Major League, Kevin Vandam, R M Van Damme Foundation discussed on Pro Football Talk with Mike Florio
He is considered perhaps the greatest professional fisherman ever. He has the biggest number of all time and career winnings nearly $7 million. He has eight angler of the Year awards. He's got four Bassmaster classics. He is widely considered to be the goat. Joining us here on the show for Major league fishing is Kevin Vandam K V Day. Good Morning. Good morning, man. Great, Tio. Great to be with you this morning. Yeah, It's good to have you here on this show as well and You're such an outdoorsman. An avid outdoors been whether it's duck hunting or deer hunting or fishing or what have you Has it been hard during the last couple of months because everybody's been kind of shut down or for you being so part of the outdoors. Has it kind of been relatively natural just to be, you know, kind of Doing the things that you normally have his hobbies. Um, you know, to be honest with me At first, it was really It was really strange. I think it probably was for everybody. But It is kind of, you know, there's been a silver lining and the fact that I've got to spend more time through this time of the year, you know, fishing and with my with my boys, and just with my family and things like that, and I normally get two Not that we have been working because we have. I think everybody's trying to figure out ways to adapt to this. You know what we're doing? And still do, you know, create conduct your business. I have been on a lot of zoom calls. I can tell you that, but no, it has been. It is still bend some of some great memories that we've been able to make out in the water. When this whole thing started back at April, you were raising money for food pantries in food donations, which is a really cool venture by you. You were putting together this amazing prize pack of gear and equipment that you really love and having people match donations. How did that idea come up? And how? What did that mean to you to try to get back to food pantries and things like that early during this? Well, the one thing I can tell you about our fraternity or our family within our industry is there's really a lot of good people and they're very very giving you my wife is Ah, person. That's very much like that. You know, That's the reason we started R R M Van Damme Foundation some years ago to do you know, able to give back, you know, you know, I mean, I've been lucky to make a living at something that I absolutely love to do, And it gives you you know a platform to be able to do some of those things. So when this all hit and we just saw so many, you know so many people, whether it be front line, you know, medical workers or just people that lost their jobs and things that were just You know this hit everybody. Like a brick wall. And so it was really her idea. And, you know, we put that together to start with and Then we did an all in challenge, too, with some other friends and things like that. So we do what we try to do everything we can, Teo, you know, to give back, you know, to help other people in need and It's just I think again. That is the nature of outdoors people to begin with there. They're very helpful. You know our group You know, Ifyou're broke down on the side of the road with a flat tire on your trailer or something like that, you know your competitors that you compete against Just that day that you're fierce, you know, fighting against for a win will pull over and help you. You know, that's just the nature of the people in this in this sport. Major league fishing. Kevin Vandam joining us this morning here on the show em LF now has the live stream for the 2020 best tour Proceeds in best Pro tour season coming up once again this weekend, could also see Stage one championship around episode on Discovery Channel coming up on Saturday morning as well. Has that ever happened to you where you were broken down, or you saw a competitor broken down and you actually did pull over and pick him up or help him change the flat or whatever. Absolutely, like, even during competition, you know, I mean, you know if somebody's broke down and you know they need a spare part or tools or I carry a lot of extra, you know you you want to help You know you want to help your federal fellow guy out because if you were in that same spot you, you know, appreciate the same type of respect so no many, many times over the years I've been doing this a long time and It's just one of the things I'm really, really proud of is the quality of the people that I compete against? And that's what makes it really rewarding too. Is that mutual respect and admiration that you know really, everybody have, even though we're I could say were fierce competitors on the water. We want to win. You know you're still at the end of the day if you want to be a good person. Yeah. You know, you had had so much success. Even before Major League fishing was created. You became an original founder of the circuit of the league. What was it that drew you to want to help create? You know a new dynamic with them. LF Well in the beginning, the main reason that we and it was it really wasn't my brainchild to speak there, so to speak, But I was I was one of the original guys, but It really was. Gary Klein, who's another professional anglers had this concept of just trying to make the, um the competition a little more exciting and a little more accessible for the fans. So you know in the past We would, you know, catch fish put him in a live all We really didn't know how much they weigh or where you stood. You didn't know what your competitors had, or you know how you were actually doing. You just had to kind of guests. And you come in and wait efficient. And then you know the results were the results at the end of the day, but well with major league fishing. You know what? We we score the fish. You catch the fish who got official right there. We weigh the bass and he's back in the water in the same spot, typically within 30 seconds, you know, and so there's a great conservation aspect. But the biggest thing is the real time scoring, You know, we all know With the score tracker that we have on DH. You can follow it online during the during the live events. You can just follow score tracker and just see.