P.M. UPDATE–To no one’s surprise, Skeet Reese’s second day limit was not enough to get him into the finals of the Bassmaster Elite Series contest at Clarks Hill, where he officially has finished in 59th place. The ESPN news release noted the obvious, however saying, “By virtue of his unprecedented start, he will still hold the lead in the AOY standings – albeit by a decreased margin.”

Every good thing comes to an end. Skeet Reese weighing just three bass (Thursday) and those barely weighing 5 1/2 pounds–good for 78th place–is about to see his streak of five straight top 5 finishes come to a stunning halt. In fact, Reese’s own personal goal of a top 10 finish in every event is equally kaput.

I’m sure a number of forces are at work this week. For one, Skeet, without much preparation, had one of those “just go fishing” attitudes going in. Maybe that was because of previous success on Clarks Hill in Georgia or maybe he was aware the lake wasn’t fishing well. Or maybe, he was just due for a letdown.

In any event, a hungry and perhaps nervous field is catching a break this week. The guy from the Western Time Zone is not going to embarrass his peers in front of their parents.

B.A.S.S. probably likes this as well. There has been a bit of a Skeet backlash in recent weeks, and the standings will look a little more palatable to the “old folks” when they sort the points out on Monday. But in the end, from a commercial point of view, a Skeet Reese in the middle of the pack is lot more interesting than a Bobby Backwater backing in for the win.

But the Reese situation this week (missing a limit and needing two top drawer daily catches) has the media focus quickly turning to guys from somewhere back there, and points up the problem in today’s pro market. Unless you build up a monster branding of yourself, ala Reese, the tournaments start to grind out what Michael Jones used to call, “The pro du jour.” Here today, gone tomorrow.

It’s unfortunate in an ironic sort of way, where people still dream of being pro bass anglers. Tournaments are sort of like sunrises; there’ll be another one tomorrow.

As for Skeet. He’s getting a new boat deal.

 




2 Responses to “Skeet Reese hot streak officially doused”


The best thing about coming up with a great line is having someone actually remember it … 10 years later. In Dan Patrick lingo, that makes me “en fuego.”

But, seriously, the problem with ESPN and FLW, et al. is the inability to walk the line between (a) Going overboard with a select few and hamstringing their broadcast by showing nothing more than screams and – what they think – are hip, happening sound bites or (b) Trying to make a show out of nobodys. (You can select between ESPN and FLW which rule applies)

Clearly, option (a) is what they’ve done for years and I personally don’t think it’s working. They’re hitting the wall where “the chosen ones” aren’t rising to the occasion often enough and option (b) was never a good idea because the true bass fan is not invested in that person.

This is why Ray Scott got it right: He developed a cast of characters, some of whom emerged as true superstars. Pretty much like the NASCAR “model,” except Ray did it first. I always called it “the pet shop window” where a bass fisherman could pick out his favorite or favorites and then follow them through the circuit. And, because the television show didn’t discriminate as much as now and the magazines promoted a host of anglers, the average guy could really get to know these fishermen, understand how they fished and, from that, get a real connection to them.

Nowadays, you only see a snippet of what happens, a very select crew of anglers and pretty much only what really occurs on the final day.

I guess the 12-year-old in me loves when a nobody has his day in the sun–and no one in the production truck has any footage of him.

I love the underdog too, Mike. “…could you launch again so we could get a little footage of you…?” = re: Bassmasters TV Shows are a mere SHADOW of what they once were. Now with ESPN dumping their WHOLE outdoor slate in favor of Poker Tournaments and Curling, it will leave them plenty of time to help the anglers “build their brand,” you know, like they have blathered repeatedly while doing more damage than good… BWAHAAAAHAAAAA….. I like Skeet, you have to respect his fishing AND marketing abilities, just ’cause he’s a ‘kali slickie boy,’ one shouldn’t hold that against him….