GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ohio (August 6, 2023) - For the second year in a row several Pro Football Hall of Famers capped off their ceremonial Enshrinement weekend by fishing for walleye on Lake Erie with some lucky fans.
Hall of Famers taking to the waters included Emmitt Smith, Ray Lewis, Terrell Davis, Andre Reed, Warren Sapp, and Bruce Smith. These guys cast plenty of lines for plump walleye alongside five Notable Live eBay auction winners.
“You’re like, ‘Holy s***…this is Emmitt Smith. I’m chilling on a boat with him and fishing.’ Pretty mind blowing,” auction winner Steven Lazette said. “You’re only going to live one time. You’re only going to take advantage of an experience like this one time and if not now, when would you ever?” added Lazette.
The full day of activities kicked off at SPIRE Academy just south of Geneva with a health and wealthness panel featuring all of the Hall of Famers. Then the legends made their way to Geneva Marina where they all hopped aboard their own boats with auction winners, friends, family, and boat captains.
Rex Trautman fully embraces the once-in-a-lifetime mentality as he’s a seasoned vet when it comes to fishing with the all-time leading rusher. Trautman was part of the inaugural Hall of Famer Fishing Experience in 2022 and joined Lazette on Smith’s boat this year.
“It’s kind of surrealistic in a way. Last year I didn’t know what to expect; this year I did know what to expect,” Trautman said. “You get to hang out with them. They start calling you by your first name. It’s really an honor to get to hang out with Emmitt, Ray, and all the other guys and kind of kid with you like you’re one of the gang.”
Lazette wasn’t the only first-timer. There were a handful of other winners who braved the rough waters, including Phil Walls. The Maryland resident is a massive Baltimore Ravens fan and when the opportunity to fish with legendary linebacker Ray Lewis became available, he jumped at it.
“It was an experience of a lifetime. If you’re a football fan, if you’re a football fan of any of these players, the opportunity to be able to spend a day on the water, out there fishing, just the guys, it’s unbelievable,” Walls added.
But the fun didn’t end when the boats returned to the docks. The Hall of Famers, eBay auction winners, dock workers, and others headed to the GOTL Brewing Company for a classy dinner and cocktail hour where all could enjoy some of the best views of Lake Erie that Geneva-on-the-Lake has to offer. This part of the day gave the eBay auction winners an opportunity to get to know their favorite players.
“It’s kind of almost like you’re dreaming this and you find each one of them individually are really nice people,” Trautman added, “They’re really down to earth, average people.”
“Emmitt, hell of a guy, funny guy. I didn’t know how funny he was, especially growing up as a fan,” Lazette said.
Is returning to Lake Erie to fish with these Hall of Famers in the “net” for these three Notable Live eBay auction winners?
“I’d definitely try it out and do it again, especially all the NFL players that Notable Live has, so that’s pretty incredible too. I would highly recommend it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a lot of fun,” Lazette said.
“To spend that entire day with one of your favorite players of all-time is priceless,” Walls mentioned.
“You get to hang out with Emmitt Smith, you get to hang out with Ray Lewis, Terrell Davis or whoever. Who wouldn’t want to do that? I mean that’s a life experience,” Trautman added.
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