faces, not from a screen. I can’t tell you about the tears that form in your eyes when everything is at peace and you are spending 3 days doing nothing but things related to fishing. That you have to see for yourself….but I can tell you about the people. The people who don’t care what accent you have, how much money you have, how well you fish, what you are wearing, whether or not your work is complete. They only care about if you have been watching Bassmaster Live, and if not, would you like to join them while you wait for the Expo to open. These are the people who love to fish, and love each other. The only place in the world to feel it is the Bassmaster Classic. Because fishing fans are the greatest people on Earth. And that’s all there is to find at the Classic, Deep In The Heart Of Texas.
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