Hiding in the shadows

Just give me a Twisted Sister wig and call me Howard Stern, as it looks like I have become “Mr. Controversy” in Fort Frances.
A column written a few weeks ago, “Putting sports under the microscope,” has touched many a nerve with local residents—and has created a backlash aimed at yours truly.
Quick question. Over the first day since the column was published, I received a number of e-mails explaining how I was either: a). a fool b). an idiot c). a leprechaun d). threatened to be whacked with a monster bass or e). absolutely right?
The answer is actually f). all of the above.
Here was the basis of the column. Me, myself, and I took an unbiased look at 18 sports, which covered the whole spectrum from football to chess; gymnastics to power lifting to (gulp) fishing.
Adding fishing to the list was where the trouble lay.
I ranked the sports in an array of categories (from spectator friendly to mental focus to speed and agility, etc.) and in the end, fishing ended up (gulp) in last place for the worst all-around sport of those 18 looked at.
To add to the merciless attack, I encountered a countless number of in-office and out-office blazing, which found me steering away from my regular routines in order to find shelter.
I found myself looking over my shoulder as I walked down the street; hurrying to my apartment door as if I was being chased; triple checking to make sure my doors were locked and windows sealed; and suspiciously smelling any food products I purchased.
I even went as far as asking my fellow co-workers to start my car in fear of it exploding.
Did I overreact? Maybe. But you be the judge. Here’s just a taste of why I have spent the past few weeks living as the Hunchback of Notre Dame. These anonymous comments have not been edited, but due to length some were cut short.
•Yes, I think you should check your head and put your list on your own fridge to remind yourself that you should look for a new way to make a living!
What hurt most about this one was the exclamation point. Like Bryan Adams said—it cut through me like a knife.
•There will be no fish at the end of your rainbow, you Leprechaun.
Leprechaun? Where did this person ever come up with that? I’m Greek for goodness sake. Maybe Greek Fairy or Olympic Idiot, but Leprechaun? That was simply uncalled for.
•1. Chess is not a sport. 2. Someone is going to whack you with a monster bass when you’re not looking. This is the wrong town to trash fishing in. 3. If the bar is your office, you have more problems than an inability to tell sports apart. Do they pay you by the word count for this drek?
Okay, this person has watched too many episodes of “The Sopranos” to be taken seriously. And the reason why this person deems chess as not being a sport is because they probably don’t have the intellectual capacity to play the game (it’s spelled dreck).
•Anyone that would put down a local tourism mainstay, let alone the pure livelihood and enjoyment of its people, must not have much upstairs when it comes to writing about something worthwhile. Good luck making new friends.
(In my best Tony Montana from “Scarface” impression): Tschyou talking to me, man? I don’t see anyone else here, so you must be talking to me? Do you know who I am, man? Look at the pelicans fly, come on pelican.
•You gave fishing a score of 390? Speed and Agility—Fishing 60? The speed at which the angler travels from the boat launch to the hotspot . . . he who travels the fastest has the advantage to get to the spot that they want to fish.
Mental focus—Fishing 70? Try strategizing where the fish will be, what they will be biting on. Are the outdoor elements in your favour or against you? . . . I guess you’ve never been out all day in a boat trying every combination of movement, bait, lure, and location known to man to try and entice anything to bite, all the while wanting to call it quits and go home. That’s mental focus.
Hmmm . . . you must not have been allowed to cast when you were a child. . . . You must not be from around here!
Again with the exclamation point. This person was downright incensed. First he/she (or it) made assumptions on my youth, then proceeded to verbally bash me with inconsequential blabber.
But why defend myself when someone came out of the woodwork to defend my opinion?
•Whoa there, you crazy fishing people. Give the poor sports guys a break. When he says “Speed and Agility,” I’m sure he’s talking about PHYSICAL speed and agility, not whether or not there’s speed involved in the sport.
Of course fishing boats go fast. Big deal. Most anglers sure can’t run fast. You can’t deny there’s precious little physical activity involved in fishing, compared to sports like basketball or soccer.
Please, the only time an angler breaks a sweat is carrying his 2-4 to the boat. And as a spectator sport, fishing sucks. He’s not talking about parades and beer tents. He’s talking about actually watching someone fish. Frankly, I’d sooner watch the grass grow.
In term’s of “putting down a local tourism mainstay,” I hardly think that’s what the writer had in mind. He is obviously thinking of the bigger picture of sports, since he included rock climbing, which you can’t even do around here.
So while you may accuse the sports writer of being biased against fishing, you can just as easily be accused of being in favour of it, which is no better.
Sing it sister!

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