If there is anyone wondering why TMZ sports never took off, look no further than this article in the St. Pete Time about the Rays’ Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann. I submit that there are way, way more ballplayers with their particular obsession than there are ballplayers who like to go to clubs and movie premiers and stuff:
His routine hasn’t changed much since his days at Lake Wales High School. Everywhere he has played (New York, Carolina, Florida) he has gone head-to-head with the best in the game — brown trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass. You name it, he has caught it.
“I’ve fished anywhere and everywhere,” he says. “If I am driving down the highway and see a pond, I’ll make a note of it, come back after work and see if it has any fish.”
Baseball players are rarely the big men on campus in high school or college, assuming they even go to college. An overwhelming number of them come from places like Florida, Georgia and Texas. If they didn’t marry their hometown sweetheart they married some model who — rather than catapult the player into the jet set — herself transformed back into a small town girl.
It’s kind of sweet actually. Most of these guys remind me of my brother in law back in West Virginia. Who — and I am not making this up — holds multiple state fishing and hunting records and serves as an officer in multiple clubs that determine whether various hunting and fishing techniques conform to various throwback standards that they all care about (retro is huge in certain sportsman’s circles, apparently). When I visit he asks me what jig (or whatever) he should use to catch thusandsuch fish and asks my opinion about the workmanship of the latest bow he constructed. It’s gotten to the point that he doesn’t even wait for my blank stare to start chuckling at me.
But I don’t fight back because when the apocalypse comes he’s the only guy I know who’s going to be able to feed his family, and we’re totally squatting at his compound.