Sports seem to mature pretty fast these days. A few years ago, seems like, stuff like snowboarding was “alternative.” As in, an alternative sport. Kids doing it looked like ski bums out for a good time, kinda like the surfers of old. Just doing it for the love.
But now they’re plastered with logoed gear made by some gear company that’s probably owned by some mega sports company and so on. Just the way it goes.
Now, bassin’ was a bit ahead of the curve with the logos. Patches, then embroidery (I liked the patches better), then “sublimated” stuff. (Can we get a better word for that or what?)
So you might think that bassin’ never went through the “bum” stage – and for the folks who get their skirts twisted, I’m talkin’ about “bum” as in the “do something because you love it and only because you love it” sense. Not as in hobo or…uh…”tush.”
Anyhow, check this photo, purloined from bassfishingarchives.com:
Here’s the caption: Dee Thomas congratulates Gary Klein on his first Bassmaster win at Lake Powell in 1979. Klein won the event flipping. Photo: Bass Master Magazine July/August, 1979 Issue.
Dee is of course the guy who invented flippin’ (not Flippin’ Arkansas – that was Forrest Wood) and was a mentor of Gary’s.
Check ‘em both out. I’m seeing that pic as an older bassin’ bum congratulizin’ a younger one. Couple basically unreadable logos in there, but otherwise long-ish 70s hair and guys brown from being out in the sun because those dang green fish are so awesome.
I could tell stories about Jay Yelas’ fishin’ addiction, literally driving from one tourney to the next all year long, sleeping in his truck. And I remember when the Hack Attack first came on the scene, a bassin’ bum if I ever saw one – just ate up with it.
More stories in the noggin, but nowadays a high school kid will show up on the scene all clean-cut, sublimated jersey, looks like he’s been at it 10 years. Nothing wrong with that, but no more “alternative.” The bum is gone…
Here’s what I’m willing to bet: Somewhere there’s a bassin’ bum or two. Probably younger, but not necessarily. They fish, sleep and eat bassin’, in that order. Don’t care about reality TV, don’t care about TV, don’t care about anything that isn’t green or brown with fins.
One day one of these bums is going to enter a tourney or three and blow everyone out of the water.
Don’t know who, don’t know when, but really hoping them bums is out there. Can’t wait to meet ‘em.
Category: Gary Klein