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Good Knight, Good Riddance and other Classic Thoughts from Way Up North

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What was that lame bit with Bob Knight doing in the Bassmaster Classic coverage Saturday night?

I get the kids off to bed and flip on ESPN2 to watch the wrap up of cut-down day at the Classic, and I get Knight doing a lame exhortation on winning and doing some lame coaching?

No, no, no.

Yeah, I get it, Knight is a fisherman.

He's also accosted players and non-players alike. He quit in mid-season on coaching a team, which is why the one-time great coach was available for a lame ESPN bit in mid-February. And he's shot people while hunting without being properly licensed.

Knight has no place whatsoever as a public symbol for hunting and fishing.

None.

I nearly put my foot through the TV. I had just sat down to watch and calmly end my day with the Classic, instead I turn on a lame Knight bits. And it wasn't even good Knight, the furious spittle-spewing, chair-throwing Knight. This was Knight doing a lame imitation of ``The General,'' more like ``A Private.''

Knight's become a truly pathetic fringe figure. He's at that point in life where he is lamely imitating himself for a bass-fishing show.

And the Classic didn't need that. There were plenty of good story lines.

Is the somewhat wacky and self-effacing Charlie Hartley, the first-day leader now in second, going to hang in there? Does Alton Jones have enough of a lead with 1 pound, 3 ounces to hold first? And back in fourth is the best, Kevin VanDam, only 3 pounds, 15 ounces off the lead.

With the help of ESPN, tournament bass fishing has risen above its redneck image. Putting Knight on in a lame bit only hauled tournament bass fishing back into the hackneyed image of southern rednecks.

And tournament bass fishing is far beyond that. Half of the top six--Hartley (Ohio), VanDam (Michigan) and Michael Iaconelli (New Jersey)--going into the final day were northern fishermen. And most of the southern fishermen are true pros with universal appeal.

All I know is I will be fighting my wife for the remote during commercial breaks in the Oscars to catch the tape-delayed final weigh-in on ESPN2, beginning at 9 tonight. And hoping there is no more Knight in sight.

Bassmaster.com gives wall-to-wall coverage of 2008 Classic events on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on February 24, 2008 9:07 AM.

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