There isn't much solitude for a professional athlete or coach these days with the advent of Twitter, the camera phone and the 24-hour news cycle.
So, when Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is able to get away from football for the month of July before the start of training camp, he finds his solitude on the water.
“I love to fish,” Schwartz said in a interview on WDFN Friday with Matt Shepard. “When you're out on the water, it's a different feeling, particularly now, when what we do is so public. Everything you do as a professional athlete and everything you do as a professional football team is scrutinized, it's talked about a million times and that's the life that we live.
“When you're out on the water there's a solitude that goes along with that and nobody's talking about whether you missed that fish or caught it. I think that's one of the things that appeals to me about it.”
Schwartz said he spends a lot of his time off in July fishing the Chesapeake Bay for striper fish.
“I grew up as a bass fisherman, I sort of crossed that to a little bit more of the saltwater fisherman,” he said.
It was only natural, then, that Schwartz would jump at the chance to lend his support to theBass Pro Shops KVD Charity Classic, which will be held Monday, June 10, at Kensington Metropark on Kent Lake in conjunction with the Detroit Lions Living for the City philanthropic initiative
This is the second year of the event, which allows teams of two to pair with a Detroit Lions player or coach and a professional angler. The 2012 tournament raised nearly $60,000 to benefit both Detroit Lions Living for the City and the Kevin VanDam Foundation.
“For the people that get this opportunity to spend the day in the boat with both of these pros (NFL and Anglers), it's pretty cool,” said legendary professional anger Kevin Van Dam, who started the event alongside Schwartz.
“It's just a very unique experience because you get the players away from the game where they just really have to be focused on their job that day. You get these pro anglers away from an event where they're not worried about points or their standings, they are just there to have fun.”
VanDam has won the Angler of the Year award seven times and is a four-time Bassmaster Classic Champion.
The top three teams will receive prize packages including: rods, reels, tackle, apparel, Lions items and fishing electronics, as well as trophies.
The competition concludes with a weigh-in and awards ceremony.