Saturday, November 24, 2007

byron velvick

SEMINOLE, Fla. (AP) — A former cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who was proposed to on the reality TV show "The Bachelor" was accused of punching a man she lives with in the mouth, authorities said.

Mary Delgado was taken into custody just after midnight Wednesday on a battery charge and was under the influence of alcohol when she was arrested, according to a police affidavit.

Delgado received a proposal on the show in 2004 from professional bass fisherman Byron Velvick. The two appeared together Tuesday in a special episode of "The Bachelor" called "After the Final Rose."

The police affidavit does not name Delgado's fiance, but says the pair have lived together "as a family" for the last three years. According to sheriff officials, Delgado was released Wednesday afternoon.

She gave her name as Maribel Liliana Delgado. A telephone listing for the pair could not be found.

Seminole is about 10 miles northwest of St. Petersburg.
Full moon must be out. Or there's something in the water.

Seems as though everyone's breaking up these days.

The top stories on celebrity gossip Web site TMZ on Friday were:

• Hulk Hogan's wife files for divorce. Am I the only one disappointed by this? Those two seemed like they had a really strong bond and healthy marriage whenever I watched "Hogan Knows Best" (yes, I did just admit that out loud). Are they just another couple who fell victim to a reality show or could they not overcome the stress of their son's car crash in August that left a passenger critically injured?

• Mary Delgado, fiancee to "Bachelor" Byron Velvick from season six of the ABC show, was arrested late Wednesday on domestic battery charges. She is alleged to have punched her beloved in the face, causing his lip to bleed.

Ah, love. It makes us do crazy things. Mention the name Byron Velvick to 10 fans of professional bass fishing, and you'll likely hear one of two responses. You'll either find out that Velvick is a good guy, who through his stint on ABC's 'The Bachelor' and Basscenter on ESPN has brought a lot of attention to the sport.

Or, the other likely response will be to question his position on The Bassmaster Elite Series. Velvick is a member of a class of Western anglers who, excluding himself, has claimed two Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles, won 11 BASS tournaments been to the Bassmaster Classic a total of 22 times, and earned more than $3,300,000 in career earnings.

While Velvick has won the 2000 Bassmaster California Invitational at Clear Lake in record setting fashion and in the process became the Godfather of Swimbaits. While his Bassmaster Tour level statistics don't show it, Velvick ventured east as perhaps the most decorated angler among his 'graduating class." In his years competing on the Western circuits Velvick claimed 17 boats in competition, a truck a Rolex watch, and two U.S. Open Championships.

In the last four years Velvick has experienced his success off the water. His appearance on 'The Bachelor' brought bass fishing into the mainstream media. Not a week went by that he was not featured in a publication such as 'Us Weekly' or People Magazine. After the conclusion of the show, where he met his fiancée Mary Delgado, Velvick was hired as a co host on ESPN's Basscenter, and has been a regular contributor to ESPN Outdoors programming since.

That success brought him many opportunities, but it also created a lot of distractions that seem to have gotten in the way of his focus as an angler. "I will not make any excuses for my performance," Velvick told The BASS ZONE. "I haven't done as well the past couple of seasons, and I have no one to look at but myself; and I am looking forward to starting over and putting last season behind me."

2007, a Year of Challenges
Velvick entered the 2007 season with great expectations. The opening event was scheduled for Amistad, where Velvick, Mary, and their partner Mike Bonnee had taken over ownership of Amistad Lodge, (which they renamed Amistad Lake Resort). He had built up much experience on the lake, and following his practice round, felt he was ready to challenge for a high finish.

"I had planned on covering quite a bit of water," Velvick said. "I was hitting open areas with a River2Sea swimbait, and flipping trees with a Berkley Power Jig or Chigger Craw with a River2Sea Trash Bomb. I was hitting a lot of spots each day, and was averaging 18 to 19 pounds a day, with bigger sacks mixed in."

On the final practice morning, Velvick, and his houseguest Aaron Martens slept a little late, then, while they were hooking up his boat, Velvick was injured. "I backed the truck up to the boat, and Aaron helped me center it," he said. "I thought that meant I was hooked up, but I wasn't, and when I tried to pull out, the boat popped off the hitch."

The boat began rolling down his driveway towards Chris Lane's Motor home, and in trying to stop its momentum; Velvick got pinned between his boat and truck, with his leg against the tailpipe of his running vehicle. "I was screaming, but Aaron was in the house with my old friend Steve Oliver, and they couldn't hear me," he said. "They came out a few minutes later, and had to chock the boat trailer and move the truck to get me out from between them."

Velvick tried to practice with his right leg burned and badly bruised, but he couldn't stand on it, and when fellow Elite Series pro Ish Monroe told him it looked really bad, he got off the water and went to the hospital to get it checked out. "They told me it was badly injured, and that if I wasn't careful, I could develop blood clots that could go to my heart; it scared me to death."
Velvick informed BASS Tournament Director Trip Weldon, who urged Byron to not fish. "I was on pain medication and couldn't stand up, so they put an observer in my boat as opposed to a Co-angler in case I couldn't fish the whole day," Velvick said. I lasted both days, but had to sit down and drag a Senko around, I couldn't fish aggressively like I had planned and I was only able to catch small limits each day, and didn't make the cut."

The injury affected his ability to stand on the front deck of his Triton for most of the first half of the season. "I couldn't put any weight on it through Clark's Hill," Velvick said. "By then, I had no confidence, and I wasn't mentally ready to fish, and was frustrated."

Moving Through the Challenges
Velvick said that he is focused on getting back to the level he fished when he was winning so much in the West. He is also continuing to build on the success of his businesses. "The resort is doing very well," Velvick said. "We have been working to change the feel from a fishing lodge, to the resort that we want it to be." He said that they have replaced the appliances in all 40 rooms, upgrading the phone systems and installing WiFi in the rooms.

Velvick is also opening a full service boat service, sales and tackle store in Del Rio, Tex. "We are working with a local businessman, Antonio Rodriquez, to open Amistad Lake Sports," Velvick reported. "We will focus on Mercury service, but will have Triton and Mercury sales, as well as a tackle pro shop."

He is also working to further develop opportunities in television, "I really enjoyed doing Basscenter and the Classic coverage," he said. "I had a lot of fun doing it, and it was great exposure for me and my sponsors." He said that he communicates regularly with colleagues and producers, and when the right project comes up, he will go forward with it. "It's something that really interests me, and am actively looking for opportunities."

While his projects are well on the way toward being completed, Velvick has begun to turn his attention to his fishing. He knows that he is behind the eight ball in having to go to the Wildcard event at Lake Okeechobee the last week of November, but he sees it as a chance to start 2008 on the right track.

"I spent some time there before it goes off limits on the 29th, and I feel like I found something to build on," he said. "I can't wait to get back there for the official practice and see if I can't put together a winning pattern."

"I've had a lot of success in the past, and I know I can fish like that again," Velvick said. "There are lot of positive things going on in my life; I will pour the motivation from those into my fishing, I am looking forward to next year, and want to get it started as soon as possible


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