50 reasons why fishing is better than pro sports

OUTDOORS

March 21, 2004|By CANDUS THOMSON

1. Guys nicknamed "Walleye" are superior company to guys who go by "He Hate Me."

2. Not only can anglers spell chartreuse, but they can use it in a sentence.

3. Fishing song: "Son of a Sailor." Basketball song: "Hey Ya." No contest, Jimmy Buffett rules.

4. Who would you rather watch on the screen: Gregory Peck as Capt. Ahab or William Bendix as Babe Ruth? Robert Shaw as Capt. Quint or John Goodman as Babe Ruth? George Clooney in The Perfect Storm or Babe Ruth in Headin' Home?

5. Charter boat captains stand on deck and holler, "fish on." Football captains stand on the 50-yard line and mumble, "heads" or "tails."

6. And everyone knows you can have only one captain, so why do five guys run out before a football game? Must be so they don't forget the words.

7. Chesapeake Bay sunrises vs. Wizards' sunsets.

8. Terrell Owens. -Nuff said.

9. There are no steroids in fishing.

10. Or records with asterisks.

11. Capt. Buddy Harrison has better jewelry than Ray Lewis.

12. Fishermen spit overboard. Baseball players spit on the dugout floor.

13. Free parking at Herb's Tackle Shop. Bait machine outside. Ravens parking, $20. Step over the broken bottles. Such a bargain.

14. No obstructed views from the Point Lookout pier.

15. Don't need an expensive skybox, either.

16. Miss Kitty's Fire Sauce on crispy wings aboard the Jil Carrie vs. rock-hard "Italian" sausage with carbonized vegetable matter at Camden Yards.

17. There's no quarterback controversy.

18. No agents. No free agents. No agents of change.

19. The sound of gulls and waves vs. the paint-peeling din of a stadium sound system.

20. Tochterman's Tackle, established 1916. Baltimore Bullets, er Washington Bullets, er Washington Wizards. Oh, who cares?

21. There are no bobbleheads in fishing, only bobbers.

22. Bernard "Lefty" Kreh vs. Ted "Righty" Leonsis. (Psst, Ted, watch out. Nickname aside, Lefty is ambidextrous).

23. Fishing doesn't require home and away uniforms.

24. You don't need to be held hostage by Comcast Cable to enjoy fishing.

25. Piney Run Park vs. 1st Mariner Arena. Gee, what are my choices again?

26. Would you rather treat the family to a chocolate sundae at the Pasadena Sportfishing Group monthly meeting or a beer shampoo in Section 39, Yankee Stadium, courtesy of the bleacher creatures?

27. No TV blackouts. No rain delays. No strikes.

28. DNR Fisheries biologists vs. baseball players union apologists.

29. Bill Burton, a half-century of Mid-Atlantic outdoors writing and counting. Patrick Ramsey, Redskins quarterback of the last nanosecond.

30. You can wile away an entire rainy Saturday afternoon at Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's. An egg timer will do for a visit to the Washington Mystics on-line shop (one shirt, one hat, one jersey, one throw pillow, one blanket. Those choices, again ...).

31. Ernest Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea. Pete Rose's My Prison Without Bars.

32. Most famous white whale: Moby Dick or John Daly?

33. Anglers who do good deeds for needy kids don't send out news releases and have entourages videotape their every charitable move to play on the JumboTron. See Nos. 34 and 35.

34. Three words: Wish-A-Fish.

35. Four words: Joe Judge Fishing Derby.

36. Jim Rome doesn't talk about fishing.

37. Neither, thankfully, does Chris Berman.

38. But Capt. Richie Gaines will give you plenty of good, free advice about the Upper Bay.

39. If David Segui had chosen fishing instead of baseball, he might have been the Cal Ripken of angling.

40. Reward after tying up the boat at the end of the day: fried chicken at Harrison's Chesapeake House, the toast of Tilghman Island, or a pile of crabs at Jimmy Cantler's, the pride of Anne Arundel.

41. And a beer, please.

42. With practice, anyone can make a decent cast. At practice, anyone can wind up in a plaster cast.

43. There's no such thing as Rotisserie Fishing.

44. But rockfish on the grill is like dying and going to heaven.

45. People don't go fishing to see fiery crashes. Or infield fights.

46. On average, anglers have more teeth than hockey players.

47. Most states have days when you can fish for free. Maryland has three - the first two Saturdays in June and July 4. Professional sports has, oh, never mind.

48. Anglers never have to worry about whether Washington will get a franchise over the objections of Peter Angelos.

49. Fishing isn't sponsored by Fritos or Penzoil. The Gunpowder River isn't covered in logos. The Chesapeake Bay isn't a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner.

50. Fishing is better than professional sports because it belongs to you. Tight lines this season, everyone.

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