Our sport has two big titles: Bassmaster Angler of the Year and Bassmaster Classic champion. It's nice to win individual events, but until you capture one of the big two, you won't be considered among the best of the best.
How many of you have been BASS members long enough to remember the time when the greatest AOY of all-time, Roland Martin, challenged the greatest Classic champ of all-time, Rick Clunn, with a $1,000 bet over who would finish higher in the Classic?
The debate was hot and heavy back then (the late 1970s), mostly because Martin had never won a Classic (and never did) and Clunn had not won an AOY (which he eventually did in 1988). Amazingly, it wasn't until 1983 that any angler had earned both titles. That year, two men (Larry Nixon, who won the Classic after having earned two AOYs, and Hank Parker, who won AOY after having won the 1979 Classic) started the club that now has 11 members.