Was This Classic a Snoozer?

Or is it just me?

Yawn. Snore. Drool. Zzzzzzzzzz.

I lost interest the second Kevin VanDam plopped 22-plus pounds on the scales and surged into the lead on day 2. I knew at that exact moment that the 2011 Classic was over. KVD doesn’t lose leads on the final day of the Basmaster Classic. He slams the door so hard the windows rattle and pictures fall off the wall. The man is ruthless when he’s in the driver’s seat.

I can’t say anything about VanDam that hasn’t been said before. I think he’s the best angler on the planet. And I think he’s probably the fiercest competitor our sport will ever see. He’s Tiger, MJ, Babe Ruth and Joe Montana all rolled into one and multiplied by a power of 10. He is bass fishing’s mind-blowing protagonist.

I have nothing but respect for KVD. I admire his drive, mental accumen, physical ability and humility. But [you had to know a but was coming] I’m kinda’ tired of watching him win. And I’m sure the rest of the Bassmaster Elite Series field agrees with me. It’s not Kevin’s fault he’s so awesome… but dang! The dude won by more than 10 freakin’ pounds in a 3-day derby that wasn’t exactly chocked full of behemoth bass [when compared to some of the slugfests the Elites have experienced over the last few years].

Pardon me, Mr. Vandam, would you mind letting everyone else stay within striking distance just for the sake of the show? Ya’ know… maybe ‘lose’ a fish here and there on ‘accident’. Or maybe you could have a ‘mental lapse’ and mistakenly cull a 4-pounder with a 3-pounder. I’m sure you can figure something out. I’m just saying that watching you blow everyone’s doors off doesn’t register the way it used to on the excitement meter.

And before one of you readers reminds me that Brent Chapman still had a shot going into the final day—I beg to differ. Chaps improved his weight on day 2, but all the cards were stacked against him. KVD was fishing a technique he wrote the book on in an area that was [re]loading up with a bunch of plump largies lookin’ to do their annual bump and grind. Not to mention VanDam didn’t have to deal with X-factors like fog, 100-mile runs or the bipolar temperature fluctuations of the Mississippi River. I was rooting for Chaps, but his odds of pulling it off against the sport’s most cold-blooded closer were slimmer than Aaron Martens after a week-long bout with the stomach flu.

If that's not the look of a man who knows he's about 8 hours away from taking home his fourth Bassmaster Classic trophy, I don't know what is. Somebody get this guy on an Old Spice commercial... 'cuz he's cooooool.

Before I let you boys go to town in the comments, I want to say that when I call this Classic a snoozefest I’m only talking about the actual competition aspect. The stuff like Kevin Oldham’s story and Brandon Palaniuk blowing Bryan Kerchal’s fish whistle were the spice that made this otherwise bland Classic palatable. I got goosebumps watching those scenes play out. But other than that… Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Am I alone on this one? Does everybody else love watching KVD win over, and over, and over, and over, and over again [employees of Strike King aren’t allowed to answer that]?



  1. Shaggybass

    February 23, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I appreciate the chance to watch sheer greatness. We are watching something that may never happen again in fishing or any sport for that matter. The guy is simply unbelievable! Combine that with those two side stories and for me it was a great Classic!

  2. Boar Hog

    February 23, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I completely agree. I have all the respect in the world for KVD, but he’s got some of the same personality traits as Jimmy Johnson (the Nascar guy). Listening to Jimmy Johnson is like listening to paint dry. He’ll make your eyelids droop after 30 seconds. Now if KVD were more like John Force….

  3. Argosgirl

    February 23, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I loved watching KVD win. However, this was the first Bassmaster Classic I had ever watched so, although I was well-aware of KVD’s brilliance, seeing it was new to me. Plus, following the live blog and Basstrak on the final day made it seem like the final weight may be closer… But I can certainly see how the same old results get boring after a while.

  4. KVD4Prez

    February 23, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I hope he continues to set/break records. It’s far from a snooze fest to see someone raise the bar of competition. This makes everyone else around him better. To see a professional pick a part the smallest detail others overlooked is the point you missed if you think this is a snooze fest.

    KVD, keep it coming.

  5. Dan Armbruster

    February 23, 2011 at 9:08 am

    This classic was great! I do really admire KVD he is awesome! The other top competitors did have a legitimate chance going into day 3. Chapman had just over 20 lbs. day 2 and only fished about an hour. Then day three had four hours to fish,man he had a “good shot”, but the water temps dropped 10 degrees in his area. Plus KVD did not have a ten lb. lead going into day three,so as far as I saw it its was still “undecided.” Ofcourse KVD had the upper hand because he was leading but he wasnt after the first day. Maybe your not tired of KVDs dominance,but maybe tired of others not stepping up and doing anything about it. Martens choked day 2 and Chapman choked day 3. Kevins first day wasnt all that great but,unlike the others he can figure them out and get better day by day and thats the “game changer.”

    • Jason

      February 23, 2011 at 10:36 am

      “Maybe your not tired of KVDs dominance,but maybe tired of others not stepping up and doing anything about it.”

      You know… maybe you’re right. I just want to see these things be contested a little more closely. Like I said, it’s not Kevin’s fault he’s so good.

      And don’t get me wrong, I’ve marveled at KVD’s brilliance more than once. It’s ridiculous. The dude is amazing and at this stage of the game he’s just deciding how incomparable his legacy is going to be. I’ve interviewed KVD in person and I can say he’s one of the most intense individuals I’ve ever spoken to. Until you talk to this guy and look at his face you can’t really fathom how hard he plays the game. It’s spooky. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve got much love for KVD, but nobody likes to watch a blowout in the Super Bowl, right?

      I wanted to see this thing come down to the wire [I want to see EVERY event come down to the wire] and it wasn’t even close. That’s what bummed me out.

  6. Rich

    February 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Love the idea of a KVD Old Spice commercial

    • Jason

      February 23, 2011 at 10:25 am

      “KVD: The man your man could smell like.”

      • Jeremy Adair

        February 23, 2011 at 11:31 am

        As long as he doesn’t charge $5,000,000 for it.

  7. Chad Keogh

    February 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I enjoy seeing KVD dominate a lot of events, but I think some are suffering from long-term memory loss. Last year during the regular season it was Skeet that was dominating the scene.

    Now that the AOY format has been returned to how it should be, we will see if KVD or Skeet winds up on top.

  8. John

    February 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Am I the only one that thinks KVD and Jim Carey look a little bit alike?

  9. Alex Voog

    February 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    He made the correct decisions at the crucial times. That is why he won AGAIN. Those guys that ran to Venice in that pea soup fog were out of it before they launched. That, and without the brand new radar, they REALLY risked their lives (and their observers…). Skeet said he ran a THOUSAND miles. Sheesh.

  10. melvin jennings

    February 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    KVD> Simply Awesome!!!!!!

  11. Bass Pundit

    February 24, 2011 at 3:27 am

    As I recall Boyd Duckett and Skeet Reese came from behind to beat KVD who was in first going into the final day at the Lay Lake Classic Boyd won in 2007.

    When Basstrakk had KVD at 22lbs I figured he had it won. But at the end of the day Basstrakk had Martens within 9ozs. I thought KVD might have lost until Martens bass were weighed and he was nowhere close to the 30lbs Basstrakk had him at.

    • Bass Pundit

      February 24, 2011 at 3:35 am

      Looked back on BassFan. A Federation angler came within 2 ounces of also beating Van Dam on the final day.

      Yes KVD can choke!

  12. Max

    February 24, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I am a KVD fan, and I watch to learn and enjoy and he provides that. Are you saying you would rather have a bunch of weekenders like myself catch 4-5lbs/day so it would be close? I would guess the others in the classic wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Rick Clunn said at the beginning of KVD’s career that he would break every record there is and I hope to see them all.

  13. Slicks N Tricks

    February 24, 2011 at 10:43 am

    The classic was like sitting at my grandparents house watching the 1993 Super Bowl 52-17 Blow out by the Dallas Cowboys for the 30th time. Thats right all wanted was to eat a samich and go home. It sucked! By the way can somebody teach KVD how to tuck in his shirt?

  14. Dwain

    February 24, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Wow Really? were going to hate on KVD for being amazing? How quickly we forget that Skeet has been giving him a run for his money lately, though not in this derby.

  15. Dwain

    February 24, 2011 at 11:57 am

    (oh and even if i don’t agree it was a snoozer, kudos on writing something thats getting a lot of comments and discussion haha)

    • Jason

      February 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      *evil grin*

  16. Bobby Benbo

    March 2, 2011 at 3:34 am

    I must say, I finally watched the Classic coverage on Tuesday and I was disappointed on how they aired the Brandon Palaniuk bit with the Kershal bass whistle. I was in the arena on Day 3 and when Brandon was trying to hold back his emotions while trying to tell everyone what he wanted to do, gave me goosebumps. It was a great feeling to be a part of what Brandon did and I couldn’t wait to see how ESPN aired that piece. I was very disappointed in the coverage of the Super Six. Being at the Classic and watching the whole Super Six unfold, it was a great scene and I can’t figure out why they didn’t show all six anglers come up and weigh their fish. Derek Remitz dodged some bullets whilie weighing in first of the Super Six, but they didn’t even explain anything or show what was actually going on in that arena. Then to top it off, they threw the Brandon bit in during the middle of the Day 3 broadcast, even though it actually happened after he had weighed in his Day 3 catch.

    If I was to grade the day 3 coverage while being in the Arena, I would give it a 9 out of 10, 10 being the best. The ESPN coverage was a 3.

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The best, worst and funniest in bassin'! Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin™. Make sure you sign up for the BassBlaster email!

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