Jerry's B.A.S.S. Blog

Oct. 11, 2010

Don't know how long I've been doing this blog. Guess it's been a couple of months, and I've really enjoyed it.

I've yapped about a lot of things but one thing I've neglected to do is tell more about my two partners in the endeavor of purchasing B.A.S.S, Jim Copeland and Don Logan.

Both of these gentlemen are going to play giant roles, when and if, we finalize the deal.

Both are extremely wise men who have been very successful in business. Don, the former head of Time Warner, and Jim, CEO of Deloitte & Touche (one of the largest accounting firms in the world).

You can research these two guys, and I hope you will; you'll gather a lot of impressive information about them. However, the one thing you're not likely to find out, is the one thing that will make you the most comfortable.

They love to bass fish.

Now, I'm smart enough to know that having a passion to catch bass doesn't necessarily translate into a successful business. However, take away that piece of the puzzle and you have a very intelligent man who doesn't relate to his customer. And yes, you are B.A.S.S. customers.

So, maybe liking to catch bass does play a role in getting this business to the right level ... actually, I'm counting on it.

Okay, in due time I promise to give you my take on Jim Copeland and Don Logan. However, for right now, I'm putting these writings on hold until all the dealing is finished and papers are signed.

As I said at the beginning, I've done this for two months now, and it has been all about "here's what I'd do — what would you do — how can we do it together" etc.

I really don't want to talk anymore. I want to get to work. There is so much to do, so many goals to reach, and we don't need to speculate and gab anymore.

I never have been into meetings or conference calls, etc. I guess they're important, but some people just seem to function around gathering and talking and that's not me.

This is a big week for our project. Things go as they're planned, and it will finalize.

I hope to stay in touch with everyone through this blog forever, but I'm going to be quiet until this thing is all wrapped up.

The next words you hear from me will be to say, "Done deal, let's go to work."

Oct. 10, 2010
Thanks and travels

I want to thank the group at www.wired2fish.com for inviting me to Bloomington/Normal, Ill., last week. Had a good visit with them and then the opportunity to speak at a meeting of the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation with some of The Bass Federation guys, as well. Wired2Fish then wrote a great article about what I'm trying to accomplish at this point in life.

After that, I went on over to St Louis to attend a Hall of Fame function for my old school — Ritenour High School. Several outstanding individuals were inducted into the Ritenour Hall of Fame that night but I was there for the honor being given to an entire family — the Grubbs Family.

I grew up with several of the Grubbs brothers and cousins in the '50s, and they single-handedly brought the sport of wrestling to high schools in Missouri. There were about 20 kids in the whole family and rumor has it that one time ... one of them was actually defeated in a wrestling match. But that was only a rumor.

Oct. 4, 2010
Catching up

Three things on my mind today.

Remember me telling you that I spent a couple of days in New York City recently? Well, here's my first story for you. Actually, McKinnis in New York City is a story all on its own, but that's not it.

I was there to give an induction speech for Coach Bobby Knight at the New York City Athletic Club as he was awarded their Winged Foot Legend Award for his many achievements.

It was an incredible affair, and I was kind of star struck. Speaking just before me was Jim Nance who commented about how the broadcast world missed Coach Knight not being on the basketball sideline anymore. Mr. Nance was pretty moving. Then came my turn, and after me was Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.

Coach Pitino talked about facing off against Indiana U and Coach Knight for the first time when he was at Kentucky.

"I didn't have as good of players as he did, so I knew I'd lose that battle. I couldn't out-coach him so I'd lose there, as well. There was only one area where I could compete with Coach Knight," Pitino said, "I could out-dress him."

Pitino then told the crowd he was disappointed when he saw the coach come onto the court and realized that "looking better" than Coach Knight was no big accomplishment.

One thing about it, I was the only guy up there who could tell fishing stories about the good coach.

By the way, there's a rumor going around that if B.A.S.S. changes hands Bobby Knight will become the new P.R. director. That is only a rumor.

My second bit of info is from the other side of the country. I spent this past week in Los Angeles, and here's a couple of questions for you.

Do I have some readers from California or the West in general? Should we be developing an Open tournament division for our B.A.S.S. members in that part of the world?

I find it hard to call B.A.S.S. the premiere bass fishing organization when we sometimes forget the western portion of our country. Let's face it. California has some of the best bass fishing in the world, maybe the best, while Oregon and Washington are overrun with smallmouth. What do you think?

Anyway, that's not why I was in L.A. I was there to meet with Toyota and I have to tell you ... It really went well.

You talk about some folks that are really behind bass fishing and are making every effort to see it grow. That's Toyota.

Obviously, no details about our face-to-face, but I will say this: If they aren't standing alongside B.A.S.S. for many years and assisting the bass fishing world as it develops, it will be my fault and no one else's.

One other thing. Traug Keller from ESPN was also in this meeting; and if you ever had the notion that ESPN was abandoning B.A.S.S., you should spend the day with Traug. You would surmise that even though they may not run it anymore, ESPN is dead set on seeing it flourish and reach its potential.

Here's #3 on my list today, and it concerns the competition side of B.A.S.S. with information about the Open event schedule starting to come out. Here are some of my thoughts.

As of this writing, B.A.S.S. has not changed hands yet. When and if it happens there will be a few changes, but not quickly. On the tournament scene most of that world is already set and things might start looking differently in 2012.

I do want to say this, though.

Again, I must say that if it does happen, you'll like where it's all going.

Let me compare the B.A.S.S tournament structure to Major League Baseball.

MLB has levels from the entry or rookie league through C, B , A, AA, AAA levels and on to the big boys — the major league. Now, this is just my opinion, but here's how B.A.S.S. lays out now.

They have college anglers with high school bass fishermen on the way and that would be equal to baseball's rookie league.

The Federation and Weekend series are probably baseball C and B levels with B.A.S.S. Opens being on the level of baseball's A division.

I think the Elite Series are the top of the line when it comes to professional bass fisherman, but there are a few flaws in the system that stops them from being on the same strong level as a major league baseball player.

I also think that there are a few snags in the system that keeps "Open anglers" at an A level as opposed to AAA which is where they should be, and it's not the anglers' fault.

In a new world, wouldn't it be great if we could get rid of the flaws in the Elites that would help recognize these guys as clearly the best and competing on a "Elite" level.

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