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Kim Bain At The Bassmasters Classic

Kim Bain Must Overcome Distractions

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And, finally, speaking of distractions, we'll have an interesting distraction this year: Kim Bain-Moore. We will all have to deal with the "Kim Factor." Kim Bain-Moore, the first woman to compete in the Bassmaster Classic, has obviously accomplished something never done before, and that in itself is impressive. Sort of like Danica Patrick in Indy racing or Annika Sorenstam when she played a PGA event, Kim's going to get a lot of attention because she's treading new ground.

I'm not naïve enough to think everyone in our sport is happy. But I will point out that, just as the rest of us did, she earned her position in the field through the rules ESPN created. She qualified. ESPN has done fantastic things to grow our sport, and I believe this will certainly draw great attention to the Classic - and attention to the sport is a good thing.

What I believe this means to Kim is that she will be crippled by media coverage. She'll have what seems like a million people following her everywhere she goes. I'm a former Classic champion, but she'll get far, far more coverage than I will. In fact, she'll get more coverage Kevin VanDam and Skeet Reese combined.

My message to Kim would be this. Enjoy the event. Take it all in. Be competitive, but try to savor it. And I'd like to say that I wish her luck, but I don't know if I wish Kim luck any more than I wish KVD or any other competitor good luck. When the whistle blows February 20 and we launch our boats for the start of the Classic, my intention is to win. At that point, she's just another competitor.

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