Letting Lay Lake lie low for now

In the interest of fair play, a Lay Lake fisherman, Steve Weldon, asks that this column relate an opposite view on the question of the use of the lake during the BASS Masters Classic a few weeks ago.

Weldon’s position is different from the one taken by Mike Brasher, another user of the lake, in this space two weeks ago.

Brasher thought that regular users of the lake should stay out of the way and let the professionals have sole run of Lay during such a tournament.

Not so, Weldon says.

He and his two sons were fishing the lake on the Saturday of the tournament when, he says, one of the pros showed a decided lack of courtesy to them, although they tried to stay out of the way.

Weldon says that he and his sons were not following the pros &uot;and would not care if they did not come back.&uot;

He hopes, he says, that &uot;so-called professional BASS Masters would realize that once they have reached this status that they will have onlookers or spectators, and unlike in other sports, they cannot contain the fans in some type of controlled seating arrangement, so they will just have to deal with the onlookers.&uot;

Weldon calls the pros &uot;a pathetic bunch of fishermen who were never taught any ethics or courtesy to others by their fathers and grandfathers.&uot;

At one point that Saturday, he says, one of the pros and his caravan &uot;came up beside us and began to full-throttle their outboards, almost sinking my boat.&uot;

As a result, Weldon says, he had to replace his trolling motor because it was almost completely submerged.

In addition, most of the people he talked to at a marina &uot;were not concerned that the BASS Masters were in town &045; and did not think it had increased the local economy.&uot;

With that side of the story, I will let the Lay controversy lie low for now.

Jumping from fishing to football, here are my first predictions of Southeastern Conference and Alabama-Birmingham games for the 2002 season:

Alabama will defeat Middle Tennessee, although the Crimson Tide had better not be pointing too much toward Oklahoma or there will be trouble in Legion Field this Saturday.

Auburn takes on a tough one at Southern Cal next Monday and no matter how good Daniel Cobb is at quarterback, the Tigers will lose.

On Saturday, Florida will start a new coaching era by defeating Alabama-Birmingham, Georgia will edge Clemson, Mississippi will defeat Louisiana-Monroe, Oregon will be a poor host to Mississippi State, South Carolina will defeat New Mexico State, Tennessee will defeat Wyoming, and Georgia Tech will defeat Vanderbilt.

On Sunday, Louisville will defeat Kentucky, and Virginia Tech will defeat Louisiana State in what should be a fun game to watch