Say buh-bye to Keith Alan. This post that just went up at Bassmaster.com says the spectacled Elite Series emcee has been replaced by none other than fishing funny man Dave Mercer, who’ll take the mic beginning at the 2011 Classic in New Orleans, La.
As far as why Alan was axed, B.A.S.S. co-owner Jerry McKinnis is quoted in the announcement as saying: “We simply felt like it was time for a change â€” time to get a fresh personality in the role of emcee.”
Alan’s always been a polarizing figure among pros and fans. He was involved in a bit of drama during the 2005 Classic in Pittsburgh when he put George Cochran on the spot at the weigh-in about a reported on-the-water conflict between Cochran and fellow competitor Jimmy Mize. Later Cochran said he felt ESPN and Alan had “tried to humiliate (him)” on the biggest stage in bass fishing. (If you have no clue what I’m talking about, you can read a bit about it, hereâ€”scroll down to “The Ugly” section.) And while it doesn’t get talked about a whole lot, many anglers (especially those who sided with Cochran) haven’t forgotten how that situation played out.
On the other hand, Alan’s become known for his zeal on stage and his ability to get a crowd fired up. Many fans certainly seem to like him, but there’s always been a contingent of folks who’ve wished Fish Fishburne was still the man behind the mic.
But, the past is the past. And now Alan is just that: history. I think Mercer is a good move for B.A.S.S. He’s got a fishing background (unlike Alan who was pulled from action sports, namely ESPN’s X Games), and he’s a likable character. He’s also got solid emcee chops and is generally fun to listen to.
We don’t know how this commitment will impact Mercer’s other projects, like his Facts of Fishing television show and his Facts of Fishing FYI web series, but we’ll see if we can pin him down and get the scoop.
How do you like Mercer as the voice of B.A.S.S.?