These are sad times. We have our first casualties. I still can’t believe it’s true. Anyway, one of our stalwarts, our tourney vets, and onetime good friend is bailing out of the tournament. Before I lay into him or throw him overboard on our next trip, I’ll let you decide.
We were at fellow tourney vet and Headhunt sponsor Ethan Kusmin’s (of Kusmin Family Builders out of Plymouth) 4th of July BBQ this past Sat and obviously it soon turned to tourney talk. There were a few boats represented, and our good friend Ben Allen was talking strategy for his team. He then proceeded to buy one of our tourney t-shirts, and reminisce about some of the past tourneys (he was there in year 1 when we had 3 boats and actually had 3 19 lb fish at the weigh-in – biggest controversy in tourney history to date – knock on wood), when we started talking about the date.
The captain of Ben’s boat this year, Rob, and Ben were standing with us when we mentioned the date being July 25th. Then things unraveled and we quickly saw the tale of two men. Rob, bewildered because he thought the tourney was in August, said he was ready. Soon, our other buddy Gavin who plays in a band with Rob told Rob they had a big gig the night of the 24th. Without skipping a beat, Rob said, “cool, looks like we’re pulling an all nighter”. Love the spirit.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Ben. Ben remembered that he had his nieces’ first birthday party the 25th and then he fell apart. We quickly cornered his wife, who said it was fine for Ben to miss the birthday party but it was up to him. Granted, this is his god daughter, but if you’ve ever met anyone who loves fishing to the extreme – that is Ben times 10. Anyway, it all ended today with the following –
“Unfortunately, I think I am out. I have been over this in my head all weekend every which way and there is no way I can miss that frigging B-day party. It’s my goddaughter and it’s her first birthday. If it were her second or third I would even consider backing out. I am not happy at all about this development. And that “green light” from Erin is about as worthless as a drunken Tria. Que the assault. It is well deserved.”
So Ben is out. Which stinks since he is a huge part of the tourney. We’ll try to wear him down over the next couple of weeks, but it is hard to fault the guy for choosing family, but we’ll still show him no mercy regardless. Personally, I think the fact Ben is a tourney vet who hasn’t sniffed a victory is looking for the easy cop out.
In the same vein, rumor on the street is that team Wizard and Harry Corduroy may also be out. What the deuce? For all the smack talk that team has to offer, we need them in the tourney – this is unacceptable – and weak. I’ll refrain from a full fledged rant until we get confirmation, but this is a troubling development and potential sign of a bigger issue with that teams moral character.
On the flip side, 3 time tourney champ Mike O’Brien lent my brother 3 wireline set ups today. We are pretty much out of cash since buying the boat, so this is a big help for Team Jackal for the tourney. Guy wins 3 championships and still helps out his competitors, true class. Ben, Harry, take notice.
Any and all comments on the situation are welcome, curious to see what other people think.