Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 3 years ago

Chris Gronkowski

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The founder of Ice Shaker, a high quality, stainless steel, shaker bottle. He appeared on Shark Tank and garnered an investment from Mark Cuban and guest host Alex Rodriguez. Yes, he has a brother named “Rob”, joining the Huddle is Chris Gronkowski. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

What's up, Dave? Hey, guess Dave, we all, you know, in our fans out there have heard sometimes you struggle with trying to come up with the right words. So what if you were to go in front of the sharks on Shark Tank? What do you think that would be like for you? Well, from what I heard about the process, it's way more drawn out and much more frightening than even what it seems like on TV, because you stand there, I guess, for like fifteen minutes and they kind of just like hi, you up. So I don't know, I have a hard time just speaking in studio with just you and Cam and it's dark and there's no one watching. So I can't imagine. I couldn't imagine like Mark Cuban saying, Dave, tell me about your workforce. You know, when did you create this? What is it you know? And I can imagine being able to reply coherently. Yeah, I just have a dark time something you'd be like Coulin't hurtle just got fired. Yeah, I just rattle off sports stats that aren't inconsequential. But we have a guest who's going to join us in the huddle who actually did that with his brothers in front of those sharks and actually in one and one struck a deal. Struck a deal not just like a your average deal, but with Mark Cub in and Alex Rodriguez, who was a guest host that week. Yes, Judge Right, and just just another great story in the lineup of guests that we've had. We all know him from his company being a chart tank creating the ice Shaker. His reasoning for doing it at is very powerful, because him and his brothers all love to work out. Yes, it's obvious if you've ever seen a picture, right, right. And then he has a super famous brother who's played in one of the greatest franchises ever in the NFL. Yes, and just retired last year. Well, was dad's had a very successful business in the world of weightlifting and Health for like thirty years, right, yeah, and and they entrepreneurial stuff was there. The athletics stuff was there. They've been doing that. And then his wife, she has been entrepreneurial too since he's left. You of a your old Alma Mater, and and it also played in the NFL. Yeah, while he's playing an nfl she had a successful online business. Yes, and then starting ice Shaker and those two working together. I mean just to entrepreneurial spirit they have, the transitions they've made, the passion that he's lived his life to go and try and play in the NFL and then taking that on to what it means to be an entrepreneur. Yeah, no, it's and it's a great product. It's not something hooky that people are buying it because they might recognize him from the NFL hour. There's family. It's a nice I mean Mark Cuban and a rod aren't jumping on board unless they see some benefit to it. And now he's partnering with other companies to put their logos on. I mean he's crazy busy. Yeah, great family. You may know the last name, but we want you to find out more about Chris Gronkowski, who's going to be joining us in a huddle right now, Dave. Today we got a fellow you of a along for you. You know down. Yeah, you guys are going to bear down the day, right, babby. And so we got Chris Gronkowski with us on one of the mean his family could be more famous and or athletic or an athletic yea, or muscular, or muscular or there's a lot of all there's a lot of things. You're really good at Flip Cup. I mean they're yeah, yeah, so. But welcome to day, welcome to the huddle. Chris Gronkowski with us today. Chris Krett, glad to have you on. Hey, thanks so much. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. I don't always get to hang out with the other you have a Alam, so I'm very excited about this way. Hey, in Pittsburgh I think there's about four of us, so it's it's always nice to talk to some man. Yeah, I don't know how many you have a basketball games I got to watch with Dave, but you know, I don't know. It's just it's sorry to find you have a in Pittsburgh. Hey, it's tough actually being a fan in Pittsburgh or even at Texas, because at least with football the Games are on, it's so late. I mean they start at one hundred and thirty. I watched the first quarter and I'm sleeping. That's thirty starts here for most of them. It's sometimes as games it's like quarter to two. I'm still like, especially if you're watching games earlier in the day. So it looks a long day. Yeah, especially how the team's doing. I'm not really sure because I don't usually watch the full game. So now in the products not that good, unfortunately. So I'm watching thirty fingers. Is kind to get better...

...than maybe you get a quarterback. I don't know what to stay up and watch, I guess. So. So, Chris, one of the questions one day. Yeah, one of the questions we always start with is we kind of have an understanding of your family, but we really want to hear from you. was what that spark was? When did you fall in love with was sports? Was It your dad? I mean you guys just had an automatically, you had a team automatically. But what was that for you? What's your earliest memories of that? Man, really, growing up we played every sport. It's memory was teaball, for sure. You grew up hitting, checking. It's really where it out competitive. So you always had to be the guy that laid the big hit. So hockey was our first love growing up in buffalo and really everything, every day was a sport for us. Was a game for us. We competed in every single thing that we did. By the end of the day, you know, there was always a fight. If you want, you fought. If you lost, you fought. But it was anything from just a little ministakes and in the basement or going in the backyard and playing whiffleball. Everything turned into this huge competition and we weren't allowed to stay inside, we weren't allowed to sit there and watch TV or play video games because our parents just couldn't handle it. But I get outside, get that energy out, you guys are not sitting in this house. So everything we did was just always a competition. It was always some kind of athletic event that we were doing. I mean, you guys had to be a nightmare in the neighborhood. When you guys go out and looking for whatever you're going to play, the neighbors have been like, Oh man, we were we and we were the house that everyone came to as well. So five boys plus at least one friend of all of ours always over at a time. So there was always a game to be played and we always competing against, you know, the older brother or the older brother's friends, or we're just straight up fighting with them. So it was always super competitive and I think that's really what bred us to be athletes. was just as constant compet petition all the time, every single day. If you could take one thing that you learned from that experience, what would it be? Man, from growing up like that, man, it's just to always try to beat you the best you can, because it mean it was kind of like you were. You're always trying to beat your older brother, you're always trying to show I always trying to be better than them, and it just it just bread this competition that you can't do any other way. So you really you can't. You just automatically do it. You can't really teach yourself it. It's just something that you're it's kind of just bred into you and at such an early age it just in grains into your mind that there's no other way to do it. You're going to go all out, you're going to go max out every single time because you want to win every time and really like get started. Way Back to you guys, I Know Your Dad Played College football, but your wasn't. Your great grandfather in the Olympics. Yeah, he was a cyclist or something crazy like that. So it really that wasn't really something that we even knew about, though, and really even my dad's football career. We really didn't know about that. Football really was never pushed upon us. Our oldest brother, Gordy, never even played football. So my dad he said it, you know, if you guys want to play, you can play. He never really pushed us into it and we never even played until high school. So what was your first organize event? Sport that you guys played? Would have been baseball. First was yeah, baseball, and then hockey. You guys, when you went to an organized event where you guys like really bored because it's like you got to stand there and wait and there's rules and there's coaches and there's umpires and maps. Where we are? You guys are just going to backyard get it all out. Yeah, I mean hockey was a little bit different. So it was kind of like that sport where you just went out there and you just did whatever. So that was cool, but baseball was definitely it was boring at first, at least where you know t ball and all that. So little boring for us. And then we were just kind of much further along than everyone else because we were competing against our older brothers, our older brothers friends, and so our athletic level was just so much higher than everyone else is at that point already. Yeah, so that had to be a big difference for you guys. Like all of a sudden you're when you're competing at your own brothers and everybody else and you have to go compete against kids your own age. It's almost like you got to slow down, take a, you know, step back and then and progress in a different kind of new way. Yeah, for us, we actually most of the time we were playing with in higher levels or we were, you know, my dad and would try to get us on our older brothers teams. So a lot of times we were still playing with older kids even up until, you know, twelve years old. Did you play hockey through high school? No, we all. We all kind of. For us it was a transition in high school from hockey to football. If you played hockey, you pretty much only played hockey. In Buffalo it was kind of a year around sport. You're playing travel the high school coach. They want states every year and it was kind of like if you don't play hockey, you know you're not going to be on the tea. If you don't play hockey your round, you're not going to be on the team. So at that point it was our love for every sport and also just for football that kind of pushed us away from hockey. You made us choose twoose between the two. So in...

Buffalo, who was your who's that player for the bills that you guys all looked up to? You gotta said you had have a favorite. And Yeah, my dad went to every super bowl. So I went to all four games and it hang the you know this. He cushions up in his office and he was super proud of the bill. So Rod went to the Patriots. It's kind of a weird day for him. But now we cheered for all of them. I mean Jim Kelly was a man, Eric Moules, I mean we were we were all in on the bills growing up. been biggest supportersman. So it was kind of its kind of crazy when everything kind of went to the different way. When when the FEL came around, well, he got John Fina too. I think he was in for Super Bowls. You have a lum also, there you go, tackle for the okay, yeah, my Tustin Act these. Yeah, he was my high school too. Yeah, we were. Well, also, my cousin Mitch played for the bills and knows he went to three of the super bowls. He was an off of that Lineman for the bills at that time. So your dad might remember him. He's probably too yeah, told, too old for you, but he does. Yeah, right, yeah, it kind of old trouble. Couple touchdowns for the bills, right. Yeah, so he was he's a Psu Penn state alone, but you know, he was a you know, it's funny when I think about having relatives in the NFL. He was so much older than me that I didn't really know him that well, but you guys are all so close together. That had to be such a great experience where you could call somebody and talk about that situation, which it probably had to be a really neat experience for you. Yeah, absolutely, especially when my younger brother Glenn, comes in the League and he's playing the same position as me. So it's one of those calls where it's a what do I need to do make this team and what you do? You know, how do you feel out this kind of this type of player or this kind of play? And so it's kind of cool being able to kind of coach him after the fact that priority went through. It myself. Other than that. Other than that, I just playing against my brothers. Were cool too. I got to play against rob when I was with the Broncos, to play against M Jules Stadium and we're just talking trash the whole time. So cool experience when I'm running by the sideline and he's yelling out there. You know, forty nine sucks and whatever, but just cool to go get team and its teammates and just stalk trash and one of the most exciting games that I played in I could imagine. So if we go back to your high school experience, as you have a coach that you really look back to and kind of shape tell you thought about the game or really drove some good fundamentals into you. Yeah, absolutely, all our coaches were great. I think what helped us the most at a young level was actually having a speed coach. We had a speed coach come in. He was a former receiver. He played for a little bit with the dolphins, but came in and really just worked on our speed and it's something that I recommend to two other kids in high school because it took us to a level that no one else was at. We started this guy started coaching us for only and by the next year he had hundreds of kids out there, because the speed improvement was drastic. I mean, you do you learn how to run. You got explosive movements, a lot of the Jodi stuff, and I think that's what really took us to the next level, because there you go to these combines and you run a Boh because you don't know proper form or you don't know how to run, or just a good start in forty. You know, it takes you immediately out of a Division One scholarship. So just by having this guy come in teach us the rite form, we got a lot faster, but our form and also our forty technique just got so much better that we were able to go to those camps and actually shine. Do you think that's more important than just running track in the spring? Him as FIS hard for me to say because we never rent track, so we weren't a track and field family. We were playing other sports at that time, so either either baseball or basketball. So we never ran track and I mean I'm sure track helps a lot, but for guys that don't run track, definitely great option. We are doing the speed camp in the summer. So during the offtime, this is when we were all summer long learning, learning how to run faster and with better form. So what were some of the technique techniques that you guys would use? He did he use bands or was it just did it? Would he video you guys? How would he really give you technique so you could have better form in running? Yeah, all that arm swings, just, you know, do your ten yard starts, your proper form coming out of the forty yards, and then just a ton of a jodie drills, so ladders, all those movements that you're going to see any ways at the next level. So a whole bunch of ladders and Jones and cal setic stuff like that, and then just running a lot. So we were running to her throwing up a lot of times, you know, hundred yard dashes and even four hundred sometimes, but just just a ton of running and with with perfect form was kind of the goal. And over one summer you drastically get so much better and it was you could see it.

And it's crazy because our oldest brother, Gordy, came back from college. He was one of the slowest runners his whole life. He's running over a five. Oh, and he was clocking in the fastest out of all of us after one year for one summer and he was like, man, I should have played football, and he never did and he's always a slow kind of clumsy guy and it just drastically helped him. What agere you when you started working with a coach? I was I was I think I was a freshman when he when we brought him in, my older brother Gordy had already left for college. Dan was a rose round, a senior in high school and then rob was still in middle school. So, like college recruiters are probably almost like. There's plenty a period of time where it was almost a stable your house. There's always someone you know talking to you guys about going to the next level. And when did that start for you? O, man, that never started for me. Now there wasn't many recruiters coming into Buffalo. You know, they were coming in to see rob. The rest of us all struggle to get out of Buffalo. It wasn't somewhere they were pulling talent out of. We are lucky to have one guy go with division one out of the whole area. In New York itself is a very small percentage for especially for how many people are in New York that actually get the one scholarship. So it was a tough area to get out of. We had to go to a lot of the camps, we had to do a lot of visits, we were calling everyone, were writing letters, we're doing everything. So for Dan, Dan was able to get a he's only had a couple offers. Huge Katie's a monster in in high school and he ended up getting a DNE offer from Maryland, but one of few. I came next and really it was a university of Buffalo for me and some some division, one DOUAA and I was actually committed to go to University of pain. So I was going to go Ivy League and last minute got a scholarship offer from Maryland just because Dan was doing so well. They lost a bunch of kids academic probation and they saw my grades and my grades were actually what really got me scholarship. So never talk to the coaches. Last minute they offered me the scholarship and I ended up taking a leaving pain or my commitment to University of pain and go into Maryland on a full scholarship. What was your experience a pain, like you were there two years or so. I never actually went to pain. I'm urted there, Maryland. I'm sorry, Maryland. Yah went there. So two seasons red shirted and then I played mostly just special teams and goal line as a fullback. But it was a tough place to play. The coach was a hard nosed coach and it was almost like they never wanted me there. They offered me that last mate. I never talked to the coach and then we had, you know, the the spring beatings where my brother rob came in and they basically said and told Rob and my dad that I sucked. So at that point it was like a man, you know, I'm grinding. I was the strongest in that Strength Index on the whole team. I have a four. Oh, I'm playing, I'm doing everything I can in this guy's just tearing me apart. So it was one of those moments where I just said Hey, I want to go somewhere else. I'm going to play somewhere else. So I actually left, went to Arizona and at that time rob was still looking for a school to go to and so we kind of paired it together and went together to Arizona. Oh, Nice. That's that's okay. I'm going to ask you how you got to Arizona, because that's a long way from Buffalo. It sure is. Yeah, we got there. Let's see, good family friend that was in the business with my dad selling fitness equipment. My Dad's been in the retail fitness equipment in commercial for over thirty years. So had a good friend that was in the same business as him, that was selling in Arizona and he was a u a alone. So he pushed the school super hard. Sunny dice came in. It came to our house and was just like, Hey, we threw the ball eighty times the tight end last year, so if you want to come in, you want to play early and you want to cut to catch a bunch of passes, Yo, this is school to come to you. You're going to be a big fish in a small pond. You're going to play right away and we're going to feature you. So between the two and then going there and driving a golf card around and going to pool party, was all really took well. I would imagine there were some good sights at the Pool Party. Ya, Sei is pretty so it wah it. It was incredible actually coming from New York and going there and they were like throwing keggers. They were recruiting kids to live there, and this stopped before the time we left, but yeah, like White Tshirt, contest kegs, everything. They were bringing in like minor celebrities just to get kids to come out and then also stay there at those apartment complexes. So we went to one of those parties, rolled up on a golf car where like this is amazing, and that was kind of it. It's how we ended up there. How'd you like stoops as a coach? He was good. He's mostly just a defensive coach. Yeah, so it's crazy. As you saw him during games, he really was. He's pretty calm during practice and he really only dealt with the defense. So I almost never I mean it wasn't like he screaming at the offense or anything like that. If we did something good, he was yon at the defense. Was Pretty Awesome. Do you play a little linebacker, though, or no? When I first got there, yeah, I had to sit out of Yere,...

...so when I came there I had to sit out of year. I was playing linebacker, scout team linebacker or something like that, and I also tried oft for the baseball team and was on the baseball team for a yearn what position were you in baseball? I was just playing left field. Yeah, power hitter coming out. Really had to decide between baseball and football and wanted to try it while I sat out for a year. But once you stopped playing it goes away quick and Arizona was number one of the nation that year. So I just kind of brought wrote the bench and realize that sixty game seasons pretty long and had to make a decision between the two. So I was doing both and it was killing me. I was losing a bunch of weight. I was doing both workouts as doing double headers on the weekend and then practicing for football week and just said man, this is it's too much. I got to focus on one. So I stopped with baseball after that year and went to football only. Yeah, that had to be that end to be difficult. I mean just playing football a loan. It's a lot of work. I couldn't imagine do both of those and trying to keep your academics of it was brutal. It was the lightest I ever weighed. I waited in I lost like twenty to thirty pounds just because I was never I was I was so busy. I was always doing something there, making me do both workouts and both practices and then going straight to school. And I remember I waited at two hundred and ten and I left Maryland at two hundred and forty and I was like man, this is this is crazy. And it wasn't like I wasn't eating, I was, I was eating everything inside. I just there was no time to eat or just doing too much activity. So really just had to make a choice at that point and I did and switched over to football full time. Yeah, you really need it. And I Shak your back then, didn't you? Yeah, yeah, man, when it come anywhere, then it would have give running and summer, man, well, hundred ten degrees out in the middle of the day, running stadium, so I could have used it. There's pool parties too, you know, with them complexes, pool parties. Yeah, pretty good. Ever, never know what's in at many stays cold all day. Absolutely. So you're at you're in Arizona, you're getting you're into your senior year. What are your expectations going on after you senior year? Like, what are you thinking at that point. Yeah, I went there. I was pretty much totally if if I could at least participate or play special teams, they put me on scholarship. So I did get my academics or I got my I got my full scholarship back after the first half cemet or first semester, and my junior year I started playing. So I started as a fullback and they really told me when I went through that the full back plays about ten snaps a game. So first game I played about ten snaps. I did really good. Second Game I played about twenty. Third Game I was playing about thirty to forty snaps a game, playing all the special teams as well. So my junior year was kind of the time where it went from you know, you have zero chance. I never thought I'd go to the next level. You know, I was kind of just right in the wave. I was trying to get the best degree I can. I got a counting degree that I'll never use in my life, but it's just trying to get we all have the right and was trying to do the best I could with what I got. And my junior year was really when people started coming in and saying hey, you have a chance at the next level and I'm like now looking at my brother, not me, like no, like like the jets came in, they're looking for a full back and they were asking me about you. So that's kind of the only the first time I was like okay, so there's actually something here. So at that point, going in my senior year, I did get hurt and we also lost rob that year. So it was it was. It was tough because I pulled my Hammi the first week and college is a whole different story where, you know, I had one. They won't give me any practice off at first, and then my whole leg bloed out, is black and blue and they gave me one day of practice off. So at that point, you know, Baisy did nothing. I really played through a whole senior year where I can never really run full speed and I was getting yelled at and they're like well, you know, why are you trying? And it was like I'm trying, and they pull up film from the year before and show me and they're like well, look at you here, look at you now, and I'm like I told you over and over and over, like I can't, my hamstring is done, like it's blown out, and so it was a rough year for me and it really took me after I was done. I took about three to four months before I actually got back up to full speed and really didn't get that right until about pro day, about a couple weeks before that, was actually at full speed again. Well, Hey, that's when it counts. Was your pro day is to be its full speed and in all that training you've had over all those all that experience you've had in those different transitions, I'm sure that made you ready to go and have a great day when the pros commit to really look at you. Oh, absolutely, that's the that's their biggest day of your life. And you train three four months and that's all you do. I mean we didn't do anything besides train and eat right. You know, we were in Miami in a hotel and it was wake up super early, train, eat, train again, take quick nap, train again, and that was it. It was all rehaving as well, massages, everything you can. So a lot of guys didn't take advantage of that time. A lot of guys that were they're supposed to do. You know that we're supposed to be doing the same things as us. We're still out party and they were still out, you know, sopping at...

...making D's, they were skipping the workouts, but you know, it was a hundred percent all in. Rob was in the same boat as me at that time. He's coming back off out back surgery, so we're fighting together every single day to get healthy and get ready for that day. How was your dad and influence on all that? He was. He was huge for all of us. He's always been kind of the go to when we had any issues, are our problems, and for me, I mean he led the way for me because he was the one out there, you'll contact in the school, was trying to get me in, you know, putting the letters out there, making sure that I was doing the right things. And then just at my size and my height, it was always hey, you have to get in that weight room, you have to become more explosive, you have to do this, because you're not six six, you're not running a for for like like everyone else. So he was a huge influence on on all of us just to put us in the right way, put us the lead us in the right step. So other than that, NFL, wise you kind of just sit back and and you watch it happened at that point. So yeah, so the draft is coming up, you are there expectations and being drafted. Did you have an idea of what might happen or is it kind of up in the air? Yeah, for me it was possibly very late. So like a fifth, fifth round picker on I was getting calls during it, before it as well. Was told a couple times that I could draft did six or seventh round and then. So really, if that was the case in my agent said, you know, it's probably wouldn't have been the best case if I got stuck somewhere as a value pick, for a six or seventh round pick, it might not have been as great because, you know, they don't necessarily want you at that point. They're just they're drafting for value. So by going on drafted, I was able to pick where I wanted to go and I think I was put into a lot better situation because of that. You definitely would have to go to a place that you know, because on every team use the full back anymore, but you know, you had to go to a team that that would use a full back. You know, a lot of big part of the game. Had to go to a coach that. You know, love that, I that. You know, those those different formations that would use a full back and that was one of my favorite offense because I came in with north of Turner. We use the full back all the time and I love that system. I love that system. Did you yeah, Yees, you end up going to the cowboys? Right, yeah, and I mean they had a very great full back for all those years and Darrell Johnson, and then, you know, there's a big legacy to hold up to. When you went there. Absolutely yes. I got put into a position where the full back before me was great, great player, but he was in some offseason trouble, so they weren't sure if they would keep them around or not. So really, my agent did a great job of scouting and put me in a spot that he knew if I did well, they I would replace that guy just because, not necessarily because I I was a lot better than him or anything like that, but if I was able to at least hold my own, they would probably put me in that position because of what happened in the offseason. So great spot for me to be in and then really was up to me at that point. It was it's one of those things where you know what's a one and done. If you don't get it done, you're out. And for me at that point it was my oldest brother got drafted for baseball, my second older brother got drafted late to the Lions and then rob went in second round. So I was the only family member that wasn't drafted. So it's kind of like that fire, that competition that there's no way in Hell I'm going to be the only brother that doesn't make a team. Right. So what's that like? Your Gall's cowboy coming out of the tunnel for the first time must be unbelievable. Man, that was insane. That I mean, if you want to talk about distractions, that stadium has some distraction. It's going on right. So yeah, the first time running that huddle was it was crazy because it you never really anywhere else are looking around or distracted by anything, but the first time in the huddle I had to like ask somebody else with the play was because I was kind of just in a days for a minute. So definitely a different experience. But once once a ball snapped, it's all the same. You don't know what's going on, you're so locked in, you're so much adrenaline that you don't know what's going on anywhere outside of the outside of the huddle or who you're blocking. Do you remember your first play? Yeah, for sure. I've ran a like a little, just a little out route. That was it's know. Did you get the ball? Now? That was wide open, though. Who was the game against? First Game we played against the bears. Well, that the first game I started was against the bears, but I did play in the first game, but I didn't start the first game. Did you play a lot of special teams as well? Yeah, so I was on. I was on every special team. So the only one one I wasn't on was kickoff covers originally, but the rest of my career after the cowboys, I played all four special teams. So how many years and did total did you get in Nfilm? I stay I played three years, thirty six games. I played in thirty six games and then I got four credited seasons. Ended up getting hurt with the chargers and taking it...

...out an injury settlement for a fourth year. So what happened in your injury? I got rolled up on in practice just Ronny Brown, the running back of the time, just fell on the back of my leg, high inkle sprain and camp and really looked like it was my job. I was. I was there on a minimum contract, going against the highest paid full back in the league. So I was looking pretty good just because of the value play for me, and I was playing on every special team. So had a good feeling I was making the team. And then you get rolled up on and your damage goods at that point. So took the injury settlement, got it next your ear in it and it took off. Now did you tell yourself, Hey, I'm going to try to get back into league after that, or did you just say you can, I've had enough, I've been in football for a long time. I'm gonna look in see what else I can do. Maybe use an accounting degree. I got an Arizona. Hey, I was ready, man. I was kind of crazy because at that time, after my third season, my wife started this little business, little side business on the side, and she was like there's no way in how I'm going to go find another job. Is My fourth job in four years, you know, from college on to, you know, three teams I went to, and it's like I'm just I'm done. I'm going to find a way to work from home. So she did and she started hand painting my glasses and I came home one day and I was like whatever, you know this, this is going nowhere. But it started selling. It started selling a lot, and I started selling so much that you could keep up with it. So she had to find a way to scallet. Started doing like vinyl stickers instead, kind of like the stuff you stick on a car. She put that on cups and it did so well that shit again. She couldn't keep up with that and at that time I was like wow, you know, there might actually be something here. So, going into my fourth year, we actually started investing money into commercial grade laser engravers and other machinery and started to get our own starting to source our own products with our with our name on it, and it's our taking off. Started exploding actually, and so I went after that summer, I went back to camp and I kind of had this on the back of my mind that, you know, this is doing so well. Obviously I football still there and and I was a hundred percent in on that, but if something happened, I had something to fall on. So ended up getting hurt going back and it was crazy because I ended up making more money that year where her business and I would have played football. So it all ended up working out. Is a good transition for me and I did try to. At that time I was still rehab and I had to Rehab for about three months to get back to a hundred percent and then I was at that point, I was still in good shape and I had a try out in Miami and I went there and I ran a fourteen blow on my hamstring. So I ruptured it and I said, all right, that's it. That's a good ending. so that HAM string again. Huh Still. Yeah, it's the deal. For me. It was either have surgery, get a reattached or just let it scarred down and I'm fine. Like I can do everything. I just can't do it at that explosive level that I would have needed to at the NFL level, but on a daily basis, like I can. I play basketball every day, I could, I could run, I could do all that. It just would have hurt me if I continue to play football and didn't I to heal all the way. So really just an ending in a lot of guys don't get an ending. A lot of guys keep on going for me. It was you know, this is the sign that I'm a hundred percent done. I'm not going to continue to try anymore. At that point it looks nice that you had something to fall back on, that you know things, other things in your life. We're going well. So that, yeah, it. That doesn't get to happen for a lot of guys because they've been absolute dream and fighting for it and going after it and then all of a sudden it doesn't come to fruition and then they're saying, I don't even know what I'm going to do now, and that's yeah, and that's I see guys like that all the time, a lot of my good friends, because that's all you're learned, that's all you know, and you're making so much money that it's hard to step back and say, Hey, I'm going to take this entry level position for sixty grand a year when I was making, you know, hundred twenty game. So it's definitely a it's a hard transition. I see guys for years struggling with it still to this day. And what guys that I was playing with five, six, seven years ago, or whatever it's up there now. Let's see seven years ago and they're still struggling with with what to do. So I actually did. I was blessed and lucky to kind of just fall upon what I did. So when did um I shaker kind of take for? So I shaker was so I was about five years out of the League. At that point. My Wife's business was was doing really well. It's full time with that. We continue to grow it today. It's still also name it her business. It's called everything decorated it's called. It started on Etsy, kind of like a arts and crafts website. Yeah, as has grown from there to a website and the her at sea shop does really well. It's one of the top ranked on the on the whole platform. She's still doing that. Yeah, absolutely, she'd still growing. She just hired another three people two weeks ago. So well holds her girl. We're about six years in now, six, seven years. That's great. So it's done really well. So with...

...that came we're personalizing a ton of cups, a ton of Yetie Cups. At the time the summer to are the winner of two thousand and fifteen. It was just this flood, this massive flood of Yettie Cups, and everyone wanted to personalize them because you're all exactly the same. There's really no way to separate them. So everyone's coming into our shop saying, you know, how much, how much? So we started buying the cups direct from yet eve were but we're buying like twenty five grand where the cups a week and they were selling like the same day. Well, we're sounding for triple the prize. We're something for a hundred fifty bucks a pop and it's kind of like hey, wife gave me one and I'm like, I don't even want to use this thing because I know how much I could get for it, but it's she engraved it for me put my name on it, so I had to use it and I started using it. I'm like, you know, this is actually pretty cool. My drinks cold the whole day, but when I went to the gym it was, you know, back to the plastic Shaker bottle that used for years. And the middle of the summer came around and it was like a hundred fifteen or hundred ten degrees in Dallas and by the time I got there my water was warm. It was completely melted. There's water sweat marks all over the place and Mike why isn't this technology in this Shaker bottle? And so that was when the idea came about. It was I'm going to take this cup and I'm going to turn it into, you know, a cup I can use all day, every single day, and I wanted it really just for myself. So at that time we already supplying it and we were manufacturing our own products for for my wife's company, and we use our same connections because we were making a lot of tumblers and plastic tumbler stuff like that for the wedding industry, and use the same connections and said Hey, you know, we want to take this cup and make it into to a Shaker bottle, make it something that we can use all day every day. And that's how it started. So how did I know? How did Shark tank come into play? Like it would stage you are you approached my shark tank or you pros Jo Shark tank? It's crazy. In two thousand and thirteen, where I was still playing, had a had an email actually come in from rosenhouse sports and the email just said, hey, this this show is looking for any former athletes, and so I saw it. I was a huge fan of the show and I was like man, that's so cool. I wish I had something go on the show with. So I'll still playing. At the time had, you know, no plans, had didn't have a company or anything like that at the time. And when when the idea for I shaker came about, I said, man, this is like the perfect infocommercial, like shark tank type of product. So immediately I put a game playing together. I was like, Hey, I can't contact them yet because there's nothing there yet. So let me get your get going, let me get a couple sales, let me prove somethings their first and then I'm going to hit him up. And I looked it up online. I knew when they were filming for the next episode and I was about six months out from that. So I finally got the product up and ready to sell right at the beginning of the year, so in January, and then I had this six month period where I wanted to contact them and then they were filming in June. So at about three months in, in March, I had about twenty twenty five thousand dollars in sales. Of that time I'm like, all right, there's something there, there's enough there I'm going to try to reach out and see if they're still interested. So I did and got an email back saying, you know, I no longer work there, and I'm like, damn well, yeah, what do I do now? But she immediately wrote back and said, Oh, by the way, you know, I did for your email and they responded back to me. Here's the correct contact. So I reach out to them and they just said you have to make a video. So, you know, we like the idea, but you know, everyone goes through this process. We need a video submission from you. So at that point I was like, all right, I got to do this right, like I gotta. I know they're looking for entertainment. I have a good shot, because they were already looking for former NFL players, but let's go all out in this video. So I did everything I could. I did like crazy workouts, I was ripping my shirt off, your flex in the camera had like highlight films like flashing through the screen and it was like the worst but best video that you could get. And did you make a video yourself? Yeah, it's so, yeah, like it was. It was like it wasn't professionally done or anything like that. And so I we sent it in and I'm like, I have no idea how this is going to turn out, and every day I kind of watched this hee they it. You send it, you submit as a youtube video and it's private. So if they watch it, you'll know. Right. I go and check every day and see if they watched it, and the one day I saw the sudden there's five yews on it. So I'm like I it's happening today and I got a call and they're like Yo, that's exactly what we need. Loved it, love the energy and you know, we love to have you on the show. But it's still long process. So still had to go through through just hundreds of sheets of paper and they had to do more interviews and stuff like that, and eventually, you know, I finally got an opportunity to go there. And then they still say like even after you get there, they might not film you, even after they film you, they might not air you. So there's still a long process from that point on, and so I just study, study, study, watch every single episode I could and the day of I'm like they better film US Right. Ended up getting once once...

...rob the rest of my family was involved in like either's no way that they're not going to film us at this point, and that was kind of when I was like, yeah, we're good, that we're in. Well, I thought, I like how you got them all involved and that was the best part. Like, if you're getting the sharks involved in something and get them out of their chairs, it's going to be way better than them just sitting there grilling you about like much money, if you may. You know what your what your valuation and all that stuff. So I like what you guys did. That was great. Yeah, it was. It was actually huge. I think it was the best thing we could have done, because all the hard questions that I was ready for we're never asked right the show actually is. I was up there for over an hour being interviewed. So everything from, you know, high school, you know what I studied, where I went to college, everything I was doing after football. They ask all those questions. You know all my strategy, what I was doing with the common everything, and they don't show that stuff. They just show the most entertaining stuff. But even with how much they asked me, it really never got I really never got drilled like I've seen people get drilled, and I think it was because we walked in there with energy, we're having fun and we challenge them at Flip Cup and the whole mood kind of change to that point where it was kind of a more fun, Louve and show at that point instead of just me getting absolutely hounded by them. Were you nervous when you first started? Like when you walk out, it has to be a little intimidating because everybody goes on it shows a little intimidated. Yeah, what they do is they make you stand there for like two minutes while they get all like the shots around you. So the cameras are just flying back and forth around you and they want to get every angle before you even start talking, because then they kind of splice that in a certain points when they need to. So you stand there for about two minutes before and you're just staring at them, at the sharks, and they're just looking at you. And so in that two minutes, like with anything where even if you weren't nervous, it's you're going to start getting nervous because of that reason. So you do see a lot of people freeze and and that's bad. I think that's where it comes from. So I walked out there, you're confident, you're moving and then all of a sudden you're standing there still for two minutes and you kind of get a little nervous. But once you start talking, just with anything, you start flowing, you're good. And you'd like instant report to with Cuban, both beings from Dallas and stuff to that probably helps kind of bring the ice little bit. Oh absolutely. You have to have two guys up there that you are, both sports minds. You know they're going to immediately resonate with your brand. And then you have Mr Wonderful, who's a Boston Bass Guy, so I knew he would also be on board with everything, and he was actually the first one to throw an offer out, so that was that was a good thing. What was is offer. So I know you asked, what, ten percent for a hundred grand. Yeah, so he came at twenty percent and and try to talk it down, but you're right. Ended up ended up getting what I what I asked for. Well, it's good, it's good because that that to me. That's the hardest thing is they give you an offer and if you're like, if that's a first offer, maybe I don't get another one. What should I do, you know, and they're asking you right there take it or leave it? You absolutely yeah. CUMAN puls is sometimes if you don't take it, it's good, it's gone. So that has to be nerve. Ranking absolutely yeah, and I was hoping that wouldn't be the case and we ended up getting offers from all five, so it was. It was a good turn out for us. That's pretty good. Now we're how are you guys doing it? You guys exploding like you think you should? Yeah, but yeah, for sure. It brought a ton of momentum to the product. Really, at the time we have one bottle, one size. That was it. It was nothing. It was a side hustle. We went on the show. I had eightyzero in sales. Within one year we did an update. Within one year we had we had over three million that came in and really grew the products from one bottle to I think we have ten different variations now with the bottle and then with that we have different patterns, colors, and so we have probably over a hundreds kills at this point. How much interaction do you have with a Rod and Cuban? Do they still check in occasionally or you are calls probably with them as that. What's that all out of? Yeah, they like to see the monthly financials, so I got some those over. But no, really, humans build out this whole team. He has this whole team of he has over a hundred shark game companies that he's invested in. so He's built up a team over the years to help out all these companies. So what's cool about him is his whole networks huge. I can call up one of his guys at any time and they kind of all specialize in something else. So if I need help with one thing, I call one guy, something else called another guy, but it's worked out well. They also connect me with all their other brands. So if, for instance, another company called nuts and more, they do these spreads with with proteins them and they sell do with similar demographics, well, right away they're going to connect me with these guys. We're going to see what they're doing. You know, how we can benefit from them, but also how they can benefit from us. We might do a couple collaborations, send out email blast or giveaway together, stuff like that, and so it's just all about connecting, networking and then giving help and advice, and that's what's been huge for us bringing stuff to the table immediately, like...

...like GNC. Immediately went national with GNC, and then also still sitting on the phone and negotiating the contracts with me these big companies. The verbiage and everything they put in a contract is crazy and when you haven't done it before, you know you're just giving away the house and they're on the phone saying, Hey, by the way, you know, we negotiated with you guys and we're in with five of the brands. You know we're not. We're not doing that this time, or you know we're not taking that. You know we're not doing these kind of deals. are terms so really good and helpful of actually have them on your side for big contracts like that? Yeah, I just saw were you did a deal with Ruth Chris, steak counts, right. Yeah, so we yeah, we have all kinds of companies coming in. We're able to personalize each and every bottle. So we have a bunch of big companies coming in. We have a Cardi come buy a bunch of bottles companies like Ruth Chris. Today I woke up at four am and we're doing a company called action equipment and just a big company out of Florida that bought a bunch of bottles just for all the employees and customer gifts. So really cool that our bottle isn't just we're not just the Shaker bottle. It's really a bottle for everything, and then we have tumblers and other cups as well. So getting a ton of big companies coming in just saying hey, we're looking for something that's high quality, good customer service, fast turnaround time and also has a story behind it, because people today they want to tell a story as well. They're not just going to buy a no name knockoff product or buy from a company that I've ever heard of before. They'd rather support someone that they stand behind, that they like in that they know and trust. Yeah, I like the fact that you can use it from multiple things. Like if you think of a protein shake bottle, you're thinking of it just for protein and working out. You guys have shown that you yours is versatile. You can put whatever you want in it and you know it's going to last year all day. Dave, I think you should get one just because that's like one of your favorite things every time you're with Davis he's got his little Yetti. You're yetting, but it's kind of way. It's just it's just hiding what your what's in there. We can't when you can't see inside. It's the there's a little secret it. Let's charmed to the whole thing. You know. So what you got in there? Well, there's all the it just depends on the hour of the day and the day of the week. It varies. But yeah, bad sometimes. Also, could also make drinks in here too. It sounds like. Yeah, I know, that's the best thing about it. You can use it for all kind of stuff. The worst thing is that those old cocktail shakers you can't get the lid off and there, I'll tell yeah, it's a pain. Is just like here. It's like the beginner version of the cocktail Shaker, but it also floats in the pool to so ready good part. It's ready for perfect easy cleaning, easy cleaning, everything, everything. No, I think it's I've a friend that has one I don't like. I told you my my Yeti is a lot of miles on it, but I think it's time to upgrade. I think this kind of upgrade, Chris, so, one of the last things we do here on the show. We really appreciate you coming on and talking with us today about your life and everything that happened to it, and I like to think that the crisp back that grew up in buffalo really didn't think about where his life was going to lead and all the transitions you had. And that's really what our shows about, that you might start somewhere in sports really helped you become who you are today, but you have no idea and I think one of the biggest things about sports is that it teaches you to get back up. You know, you've had injuries, you've been on different teams, you've gone from Maryland to Arizona, all these things, and you had to build your brand and it's amazing to hear your story of how you built your brand and it's something that your parents taught you, everything that you learned from a kid, and it's just an amazing story and we appreciate you coming on with us. One of the last things we do we do a two minute drill where we blast a bunch of questions at you and we're going to power down the field and and put it in the end zone here. So Day, once you fire away with the no't all right, Chris. If you could trade places one person in the world for one day, dead or alive, who would that be? Oh, I'm going with the Rock, I guess. Imagine his daily routine. It's something just like not for am lift in working out, hopefully as an eye shaker. I mean be great to save rock with an eye shaker. Hey, rob gave him one. Oh Nice, maybe that with them. I don't know what happened to it, but he gave him one. I don't know, like you see all that stuff that he's in. I don't know how he does so much like he's everywhere. I'll let you know, man, once we switch places. There you go. If you could be a commissioner for one of the League's, NFL and HL, NBA, whatever, for a day again, what would you what would you change? Oh Man, I'm change in the new past interference rule. I'm getting rid of it already. It's already killing the game. Horrible. Yeah, and that drove me a watch one preseason game. I'm already mad about it.

Yeah, every single place pass interference. I mean you got to play the game and if you if you slow it down every plays there's going to be some kind of past interference involved. So I hated that rule when it came out and it's going to last one year, it's going to be gone. Yeah, I was watching the preseason San Diego New Orleans yesterday and the running back cut the ball. He gave the I don't know if it was a d back or linebacker, stiff farm just up under the GIN. It's called a face mask penalty on them. I don't like. How do you even play a game anymore at that past iner ferens? One's brutal, though, and it's all coming from one play, one call. To me, it should have been in that game. There should be a rule where the rest can huddle up as as a group and for like ten seconds to say hey, man, told lot time out. You blew that call. Let's huddle up for a second and let's reverse it. And that's really what should happened in that playoff game, not a whole new rule that came out of it that's going to absolutely kill the game is slow down. Yeah, no, I agree, I agree. All Right, so you've been an athlete, you're in business, you're an owner. Now what's your biggest pet? Peeve, Oh man, biggest pet peeve, man, just just people that know how to do something but they just know they have to ask first. Like that drives me insane as a business owner. Anyone that only runs a business you know, you know how it's done, but they they have to come and ask for kind of just approval for something that you can just go and get done. That drives me in saying just just get things done. This Day and age, just get it done. Just do it, and that's kind of how I built my business, that's how I done everything was it was figured out on your own right. I like that. I like that. Um, if you could go back and tell a younger version of yourself one thing, what would that be? Man, I would just say and have confidence in yourself growing up and kind of the situation I was thrown into with Maryland, where it was kind of like hey, here's the offer, because your grades, You all your brothers Yo this and he's killing it. So it's kind of like you never really had confidence in yourself until I got to that level. So my biggest thing with anyone and once you have that confidence you're just so much better. All right, so they're going to make a movie of the girl cowskis. Who's going to play you? Man, I don't know. Better be a base though. Yeah, I sound like maybe the rock might play you. I'll take that all day. I like it. I like it. How about your favorite sports movie? My favorite sports movie? Oh Man, that's that's happy Gilmore for sure. Oh yeah, that's a hard that's a great one. Then, just tamping in, Dave, what about your favorite? You of a bar. You have a bass are so let's see. But we didn't really go to the bars that much, but rob was a bartender, or he was a he was a bouncer for a while at this there's a sushi place there for a little bit. Oh yeah, yeah, it's called Fuku. Yeah, I was. I was talking to my friends about a month ago about that. I don't think it exists anymore, but it out there. It had like the highest like the o. They were talking to other bar owners. Surprisingly the massive amount of money went through there. Now I don't know if what was going on, but it was one of the highest revenue places in the Old City. But you'd never know. You'd never know that roll, you know, like, yeah, like it was. It was a big time barb but kind of like. It wasn't like a dirt bags for example. You know. Yeah, yeah, no, it was run a university and rob was there. He was he was the bouncer when he was hurt. So we would just go in and it was we could do whatever we wanted. So that was my favorite. So you guys do a lot of stuff as a family, I'm sure, you and your brothers and your parents. So where do you guys like to go to hang out? Man, we usually end up in Miami or or really work for the trip rings it. So a lot of times, you know, we were just had to ask be's in La so we're all going to come, we're all going to meet up, we're all going to have a good time. So stuff like the ASPS pre party, where usually it's not that fun. Yeah, we go and we turn it up and everyone's stance and having a good time. So I usually, yeah, usually ends up in one of the big cities for in a big event, and is how we've been doing it lately. So you, I'm sure you guys you already got your party plan for Miami. We yeah. So, so we're actually it's going to be called the Grock Beach Party. Oh God, it's going to be. Yeah, it's going to be crazy, Dave. That's where we're that's what we're working out. It hasn't been hasn't been launched. Ye, are released yet, but the grown yeah, we'll come on, having a beach party on Saturday before the game. They'll be a lot of ice shakers. They're better be next better be the next morning, filled with a lot of you know, Bloody Mary's, all that kind of stuff, getting people through. Oh, yeah, now, but really, Hey, we really appreciate you coming on. Will let you...

...know when it's all gets come comes out. We it was a great huddle with you today and I can't wait to tell your story and share with our fans and and really help you promote eye shaker. We don't need any help from us, but I mean, you guys are doing such a great job and I wish you all the best of luck. Hey, we want to thank you for joining us today on howd up with guests, where we talked to a wide range of guests about how supports shaped to life. As always, I'm joined by my great friend and Co host, Dave Hagar, and we want you to be able to follow us on all of our social media at huddle up with gusts and we really appreciate you and thank you for your time and listening to our podcast.

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