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Lake life

Sorry BASS. No. Just no.

Sarcasm Alert: In keeping with current social media trends, I warn you in advance,

being socially responsible and all, you know…

I fished as a press observer in the Bassmaster Classic 17 times over the years and loved every minute of it. I follow it every year as the world champion of bass fishing is crowned.

But this year, I apparently lost an old friend. BASS apparently joined WOKE and I gotta admit, I had to shake my head. At the recent Classic in Knoxville on the Tennessee River, Canadian angler Jeff Gustafson won the tournament as a staggering163,914 fans visited tournament festivities during the week. Fans packed the 21,678 seat Thompson-Boling Arena for the final weigh in.

All that’s good and well, but what made a backlash on my keyboard is the last part of this BASS press release:

“Host city Knoxville, Tenn., welcomed a staggering crowd of 163,914 fans to Classic Week activities, including Thursday’s Visit Knoxville Kickoff Party presented by TNT Fireworks, daily takeoffs, exciting weigh-in festivities and the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by the U.S. Army, which featured the first carbon-neutral venues in Classic history thanks to a partnership with the TVA.

Did all those 163,000 fans have to hold their breath, refusing the emit carbon dioxide in their used-up oxygen breath inside the Expo and arena? No wonder they were “staggering”. Did the city refuse to run the energy-sucking air conditioners? How did all those big bass boats with their 250-horsepower outboards launched from gas-guzzling pickup trucks stay “carbon neutral” as they ran hours apiece up and down the river for a week?

I just can’t hold my breath long enough to swallow that. “Carbon neutral”? By definition, that means “making no net release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, especially through offsetting emissions by doing things like planting trees.”

Today, we are attempted to be force fed and swallow stuff like this like a bass swallowing an Alabama Rig and they hope we don’t even feel the hooks. Please folks. If you own a business or run an event, don’t drop this kind of mess on us. By the way, BASS’s partner in this, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has five active coal-fired fossil fuel plants with a total of 25 generating units. Oh my.

Maybe the anglers running up and down the river stopped and planted a tree on the bank every time they caught a keeper? Honestly, I don’t know if they did or not, but I have an idea. Did the fans all drive electric cars, or did they have to go plant trees, too? Or maybe everyone there took home a compostable sack of trash, put it in their garden and planted Boston ferns, weeping figs and aloe vera. Those are three of the highest oxygen producing plants on the planet, you know. And I hate to put sponsors of the kickoff party, TNT Fireworks, on the spot, but I can’t find anywhere on Google how fireworks can be anywhere near “carbon neutral”.

Sorry. Maybe I got carried away. And maybe I didn’t. I mean, a bass tournament isn’t exactly a coal-fired lithium battery plant, but it still has emissions. Oops. Did I fail to mention every one of those boats was filled with lithium batteries? The truth of all this green-like, just-for-show publicity is that you can’t even actually measure “carbon neutral”. You can just calculate it (hopefully with a solar powered calculator, for Heaven’s sake).

BASS released no details of how this was done. Maybe they will and I will backtrack in my carbon footprints on this one.

One more thing, since I guess I’ve pretty well ensured I’ll never get invited to one of these things again. There was also a kids tournament held in conjunction with the Classic. That’s a good thing. But my email asking if it, too, was “carbon neutral” went unanswered. Sorry, Bubba, but I call BaSsmaster on this one.

Have a nice, carbon-neutral day.


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