Ask any world-class athlete – LeBron James comes immediately to mind – and he or she will tell you it’s all about the hardware. Problem is, I’m not a close friend of LeBron James.
Or any other world-class athletes, for that matter.
So with neither the Cleveland hoops deity nor any of his high-tax bracket peeps as backup, it was left solely to my 8-year-old son – Ryan – and I to pursue a trophy that would instantly elevate our family to mandatory financial advisor status.
In this case, that meant either the “Most Caught” or “Biggest Caught” prizes at the annual Tween Waters Inn family fishing tournament, which took place earlier this month in the waters on both the gulf and bay sides of the resort.
OK, truth told, the perks of winning weren’t exactly life-changing in nature.
Rather than a vacation home in the Keys, it was a foot-high trophy with a generic nameplate.
Rather than a phone call from the president, it was a quick snapshot along resort GM Tony Lapi.
But it wasn’t a total loss. There was ice cream and popcorn.
And as it turns out, the few hours spent aimlessly tossing a line from a scalding splinter-laden dock while trying to keep live shrimp from boiling in a bucket has some benefits beyond economic ascension.
Though whatever critters were in the water decided to dine elsewhere – a total of 71 were caught, in fact, but none by us – the chance to simply sit with my boy without being interrupted by pesky fish yielded memories that’ll last at least until the next episode of American Ninja Warrior on NBC-2.
Or heck, maybe they’ll even go until Peter Busch’s hair moves on camera.
A 24-inch lady fish – the poor man’s tarpon – was the largest monster plucked during the competition, and a slew of consolation door prizes made winners of several others who’d had roughly the same luck with rod, reel and 20-pound test as me and my would-be Bill Dance.
I’m guessing the pelicans had a better go of it – minus the cookies & cream, of course.
And when next year’s event comes around, we’re casting from LeBron’s boat.