Isn’t it interesting how we rationalize things? Everyone does it, especially bass fishermen. Earlier this year, I watched with amusement as the debate over a beer sponsorship seemed to tie certain people up in knots.
BASS has a bourbon sponsor; FLW has a beer sponsor, what next? Marijuana? Yes, there were actually people who made that feeble argument. Recently, I watched with even greater amusement, the complete lack of uproar over the addition of Diet Mountain Dew to the BASS lineup.
Using the same ridiculous logic, I wondered why no one even raised the slightest protest to a caffeinated soda that could be seen as a gateway drink to the hard stuff like Jolt, Monster or Red Bull. If that argument sounds stupid, it should. If you think bass fishing is floating around inside a nostalgic bubble where moms look like June Cleaver and the neighborhood bully is armed with a slingshot, think again. If I’m not mistaken, didn’t FLW get its start from Red Man chewing tobacco? Yeah, darn it, history has a nasty reputation for tossing up little nuggets that we would rather forget.
Kids surely have it tougher these days, but the sponsorship choices of America’s bass tournament organization are the least of a parent’s worries. If someone was truly concerned about their child’s choices and thought bass fishing might have something to do with it, why not start with Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes? Pop-Tarts? Or Pringles? These days, long before a youngster has to face the pitfalls of alcoholism, he or she will most likely have to deal with morbid obesity.
To me, it’s obvious you can’t have it both ways. If you choose to take the moral high ground over alcohol and tobacco, yet ignore Type II diabetes, consider yourself a hypocrite. Sugar kills whether it’s in a breakfast cereal or a shot glass. These blow-hard rationalizations of what is or isn’t an acceptable sponsorship are pure bullroar. Many of the same folks who are so willing to foist their opinions on everyone else apparently don’t see the dangers of lighting their kids up with a gravy-covered chicken fried steak and a Rockstar chaser. Didn’t we already learn that there’s nothing all that “happy” in a Happy Meal?
Right now, bass fishing tournament organizations are fighting for their very survival. They’re getting what they can get and non-endemic sponsors aren’t beating paths to their doors. So, for anyone sitting back and passing judgment on these tough choices, while still professing their undying love for the sport, the answer should be obvious: Either ignore tournament bass fishing or dust off the golf clubs. Then again, Michelob Ultra sponsors the PGA so you would probably want to avoid organized competition.
In this Facebook and Twitter world where millions are living their lives in the digital equivalent of glass houses, you would think that people might be a little more careful about casting aspersions on others. Sadly, it’s just the opposite. Even stranger is their unabashed willingness to use down home, common man virtues to inflict their version of morality.
Well, here’s a little homespun wisdom from Hank Williams Jr.
“If you mind your own business, you’ll stay busy all the time.”