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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 5 months ago

Drew Bledsoe

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joining the Huddle this week is NFL Qb Drew Bledsoe. The First pick in the 1993 draft. Drew helped improve the fortunes of the Patriots, who had fallen on hard times. During his tenure as starting quarterback, the Patriots ended a seven-year postseason drought, qualified for the playoffs four times, and made one Super Bowl appearance. He also made it to three Pro Bowls.

Drew suffered a near-fatal injury early in the 2001 season; he got hit by New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis and suffered a sheared blood vessel in his chest, which almost resulted in his death. This terrible injury leads to his backup Tom Brady becoming the team's starter. He could not regain his starting position for the remainder of the season due to Brady's success; Bledsoe subsequently played three seasons with the Bills. He made a fourth Pro Bowl appearance, and two with the Dallas Cowboys, before retiring during the 2007 offseason.

Upon his retirement from the NFL in 2007, Drew Bledsoe "doubled back" to his hometown of Walla Walla, Washington, to realize a long-held dream. Drew and his wife, Maura, purchased a piece of property on the southern edge of the Walla Walla Valley and subsequently launched Doubleback, https://doubleback.com, as an estate-focused winery to craft America's best Cabernet Sauvignon. Drew had long been planning for this moment during his years playing football, and success came immediately as the first vintage earned a spot in Wine Spectator's Top 100 List.

Hey everyone, Welcome to anotherepisode of huddle up with Gus, I'm your host, former NFL quarterback GusFrerotte and welcome to the new 1631 Digital New Studio. You know, somepeople say no news is good news. Well I say to those people you've Never read.1631 Digital news dot com. Go to 1631 digital news dot com to get your latestnews, sports, music and entertainment and maybe even listen to your favoritepodcast. Follow up with gusts. Check it out today at Wide. Digital News dot com. Welcome to what surely will be a doozyof a matchup brian here. Sports fans, whether your game is on the gridiron atthe diamond or on the links, we can only say, yeah, welcome to this week's huddle upwith gusts. 15 year NFL quarterback Gus parents, passion for sports has takenhim on the field and behind the bench is playing for seven NFL franchiseswith 114 TVs under his belt. Gus knows who the players are and how the gamesare one. Uh it's not every day you get to hang out with an NFL quarterback up.Okay, sports fans from the decked out and plush 16 31 digital studios, it'skick off time, so snap your chin straps on and get ready to huddle up with us two left. Uh huh. Hey everyone, welcome toanother episode of huddle Up with Gus, I'm your host, Gus for about 15 yearNFL quarterback. I want to welcome you to huddle up with Gus, I want to thankum 16 31 digital news in their studio for helping me produce the show. I wantto thank our team, Terry, schulman and Ian Kiss Terry. Just had a birthday. So,happy birthday terry. And uh I want to thank sounder FM for hosting ourpodcast. Sounder FM has done an incredible job with all their newtechnologies and doing the transcribing of the show and putting it up onYouTube. So thank you to sounder. So today we have a wonderful guest, agentleman who played a long time in the NFL 14 years. Uh he's in a ring of famefor the patriots. He was the number one draft pick. I can go on and on aboutthis guy. But I think the best thing about Drew Bledsoe right now is that hemakes wine for everybody and it's incredible. I'm waiting to get mine.I'm in pennsylvania. So I have to drive to Washington state to get my wine. Sosomeday I'll do that. Drew but uh, joining me today on huddle up withGaza's Drew Bledsoe Drew, how are you doing buddy? I'm doing well man. Youknow, actually, I mean, I didn't know it's terry's birthday. I would havejust sent some, send someone to interpret terry. I mean screw you guys.I just send some military that said you can go you can go, you can go, you cango beg her for a for a glass. I know she's in she's in Maryland. Youprobably can ship it there. Yeah, I can't get anything shipped to P. A.Yeah, that's you know, so yeah, it's weird. It's there's a lot of thingsthey don't tell you when you get in the wine business. And one of them is that,you know, because you're in the booze business, you're actually dealing with50 distinct countries in the United States. Every state is totallydifferent. I actually, to be a lobbyist in massachusetts had registered as alobbyist. So I had to go actually get behind the scenes, uh, in the politicalworld and see how things were actually done. And it was actually a lot worsethan I thought it was. Uh uh but we got the law changed in massachusetts. So uhyou know maybe you need to find some uh pennsylvania wine. Did to to go lobbyfor you in pennsylvania. Yeah we do. And I don't know if the state will everchange it because we have our liquor stores. That's where it's different.And we still have beer distributors. We're now just getting it into like gasstations. When I lived in Missouri, I retired when I lived in Missouri. Youcan go to anywhere get booze, you get wine, you get beer um and you can't dothat in P. A. So it's kind of rough, right? Yeah. It's interesting man. Theythey like to uh they like to keep their mitts on it. But uh so far we're prettygood, we've been able to open most states, which is cool. Yeah, that iscool. And that's probably the hardest part of is getting the product outthere and selling it. But anyway, Drew, let's go back. I know you when you werea kid, you moved a lot and then you guys settled in in Walla Walla. Wasthat because your father was coaching or you know, tell me a little bit aboutthat story, and then tell me a little bit about how you fell in love withsports. Yeah. You know, actually those two stories are kind of tied together,but we we moved around a bit when I was younger, mostly just in EasternWashington wasn't like we were moving across the country anything, but yeah,you know, mom and dad, both both teachers and, and uh dad bounced arounda little bit coaching, coaching high school football and, uh, and teaching.Um, you know, thankfully they kind of kind of settled down once I got tosixth grade. So I was able to go from sixth grade on, uh, with, with the samegroup of dudes, which was great. But sports worker, you know, that was, thatwas sort of the deal, right? You know,...

...you move around a bunch, you know, ifyou go out to go out to recess and um, you know, if you can run a little bitand throw the ball around a little bit, you know, it's easier to make friends.You get picked for the teams. Um, so it was sort of an icebreaker and it's away to get to know people when you're moving into a new place was to go outand uh, you know, turned out for some teams. And uh, so that part was uh youknow, it was helpful, it was helpful and then once we settled down in waterwhile, but you know the funny thing I guess, I don't know how you weregrowing up, but man, if you saw me and like 6th, 7th, 8th grade, um you wouldnot have looked out there and said, hey, that's going to be a professionalathlete right there. I grew really fast, my feet grew first, you know, and thenI grew tall and skinny and it was kind of awkward. Uh you know when I wasgrowing really fast like that and uh uh so it took a little while to grow intomy body for sure. Yeah. So did you like for me, I had a lot of growing pains aswell, you know, ninth grade was a year. I grew about six inches and my knees.Everything, we're killing me, you know? But you still went out and playedsports like even though I went through all this stuff, my dad was like getyour butt out there. So I played football, basketball, Baseball. Neverdid track. I know you were a track guy. You through. Yeah, I think you through.Did you throw discus and javelin? Yeah. Through the disk and the javelin highjumps and but that was more just you know, it's mostly just a deal to Godand watch the girls run around the track to be honest. But it was it wassomething that something to do. It was it was funny that my least my leastfavorite of those events was the Javal and that was the only one who qualifiedfor state and I hated the javelin. It just hurt to throw that thing. Wellthat's because you have to keep your arms straight. There was no it made nosense. No, no sense at all. Run really fast. Stop arch your back and let yourarm just turning. It just didn't feel good at all. So I hated that one. Butuh my sixth grade year was my sixth grade year, I think was the year thoughbecause I had played, we couldn't play football until seventh grade of anykind. Not even flag football. Both soccer, basketball, wrestling, uhswimming, baseball track. I think it was like six sports in one year uh thatyear. So it was that was kind of crazy. Um And you know, I was actually becauseyou can imagine probably I was I wasn't pretty good swimmer. I just hated itbecause I was built like a spear and I was so skinny. Big hands, big feet. Soyou know, But they wanted me to practice swimming at 5 30 in themorning on my summer vacation and that just wasn't happening. Yeah, thatwasn't happening for you. Like I I could see a lot of football players not,you know, swimmers, they get up early, you gotta get to the pool. I was notever doing that, like I had to get my sleep, man, no doubt. Yeah, I could seeyou being a good swimmer though. I mean with long arms, long feet, like, youknow, I'm touching a wall before anybody. Oh, hell yeah, man. Yeah. Hellyeah. Just no resistance. Uh because I was just, you know, I could shoot, Icould swim in a garden hose. I was so skinny back in the day. Uh the uh butuh yeah, no, it was good man. You know, I mean, you know sports were then andstill are to this day so formative and um you know, in my life and my family'slife and uh and I think it's just um even more important now than it than itprobably ever has been um for for kids to be involved in sports of some sort.Yeah, ours was kind of like, we didn't have like I don't growing up, I meanwe're kind of the same age, so we didn't have that, we're going to stayin all day, we have internet, we have video games, we have all that kind ofstuff, it was like go outside, go play, go do something and then come back whenit gets dark. Yeah, 100% I apologize, this is going off, it's not my phone, Iwould never do that to you. That's my my wife's ipad is really, that's whatthe noises, so I blame her, but yeah, no it was no it was it was it was verydifferent. Um You know, I remember I mean when we were growing up, you knowyou didn't have to have like an organized scheduled game to go play,you just went out and if there was a ball you picked it up and came up witha game and and uh ran it around and you know uh you know basketball, tennis,you know you go play tennis, you know, I was never a good tennis player. Butyou know you pick it you know or you find a tennis racket ball and you goplay baseball with the tennis racquet ball. I mean you just made up yourgames, it didn't have to be. I feel like now a lot a lot of times uhthere's a tendency for it to get so regimented where you know, you don't goplay unless it's an organized game with referees and all that stuff. Well, howdid, how did you learn your throwing motion? Because mine was like, my dad,we just went in the backyard and through. Yeah, I was, yeah, I mean weuh, grew up around and my dad was like I said, my dad was a football coach inhigh school, but he was an offensive lineman in college that, you know, hewould, he would tell you. And I think...

...this is actually true. This is not justdad being nice that for myself and for my brother, any athletic ability thatwe had came from my mother. Uh, that's uh, you know, you know, I think a lotof uh, I think a lot of guys say that jokingly, I think in our case that wasprobably actually the truth. Um, you know, dad was big and strong, but momactually supplied natural athletic ability to the extent that we had any,but you know that, but we dad, we had a couple of guys growing up that, um,that I was able to be around because my dad was a coach, the Bennett family, uh,and uh, you know, those guys are the ones that really helped kind of guidethe throwing motion. Uh, that the funny thing though is that, you know, I mean,I've sort of, it's one of the things I've learned more about as I've gottenolder and really just, I can last four or five years coaching high schoolfootball. I've been around a couple of, um, guys got to go spend some time withtom house down in, down in SAn Diego. Uh, and there were some things that,particularly when I was, you know, in the NFL, there were some things thatsome coaches tried to change in my throwing motion, um, you know, theywanted me to carry the ball higher and you know, kind of Peyton manning andget the ball up here. And uh, the guys that have worked with now, they werelike, well you're lucky you didn't listen and I always carried it kind oflow and they now have studied it all biomechanically and like, no, it'sactually a more efficient motion to have the ball download and it, it comesoff more naturally and so thankfully every time they tried to do that andtry and be coachable and carry the ball of pine and uh, then we'd get topractice and get into a game and the ball to drop back down and thankfullyit just felt natural to do that uh, because otherwise they would havescrewed me up. I'm the same way as I got older and played longer. It was, itgot from here to a little more side arm. Just don't know why, you know, and thenyou hear these guys that they work on than there every day, working on theirmotion and everything like that. And uh, you know, it's more scientific for me.It was like, okay, am I going to be accurate today or throwing a spiral?You know, you've had those days where you go out and it's like, man, thisthing is not spinning right? So it's, you go through all those motions. Andfor me, it wasn't like I could go back to a coach that taught me how to dothis, right. I just, I'm like, you, I grew up in the back and all my buddiesand we would just throw it around and just, hey, I'm just gonna figure it outon my own. Yeah, the one time that I did have to go back and try and figureout in my third year, I separated my shoulder, separated my left shoulderand played with it all kind of taped up and that that really did kind of messwith mess with my motion because I couldn't do anything with my left side.Uh but in order to fix it, um we actually went and got my combine tapeand went and looked at what I was doing in the car at the combine and thencompared it to what I was doing, and I can't remember specifically what of usthat we changed, but but it was sort of like, okay, well it worked before,let's just go back and do that rather than trying to figure out some newmotion. Uh But it's it's sort of interesting, I mean, because, you know,this man, there's there's so many quacks out there when it comes to theposition of quarterback, you know, everybody's got their, you know, theirguru, um and, you know, you know, probably both met a lot of those guysover the years, um but ultimately, after all of that, there's they're, youknow, they're exactly two guys that I've met, uh and tom house being one ofthem that I've actually studied and learned what is efficient uh forthrowing and uh um and biomechanically, and it's certainly not what some of theother quacks are teaching. Um So yeah, I kind of get that, I see that,you know, um I'll just kind of thinking back when we were kids, and and I don'tdo you remember anybody's talking about biomechanics when we were kids? Like,you know, we don't have that stuff, you know, back in the 80s, there was nobodysaying like, you know what I mean? I grew up watching terry Bradshaw throwand I don't remember them ever on tv talking about like here's his arm angleand here's how he throws. Like nobody ever talked about that stuff. So whowas the guy for you? Like when you were in high school, who was it that youwatched at that you kind of admired? Oh man, you know? Well, the cool thing forus, you know, so I think we are the same age, right? I'm 49, yeah, 40 years.Well, yeah, the cool thing for us was that those guys that we idolizedgrowing up, we're still playing when we got in the league. Uh, you know, Italked about a lot, I mean, you don't shoot man, you know, Elway and uh,Marino and jim kelly and you know, Aikman steve young joe Montana, uh, youknow, right down the list, Warren Moon, uh, actually got the spend time withWarren Moon when I was, when I was a...

...young kid and I had better at footballcamp. Um, you know, and then all of a sudden we get to actually go out andcompete with these guys. I mean, I was, it was, it was just so cool. It took, Iremember it took, you know, it took a little while to get over being a littlebit awestruck, um, you know, being on the field, but these guys, Because theywere drafted when we were 11, you know, that that famous quarterback, you know,class of 83. So we were like writing prime football, you know, watchingidealization time when they had, you know, the greatest quarterback class ofall time and uh, and all those guys were still going when we played and Ijust remember it was really hard not to be awestruck. Um, you know, my firstgame was at, excuse me, was that Buffalo? Remember I'm down thereplaying catch 21 just, you know, had just watched the Bills in the SuperBowl just a few months before. Um, and uh, you know, first of all, I saw Brucesmith come down the tunnel and I was like, oh shit, I'm in the wrong placeman, I did not belong here on this field with Bruce smith, you know, andthen jim kelly comes running down the tunnel, he kind of runs by and he patsme on the houses. Hey, good luck, look like shit, that was, that was mr kelly,you know, and all of a sudden you gotta go play it. So it was so it was, it wasjust a really cool experience to uh, you know, to be there and get tocompete against and, you know, eventually become friends with guysthat were our heroes. Yeah. You know, they were our heroes and you know, Iused to try to, when you think about, you try to emulate some of them andthey're throwing cells, but they were all completely different. Right, Right.And that's what you talk about biomechanics. I kind of throw that upthe windows sometimes when I, when I talk to kids and things, and it's likeif you go back and look at each individual quarterback from that draftclass, they all, they all step different, they all through a different,their arms were different angles, but they, you know, it's about getting thejob done really. It is, it's about figuring out what, figuring out whatworks for you. And then there and then there are some some common thingsspecifically to you know the arm angle. Like they all eventually got to thesame place, it just got their differently. Uh You ever you ever watchFar Far was actually pretty brilliant at imitating the different guys really.I've never, you know you gotta you gotta go find it far was actuallypretty, it was like you you know I had a I had a decent john L. A. Um I couldactually I could actually imitate Marino fairly well like his like hishis like his like open like his open step and and it just that that's thatreally quick motion just where I just, it was just his shoulders were open tostart with and just that ball came out so quick. But you're right. No it wasit was, you know, sort of like uh like golf swings, right? You know, you lookat the golf swings that have been successful throughout history, man, itcouldn't be more different, you know? So, well, it's like for me, it's likegrowing up and it's uh I emulated a lot of the Pirates when, because I was ahuge pirate fan, I live in Pittsburgh, so all those swings from Willie,Stargell, Dave parker to Clementi, you know, all these guys that I grew upwatching, um you try to emulate their swings and it's the same thing forquarterbacks, you know what I mean, like where's my arm? So guys, what andnow the great thing is is that you can get on and watch all that, like thinkabout we we had to wait till sunday to see any of that shit, you know, likenow you wanna watch whatever you want whenever you no doubt, no doubt. Whichis really cool. I had to get a lot of ways. It's really cool. I think in someways it can be harmful. I think that I think about it, I know you want becauseyou watch, you watch some of these kids were like, oh no, you're imitating thewrong thing. You know, you don't imitate the way he dresses in the wayhe celebrates and with all the imitate all the work he's doing in the weightroom and you know, all of that stuff that's actually not on the video. Um,and then if you do all of that stuff, then you can work on your touchdowndance, but let's go, let's go. Let's go imitate all the stuff that got him intothe end zone that got him on the team and got him there. Uh, it's a littlebit, a little bit frustrating sometimes. You see these kids, you know, like, nodude, no, you don't get to do that celebration. You're not Superman,you're 16. Uh, let's go. Let's go imitate everything that, you know, camNewton did to earn the right to be in the end zone before you start doing thesuperman deal. Well, I'm sure when you were 16 and you were in high school andyou through a lot of touchdowns, um, do you have a time when you try to do that?And your dad was like, we don't do that drew, no. You know, I think, I think wewere, you know, we were, I mean, it was sort of different, You know, I think,you know, the guys that, that we watched, you know, there was, there wasnot a lot of that going on, you know, I mean, you know, I mean, joe Montanawould point at the sky and that was...

...about as, you know, as crazycelebrations got from the quarterbacks that we watched, you know, um, so, youknow, I think we just had, we had the role models we have from thatstandpoint, we're different. Um, you know, I did remember, I do rememberwatching the show that the, uh, like the dolphins receivers back in the daywho had their kind of their orchestrated touchdown, you know, stuff,which I thought that was really fun. Um, but I can't dance at all. So, I meanthe ends up dancing, I'm just going to look like a man. So you're like me, youprobably need two or three bottles of wine before you get out on the daybefore you even try. And even then it doesn't look good. I still don't wantanybody watching. I had, so I played with Henry Ellard right? And you throw,hop a touchdown and he'd do a front flip into the end zone. All right. AndI'm like, Henry, can you teach me that? He goes gus you can't do it. I'm like,all right, I'm not even gonna track, we're not we're not gonna go there. No,let's let's let's just let's just leave the, leave the flips to the athletes.You just keep throwing the ball. But so, uh you go through high school, you'regetting recruited, you know, you're gonna get ready to make this next bigtransition in your life and you pick uh wash state. Uh well, this is a bigreason for that. Uh Coach just fell in love with mike Price, who was the coachthere? Um you know, it's also closer to home. I mean, you know where it was twohours from home, which um that was important. You know, there, you know,not just for my family, but so many, you know, people that I uh that helpedme as I was coming up and being close enough to um you know, they could getto watch games. Um but the other three schools that were kind of in the mix,University of Washington was in the mix stanford. And then uh and then I took atrip to Miami but I knew I wasn't going to Miami uh took that plane ride andsaid, yeah, I can't, well, I mean I knew going in, man, it's too far away,but I wasn't going to turn down a trip to Miami. I mean at that point I thinkI've been on an airplane once or twice in my life and they're going to fly medown to fly me down to South Beach in the middle of the winter. I mean, comeon. Um, but I knew that was too far away. Matter of fact, the only reasonthat another reason I was that they knew that I existed was Dennis Erickson,who was their coach down there had been at Washington state previously. So he'dseen me in high school. Otherwise they wouldn't have known I existed. You know,it wasn't like they had huddle and all that stuff that they have today. It'samazing. You have to go remember remember sitting downstairs with my dad,you know, with two vcrs trying to double highlight tape together and youknow, to put together, put together like two minutes of video took hours.Oh my gosh, we did the same thing. Yeah. I ran the winky in high school. So Ihad like, I don't know I didn't know that. Yeah, so they they throw it likethree times a game. And uh I tell the story that in my career in high schoolI think I threw like 45 times and then I got to my first game in college andthrough it like, you know, 50 in my first game in college. Isn't thatamazing? How do you want, how'd you uh how'd you, how'd you figure out, youknow how to uh you know, become a passing quarterback when you do you didyou go to like some seven on 7 stuff in the summer or what? No, no, we didn't.There was none of that around here. I went to um I was a big baseball player.I could always throw it no matter what. And um playing in the wing t obviouslydidn't lend itself to learn how to drop back or learning how to, you know,being a shotgun. We never did any of that stuff. We ran the waggle and someof that stuff, but I got to college my freshman year. Um they knew I was 65 isa big kid, I could throw it. Um and it was just a lot of hard work man, justputting in the time and the effort. We had a coach, coach, workman, who, Imean we were in the gym, Tulsa, what didn't have any money. We're throwingthe balls against walls and exploding them against the wall. I mean we, youknow Dustin Anderson was this kid from texas big kid, you know, I'm coming, Iwas like one of the biggest kids in my high school and I go there and I'm like,I'm gonna be okay then you get there and you see like all these otherathletes from all these other states and you're like oh I gotta work And Iluckily had that kind of mentality from my dad. You know, he was one of 15 kids.So yeah so they grew up in the depression and like you had to work foreverything you had and that's you know when I was in 8th grade my dad boughtme a new pair cleats to play football, broke my foot the first day of practice.He said I didn't buy those cleats to sit on the shelf, just tie your shoetighter. So I tied my shoe tighter, played the whole season on a brokenfall. And that's kind of the mentality kind of like mustard P. A. Was for me.But but I was going to tell you that I played for coach Price in the bluegreat game. And it was really and his son, what was his son's name? Eric ericeric uh eric and erin was the kicker.

So I think it was eric who was thequarterback, right? He was QB. Yeah, exactly. And then they were, he coachedthe blue grey game and I was there. You right though, He was a great guy. Ohman, I loved him to death. Still do to this day. He's retired now. He's livingup in quarterly in Idaho and um, you know, hanging out on the lake. But, butwhen I was being recruited, you know, we, we, you know, we, you know, we hadall the different coaches come through and uh, you know, I think it was, youknow, sort of one of those that, uh, any good recruiter um, understands. Mymom fell in love with coach Price. Uh, once you, once, once you've, onceyou've got mom, you know, mom never actually said you should go here any,any of that. But you know, you could, you can tell, you can tell, you knowwho mom, who mom prefers. Uh, and then I also had some, some insight from afriend who was a G. A. On the staff that, that I could maybe play early ifI went up there. And that ended up being the case too. But uh, there was acool experience and it was, it was familiar. You know, I mean little smalltown Walla Walla in the middle of the wheat fields out in eastern Washingtonand go into pullman, which is kind of the same size town and it was a couplehours away. So it felt kind of safe and that was part of it too. Um, yeah.Which made the next transition all that much crazier. Yeah, I mean that had tobe tough. So tell me a little bit like, so obviously in high school you threwthe ball around. Not that not as much, but then you get to college, you'rethrowing it all the time. I think you were, you guys were big shotgun team. Imean, I was same way at Tulsa, we threw the ball everywhere. Um, but obviouslyyou, you, you just, when did you figure out like you kind of came into your,you know what I mean? Where you started lifting, you started doing all thesethings and at what point of your college career? Because as a freshman,I guarantee you probably feel like you were still skinny, you're still not towhere you want to be, You know, and then there's a point in college whereyou've been lifting in a wheel real weight room and I'm doing all thosethings that your body changes. Yeah. You know, it started it startedhonestly my my senior year of high school and then freshman year, you know,I started to kind of, you know, all my pieces started to fit a little better,you know, thankfully I thankfully I stopped growing when I was a sophomorein high school. Um So then I had I had a chance to start catching up at thatpoint. Um But yeah, I mean, I think, you know, my my freshman year when Iwhen I, you know, got on the field in fall camp and uh you know, startedstarted chucking it around a little bit and uh you know, figured out that okay,yeah, I can I can do this, you know, I can I can I can hang with these guysand uh uh, so I was kind of a around then. Um, and then, you know, the endof my, the end of my freshman year, I ended up starting halfway through thatyear. Um, the end of my freshman year after my freshman year, um, Mel Kipersaid that I was going to be the first draft pick, number one pick in twoyears after my freshman year in college. So then I'd answer that question forthe rest of my college. Are you, are you coming out? Which, I mean,obviously it's awesome, but it also is like, okay, dude, I just, I'm just like,you know, 18 years old, I'm trying to, you know, enjoy playing some ball hereand next thing, you know, I got to answer that question every, uh, everytime I turn around, but uh, which was just, it was just sort of, you know, itwas just sort of funny, but um, but you're already in the media. Yeah,exactly, exactly. All the, all that rabid media and pullman Washington. Uh,there was like the student newspaper and then the spokesman review fromSpokane Washington and that was it, that was it. And I'm sure as you gotinto your senior year, there was a lot more of national publications callingyou, you got to do these interviews. Yeah, yeah. We had a good mediarelations guy and um, in pullman and it was cool. It was a piece of advice thatthat resonated with me, um, you know, and he said, is that stuff started tohappen? He goes, he goes make sure that you understand that drew blood, so thefootball player and drew blood. So the person are different people and youdon't ever get those two confused because if you're, because the footballplayer guy is going to be on a super high pedestal one day and he's going tobe uh you know, thrown in the dump in the dumpster the next day and it'sgoing to be a mercurial thing. Uh um but make sure that the person, you keepthat thing separate and distinct and uh that was advice that stayed with me allthe way through, you're just going to make sure that that professionals, thatprofessional side that, you know, goes...

...up and down on a daily and sometimesplay by play basis. Um you don't get that confused with the person. Yeah, no,that that that's very good advice, you know, and that takes people like thatmentors that can come from all kind of different areas in your life. Um Onelittle tidbit like that can really help you through your whole career becauseas you said, you went from you know Washington to you know one of thebiggest media markets in the world and then all of a sudden you got everybodyaround you so that transition alone had to be kind of, you know, I'm not sayingdifficult but different for you. Oh man, it was crazy dude, I mean shoot youknow, you go from, You know I? M. I think you know outside of theuniversity was like 22,000 at that point and I think the rest of the town,it was like 8000 you know like I said there really was,there was like one newspaper that was kind of close and then there was theSeattle newspaper but you know that was it and you go to boston and there's twonewspapers in town and then you got providence and you got new york and youget all of this stuff. So just the media stuff was absolutely crazy. Umand then you learn that, you know, in the, in the west sports was kind ofpastime. You know, it's something that that we that we that we watch and youknow, growing up we had our favorite teams and so on. But you need to gowatch the game and then after the game was over, win or lose, you just kind ofgo on with your day. It's no big deal man. You get to boston. It's a, I meanit's a freaking religion, you know, I mean it's a religion, they take itserious man. And uh remember my uh and I tried to kind of keep it all to theside, remember my, my rookie year, we played the Steelers And I threw five picks, threw fiveinterceptions. And so I decided on purpose to go getthe newspaper the next day, go get the boston herald. I just wanted to see howbad it could get right right. And I'm like, okay, let's just go see. You know,let's, let's see what, let's see what they have to say here. And one of thewriters um, opened his article with, um, it was the worst performance by aquarterback in Patriots football history. And I like, all right, well, Iguess it can only go up from there. I really got one way to go from here. Ohyeah, from here. Well, I guess, you know, I mean, I can't be worse than theworst. So, you know, I guess I'm just gonna try and get better. Uh huh. So itwas sort of one of those where I at least have the perspective to go seeokay, well let's just see how terrible this can be, uh and then we'll risefrom there. Yeah. Hey everyone welcome, thank you for joining me on huddle upwith gus uh we're gonna take a quick commercial break, we'll be right back,we're talking with Drew Bledsoe, Uh huh. Hey, how come up with us listenersmanscaped. Well, they sent me uh they hooked me up with a bunch of tools andformulations for their package three point oh kit. Uh so you know, I want toshow you guys what's in the perfect package, right? We all think we got aperfect package, but they sent me the perfect package, three point oh kid, Iwant to show you what they sent me. So it was crazy. It came in this great boxuh you know, and you can see what it says. They will thank you because theysent us this awesome trimmer. They sent us, uh, you know, stuff that makes yousmell better. And then, uh, you know, they sent me this great, uh, someboxers what you get right, protect them. And then, uh, you know, they sent methis cool game sat, I guess you want to call it to store all your stuff in. So,uh, it's been great. Manscaped sent me a bunch of product. Um, you know, andyou know, you can see it all on here. Uh, you know, if you can go toManscaped dot com and put in the code, uh, Gus Frerotte, that's G U S F R E RO T T E. Get 20% off and free shipping when you use that code. But you can geta kit, you can get individual items like, uh, this way, cool groomer thathas a little led light, um, ceramic. These things come apart. They'rewaterproof. You can do a lot with them. So, you know, man scape is great. Youknow, it's funny. I remember when I was playing with the Denver broncos and I'mnot going to mention any names, but there was a gentleman who was playingon our team. And uh, you know, if you ever hears the story, you'll knowexactly what I'm talking about. But uh, he brought his own clippers in one timeand he used it to trim his beard up,...

...his goatee and everything. And he hadhim there for about two or three weeks and he goes in around the corner, hewalks in and there's a person, another player that is actually manscaping withhis beard trimmer. So, you know, one of the things is, you don't want to usethe same trimmer down there that you use up here. So uh, he kind of freakedout a little bit and he said, hey, how long have you been using that toolthere? And he said, well, showed up here about three weeks ago and I'vebeen using it ever since, so you know, there is a lesson learned that, youknow, don't leave things out and probably if it would have just saidmanscaped on it, we wouldn't have had that issue, but it's probably one ofthe funniest, uh, taking care of your ball stories I've ever heard or beenaround in the locker room in the NFL. So, uh, it's a great story. Um, but youknow, I always said There was no way to know, there's no name on it and the guywas just using it and another guy was using, it was not good, but it's a heckof a funny story. So one of the best I've ever heard my 15 years playing inthe league. Um but you know, there's so many great things about Manscaped andwhat they're doing uh because guys, you got to take care of yourself eventhough I got great hair um and getting older, but you still have to maintainsome sort of grooming, right? And so, uh you know, we all work out for me. Ilike working in my yard doing those things now that I'm retired, get alittle sweat on and everything. You want to smell good. Uh you know, yougot to take care of yourself, they've got some great products. Um, you know,this one, a little uh all deodorant, we'll need that here and there. Um,after, you know, working the yard, taking a hike, doing a walk, whateveryou do. Um It's a great thing but there's so many great products um Iwant to thank manscaped for sending them to me. Um But the lawnmower 3.0.Obviously you can use it anywhere in your body, but I'm sure you guys haveall seen the commercials. But this is one just letting you know that thelawnmower three point oh comes with a perfect kit. You can buy the lawnmowerby itself, You can buy all these products individually. They even sentme this wonderful shirt. You can see the back. Your balls will thank you andthen here's the front. So it's an awesome shirt. They have great gear andyou know what? Sometimes you can just sit back, take care of your balls alittle bit and and and read the paper. So Man's Cape even has their own dailynews so which is great. So don't forget that you can go to the code GusFrerotte and that's G. U. S. F. R. E. R. O. T. T. E. Uh And you can save 20% onany products, the complete the perfect uh package gift set and uh you know youcan save 20% and get free shipping. So use the code Gus Frerotte. G. U. S. F.R. E. R. O. T. T. E. Hey everybody spells my name wrong, they even spelledwrong on the back of my pro bowl jersey. So you know I gotta I gotta help youguys out. So don't forget how important it is that you use these products, takecare of yourself down below and have some fun right? There's nothing closerto you than your little buddies. So use the lawnmower uh Use the Code GusFrerotte save 20% and get free shipping and port of some great manscapedproducts. So uh Mhm. Hey everyone welcome back to theshow. We're talking with Drew Bledsoe. We were just talking withdrew about,you know, the difference between when you're in college and Drew went to asmaller school. Uh and then all of a sudden he's in a huge media market andhow you handle those things and handle the positive and the negative. And soDrew, when I was went to Washington, there was a guy there, you may know hisname. Tony Kornheiser. Tony was not a fan of mine. So people not only callyou, but you can read the Washington post. You know, it was kind of like youwhere you're at this big media market and these people could say the worstthings and it's just like, man, my wife would get more upset than anybody. Yeah, no, it was it was it was itwasn't and harder on the family than it was on us, right. You know what I mean?Because you know, you know, we're out we're out there at least at least wecan do something about it. Um But when somebody is attacking somebody you loveum man, you want to go after him and there's really nothing to do. Uh youknow, one of the blessings that ended...

...up getting flipped, you know, kind oflater in my career, you know, early on. Um and I love to say this in front ofthe kids too because like man, your old dead. But uh but you know, it's likepre internet, right? So you know really on um and I was 3000 miles away fromhome. Um so my you know family and you know loved ones back home, you know,they were they were seeing highlights, you know, once in a while on ESPN, um,or some very filtered, you know, news that made its way, um, you know, outwest, the worst thing for, you know, the health and well being of my folkswas the internet where all of a sudden, you know, mom and dad can get on thereand you know, you want to see what's going on with your kid. Well, all of asudden they can read everything from every outlet unfiltered. Um, you know,and of course it's pre social media, but you know, it still was all of asudden, and I think that drove my stress level for my folks through theroof. Um, you know, when all of a sudden they can see that, and I askeddad multiple times just to not do it. But you know, what are you gonna do?You gonna not go look and see what people say about your kid? Uh but earlyon it was a real blessing because I was so far away. Uh, you know, when I camehome, it was a vacation and my friends and family didn't have to see, you know,the bad stuff when it wasn't going well. Um they still got to see, thankfullythey, you know, thankfully then they got to see the highlights because whenit was going well, then you made the highlight reel alright. They didn'tdidn't show a whole bunch of interceptions unless we threw atouchdown to the other team. Uh you know, but so it was really a realblessing back then. Um, you know, and being that far away, the great thingabout your career is that you're one of the rare quarterbacks that have thrownway more touchdowns, interceptions. So I don't, I think you, you bring upinterceptions way too much. So, you know, you've, you've thrown a ton ofthem. Um, and you know, you've had some, some crazy stuff happened in yourcareer, where your, you know, your first round draft pick and you're theguy at the Patriots and then you've had all this stuff happened to you. I mean,I was I'm not, I'm not even close to like the same and on the level of youas far as quarterbacks go. But I had some crazy stuff happened in my careerto, you know, where, um, you know, it wasn't something that, you know, youcould handle that easy and you had to deal with it all and you had to makeall these transitions. So tell me a little bit about when you got injuredand then all that that comes up That had to be hard and you just talkedabout it and I know it was tough on your parents as well. Yeah. You know,so, um, you know, I've been in New England for, and I've been been the guybeen the franchise guy for eight years and uh, um, we've had some, you know,some ups and then we had some downs and you know, and we were starting to, wewere starting to look like we're gonna start coming back out of it. AndBelichick had just gotten near the year before. Then all of a sudden we looked like wehad an offensive line that was, that was ready to rocket, ready to ready torock and roll and we had some stuff going on and, and after, you know, andafter all of that, you know, it was right after 9 11. so there was all theemotions surrounding that. It was the first game back after 9 11 and uhplaying the playing the Jets and I got hit by mo Lewis on the sidelines. Um Imean, it was a hard hit, you know, you go back and watch the the, you know,the video and you know, it was a hard hit, but it didn't look like, you know,something that was life threatening. Um But I, you know, got up and went backin the game the next the next series and um it was actually Dame and Howardand then our fullback Marc Edwards who ratted me out because had a prettypretty bad concussion in addition to the other stuff that was going on,because I put back on the field and we had to check with me, I had to go rightor left and I knew I didn't go left and you know, I needed to go left, go tothe bubble and I, but I can't remember what the word was. So I turned aroundto Mark said, hey Mark, how do I go left? You go say odd, like okay, odd,odd. So he's like, hey, he's not, he's not right. Um And then I went to uh toDamon on the sidelines. He's like, hey, let's go over the two minute place.Well the two minute players have been the same for two years and we haveevery single week, there are only like five or six of them. He go. And so damnit goes, you want to go over the two minute plays? Like yeah, let's just runthrough. And so they went and ran at me and said, hey, he's not okay. Um Afterthe game I just, I wanted to go in to the uh, uh, to the locker room was like,you know, in our trainer came and grabbed me and he goes, hey, why don'tyou come with me bob? And uh, I was like, yeah, I'm just gonna go for teamprayer and then I'll come. And he goes, no, I think you need to come with me.You don't look very good. So we went in and that's when uh, that's when theydiscovered, so normally we have a...

...concussion. Your heart rate starts toslow down quickly. Um, uh, And when uh, when I went in, my heart rate startedto spike. Uh, and that's when they figured allocate, there's somethingthat's not quite right here. So through many ambulance and we're driving up touh Mass General. My brother actually was out there and jumped in theambulance with me. Um, and as we're driving up there they couldn't give memorphine, I'm allergic to morphine and they couldn't they couldn't even giveme Advil because an anti coagulant. And they figured out that I was bleedingout Um driving upwards. So we're driving up to mass general. Mybrother's sitting there with me and he told the story, told us that I didn'tknow the story until 15 years after 20 years after, I can't remember when hefinally told me but we're driving and we're on the outskirts of Boston andI'm sitting there, he said I was just in pain kind of groaning and all of asudden, you know we're on the outskirts of Boston and I just went lights outand he thought I was he thought I died. Um uh So you know so you know and Idon't remember any of this stuff. It's all this is all after the fact, but Iremember just waking up in the hospital and really had no sense that for beinga serious thing until, you know, days later, but turns out I was bleeding outinternally, you know, about a third of my blood was inside my chest cavity. Atthat point we recycle and put it back in. So all of that, you know, and sothen I, you know, I go, you know, spend days in the hospital and and uh they,you know, was like, God, it was like six or seven weeks later, they let mestart working out a little bit a couple months later. Um you know, I get thegreen light that I'm healthy and I can go back and play well in the interim,you know, this little shit from michigan who help help help help raiseand who had dinner at my house all over any time. All of a sudden, you know,tom brady is on the field and he's starting to play decent. Um, he wasn'ttom brady at that point, but he was playing decent and the team wasrallying around and they were playing really good football. So I get finallyhealthy after almost dying on the friggin field, I come back and my jobis not there anymore. I'm like, well this is, this is fucked up. You know,like this is not, this is not how it's supposed to go. You know, there wasthat old fallacy that I don't know who made it up, but I don't think it's everbeen true that you don't lose your job to injury. I don't think that's everbeen true. I don't think they're not ever been true either. You know, it'slike, it's like, no, you don't lose your job to injury unless there'ssomebody else in there that's playing pretty good at a lower salary capnumber or whatever, You know, You know what that's like. I I don't I don'tknow who made that up. It was probably, you know, you know, some good intentionunion rep, uh, that first C. B. A. Yeah, exactly, exactly. And uh but also inTommy's playing pretty good and, you know, my job is not there for meanymore. And uh man, that was that was that was bitter pill to swallow. Uh youknow, that's the first time you, you know, the first time you're not the guywas was that was that was hard and uh you know, to do some sort of some soulsearching their work and then uh, you know, ultimately, you know, decidedokay, you gotta you gotta do the right thing here and go back and made it alittle bit easier because, you know, I really did love and respect, you know,Tommy. Um, um, you know, he was, I mean he was practice squad guy the yearbefore, um, and he worked his ass off and just, you know, all the things thatyou want to respect about, a person, he had all those things, um, if he was ajerk, it would have been a lot harder, but ultimately was able to go back andand support him and support the team. Um, and uh, uh, you know, thankfully hewas nice enough to sprain his ankle in the NFC championship game, so he let meplay for a little bit. Uh, but then of course he gets healthy for the SuperBowl because, you know, they threw him back out there, but um, but it was acrazy time, you know, it wasn't, and um you know, people ask about, you knowabout that stuff from time to time, and um it wasn't easy, but at the end ofthe day, you know, I tell people, and I just, it's a perspective that I thinkthat anybody that's that's privileged enough to be us has to have, man look,if I get paid to play a game, there's no room for self pity. You know, youknow, you don't get to feel sorry for yourself when you're a professionalathlete, because you're living out the childhood dream of most young people inthe United States and really worldwide, um and um side I was able to learn tocherish the uh, you know, cherish the challenge and and embrace adversity,and um and that's something that that has transcended on into the, into thebusiness world and into the rest of life. You know, adversities inevitable.It's going to come and if you can learn to embrace that and use it as astepping stone to for self improvement, for business improvement, for sportsimprovement for any of that kind of...

...stuff. Um and you can turn that verythat adversity into a positive thing. Um you know, then you're set up forsome success. Yeah, you really are. And I think that that's probably the firsttime hearing this story for me that really that you face that kind ofadversity because throwing an interception or losing a game is a typeof adversity, but it's not like what you went through, and it's difficultbecause I've been through a shit ton of adversity in my life and had to fightthrough a lot of stuff, and on the other end it only makes you strongerand it gives you something that you've never had before. And, and so tell meabout how that affect then, then you go on through the rest of your career. Um,and so what did it change your perspective on things at all? Or did it,you know, how did, how did that change you in a way? Yeah. You know, I, uh, Iknow that I appreciated more, um, the opportunity that I had because it wasthe first time that it was taken away, you know, and um, you know, I rememberwhen, I think it was probably my last year and I was in Dallas, Yeah, uh, uh,in the old stadium and uh, I just made that stadium. It was terrible. It wasterrible. Was a terrible stadium, like that would be lit up. And I was just,yeah, the turf was hard and it was just a plus plus jerry was not maintaininganything because he was trying to work on the new stadium deal. And uh, um, soit was just in shambles. Um, but you know, we were coming down and I made ita point and coming down the tunnel before each game, we're going out toget ready to get introduced. I would always find a rookie as I was walkingdown the tunnel, I would just grabbed by the pack of the back of the pads.Like, dude, how cool is this? We get to go do this. Uh, and you know, look atme like, what are you doing? Like, Oh yeah, yes. You know, it's pretty cool.What's up? But weird old man. Uh, but, but I really do think that Iappreciated it. Um, going forward from there. And uh, and also I think in someways uh, understood that at that point that, you know, life would go on, youknow, you know, if I wasn't playing anymore, you know, I still got greatwife and family and like there's a lot of good stuff out here that that's nottied to ball and life is gonna go on and there will be life after this. Andum, so I think that it did change, certainly my perspective. Um, you know,going through that, yeah, that is hard, you know, because 25 years doing thesame thing, but I was, man, it sounds like we're very close because my otherlife was my family and my kids and enjoying them, so that when I was done,they were always going to be around, because you've seen like me, a lot ofguys who didn't do that, and then all of a sudden they're done playing andthere's this family and kids, they have no idea what to do or how to handle it.Or, you know, what do I do now? So, uh, it sounds like you made that transitionpretty pretty smooth. So what point in your career? Yeah. When you were in theNFL, where do you really got into wine? You know? Because, I mean, everybodyhas been out like you're young, you've had some wine, but to where you reallysay, oh, I understand it. I get it, I want to do this. Yeah. I mean, there were, you know,first of all, you know, with, with two parents who were schoolteachers, therecertainly wasn't a lot of wine around. There certainly was a good wine, youknow, if it was, it was wine, you know, it was a dollar, Magen David. Yeah,exactly, exactly. So it was not, it was not something that was, that was partof my life growing up. Um, but you know, same is exactly what you said. You know,you get, you get into the league, you have a couple of nickels in your pocketand you go out to dinner. We're like, oh, well, we should have some winebecause that's what people do when they go out to a nice dinner. Um, you know,so really only do we drink some winds were supposed to. Um, but kind of partway into probably, you know, your four or five started to like get into alittle bit more and, you know, collects wine and, and all that. But um,probably the turning point for me where I started to figure out, okay, maybethis could be something, um, uh, that I could get into, you know, later as abusiness. Um, you know, we have guys come over to the house and I would justtell him to bring a bottle of red wine and so guys would go grab somethinginvariably would be, you know, some from, from California or something frombordeaux or, or whatever. You know, some guys would try to show off, otherguys, would try to sneak a cheap bottle and we all know, well, we all knowthose to those teammates, right? There's some guys, we're gonna pufftheir chest out and try to show and then there are the guys are just gonnabe cheapskate. Uh, but anyway, they would come over the house, we would doblind tastings at the house just for fun, right? We put all the lines andpaper bags and we would just taste...

...through them and pretend to be winedorks. And uh, well, I discovered that my hometown Walla Walla was actuallymaking wine. Right. And matter of fact, you know, one of my next doorneighbor's was, was Leonetti cellars, which were, they were making these, youknow, really highly regarded wines, uh, that we're getting big scores and allthis stuff. So I would always sneak a wall wall of wine into the mix withthese big boys from napa and these big boys from Graco. Every time I did thatmy hometown winds would win the wine tasting. You know, we do the big revealat the end and we through like, it was like, oh shit. The one that we likedwas lee and Eddie or the one that we liked was, you know, Pepper Bridge orWoodward Canyon. Um, and so I think for me that was like, oh, wow. You know, mylittle hometown with the funny name that I couldn't wait to get out of. Uh,it's all of a sudden, you know, growing wine grapes that are making wines thatcan compete with the best in the world. Um, and so that's sort of when thelight bulb went off, like, okay, maybe we could do something here. Um, youknow, we got the competitive advantage of going back to your hometown whereyou can hopefully get the right people to work for, you get the right piece ofdirt, all that stuff. You've got the marketing story of it being my hometown,which is a huge piece of it and that's how you came out the name. Doublebackground. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I grew up people that's the football term,right, quarterback, halfback, fullback, double back. Like, no, it's not that wewanted, we wanted the story about to be about returning home because there wasa stigma attached then that's that's less true now attached to athlete wines,where, you know, most of them weren't very good, to be honest with you. Mostof them were endorsement deals, you know, you know, you go slap your nameon a bottle of somebody's, you know, third wine that they're trying to getrid of and, and uh, and so we didn't want the story, They were gift wines.They were exactly a matter of fact, I just, I uh I doubt Freddie Biletnikoffwill ever hear this, but Freddie was a guy that I got to spend time with whenI was a little little kid and there's always been a hero. But recently, umsomebody gave me some of Freddie swine um as a, as a gift and uh, I actuallyopened a bottle and it's like, oh dude, no, no, no, this, this just hasFreddy's picture on, it goes on the show. Yeah, it's number 25 it's Freddiesigned one and that's the, that's where it's going to be a trophy forever andever amen. But, but you know, we wanted the story to be about, you know, smalltown kid that grows up and is fortunate enough to go, you know, have a careerand then doubles back and comes back home. Um, and, and I think that startedto resonate with people. The best compliments ever are, you know, peoplethat, you know, we'll reach out or like, hey, I had the one really liked, I hadno idea you were involved until I turn the ball around. I really liked thewine. And then I found out you were involved like, okay, that's coolbecause, you know, you're not into this, you know, because you're trying to benice that. And then I got the super backhanded compliments from oldteammates, you know, who would buy the line because they had to, you know,before you got to support your guy and then I get these tax, these phone calls,like, dude, I had the wine, it's actually really good. So you'resurprised you thought I was going to make some shit wine. They're like, wellyeah, kind of uh but it's been uh, it's been, it's been a cool ride man. Itreally has. You're like, you're like, it has nothing to do with me. It's allabout the ground, the soil and how they grow the grapes. So I love your showthat you did about talking about how you have different patches of grapesand then they're close together, but still they produce a different flavortones tan and all that stuff that come through the soil. So absolutely, youknow us a little bit about which one is your favorite? Like are you a cab guyor you a chardonnay guy? Which one's your favorite? Yeah. You know, if I'mgonna, there's only going to be just one forever and ever amen. It would becab and uh, you know, I think it's, and it also happens to be, and I don't knowif this is, it's sort of the chicken or the egg conversation, right? Do I likecab because that's what Wallawalla does best. Um, um, you know, or do I likecab and so when we started growing cab, you know, but whatever, however, thatpieces together, that's that, that would be the one if I'm gonna justdrink one forever. And it's, it is kind of interesting though in our valley. Um,You know, you talk touched on this just a little bit, but you know, it's asmall little valley 20 miles wide, um, like a big 20 mile wide bathtub. Butwithin that, you know, in very close proximity are these radically differentsoil types and growing. Um You know what the french call terroir where you,you know, you get different aspects to the sun, different hillside um,elevations. Um, and so you can take all...

...of that stuff and you can put ittogether and the goal at the end of it is to make something that gets more andmore interesting, the more time you spend with it rather than being, youknow, a stereotypical football player wine that just just punch you in theface. Big fruit, big big alcohol. Just, you know, I said, we wanted to producesomething that had some subtlety and some nuance and some balance that gotmore interesting over time and then, you know, as, uh, uh, one of thecoolest pieces of it and we touched on this a little bit earlier, um, wasdiscovering that a lot of the things that were important in quarterbacking agood football team, um, and being part of a good, good organization carriedover very directly into business and specifically into the wine business. Um,and uh, you know, probably at the very top of that was putting together theright team, you know, shoot man. You and I were you and I were really goodat our job, but we were only really good at our job if we had five badassdudes in front of us giving us some room and some amazing dudes downfieldthat were open and where they were supposed to be, when they were supposedto be there. Uh, if that happened, you know, pretty good, uh, if that didn'thappen, we weren't very good and, and uh, and for me it's the same in thewine business, I just have some great people around me that make me look good.Yeah, you know, um I was looking at your story a little bit, it's prettyamazing how you built that team and then, you know, each set of grapes hastheir own little people that handle it and you have to find those people thatwant to do that that want to be there, you know, and I think that's the sameway, like when you're building a team, it's not only us on the field, there's,there's the, you know, the people that are finding all the guys that need tobe unfilled with us, the coaches are putting all the plays together, youknow, because you can't do it all and so what's your favorite part of beingin this business, like obviously drinking it is, you know right now, butbut what's your favorite part? Is it like, is it is it like saying okay,this is how long it has to be in a barrel or like there's so manydifferent parts to it, it's always very interesting to me, I think my I think my favorite part isthat there are so many aspects to it, so I mean that's sort of a sort of acop out answer, but it's actually really the truth, so um you know, we'rein real estate first, you know, we were actually in the process of looking toacquire more land um right now um then we're farmers, we have our own farmingcompany which is a really cool aspect to what we do because we um you knowwe're sustainable across the board and that you know the most important pieceof that is sustainability with our people where our farming crew, we hirethem year round and then they work for us year round, we've got healthbenefits, retirement benefits and they are, but because of that they take careof our ground and take care of our minds better than any other crew in thein the in the region. Um so we're farmers second and then we're intoproduction and that's where you get into all the nuance of the winemakingprocess, which again I know just enough to be dangerous if you give me somework, if you give me some world class grapes um I could go make you someperfectly average wine um but I've got great people that actually take youknow world class grapes and make great wine, but then you're into marketingand brand development and sales and customer service and um fulfillment andproblem solving. And so when you put all those things together, becausethere's a quarterback, you know, to the uninformed people think, oh well youjust, you just throw the ball like, okay, well that's, that's about 5% ofwhat a quarterback does. Uh you know, and I used the illustration, you know,we all watched Peyton manning at the end. Um He won a super bowl and hecouldn't throw, like I know Elway was sitting up in the box watching Peytonon the field. He's like, I'm sitting up here in a suit and I'm 60 years old andI could still go down and throw better than that. But Peyton was still able to,you know, win a super bowl, right? Um and so you know, when you, when you,when you look at uh the wine business, you know, it's it's really fun becauseit's never static. Um And it's also seasonal. I was thinking about this theother day, I've never had a year that I remember in my life that wasn't justentirely dependent on the seasons, you know? Yeah. You know, we're young. Itwas that that meant, well it's fall, so it's football season, it's winter, soit's basketball season in spring. So for you, it's baseball for me as trackseason and then summertime, you know, his vacation. So Um my life was alwaysseasonal and then you go play pro ball and it's very seasonal. You're eitherin season or off season. Uh and now in the wine business it's extremelyseasonal again. So I don't know what I would do, honestly, I don't know how Iwould survive if you told me that 12 months out of the year we're going tobe the same. I wouldn't I probably go...

...crazy. You know. I would not. Yeah, itwould be it would be very tough and and um I love that idea of it beingseasonal and obviously wine a seasonal and there's so many components to itand you know um I had Will who's uh what's Wills Blackman? Will Black. Yeah.So will we were talking about you know one of the hardest part about being inthe wine business is selling the line like yeah you can make wine but ifnobody wants to buy it or you can't market it and get it out there or shipit, it doesn't matter. So that all that all that has to has to kind of be fun.But also we be very nerve wracking. Yeah. You know, well remember, you knowwe had our first vintage uh in the bottle and we hadn't even put it, youknow, hadn't even attempted to sell a bottle yet. You know, we bottled it andthen we then we uh we generally after it goes after it goes to bottle willhold it for like six months before we actually release it. Um So the firstday we had, you know, the wine in the bottle, brought a bottle home and satdown just my wife and myself and we sat down and was sort of like this momentof truth, like, okay, just the two of us shared a bottle. And so we're justkind of sitting there quietly having dinner and stepping on the line. So Ifinally I look around like, so what do you think she was? Well, I hope peoplebuy it, but if they don't, I like it. So we got a lot of wine to drink. UhBut yeah that that piece of it um You know, so people have asked, how do youreplace the competitiveness of football in your life, where do you go for that?And like, well I left football actually got into the most competitive industryin the world by products. Q It's the most competitive in the world are50,000 unique bottles of wine made worldwide on an annual basis. And so totry to stand out as one of one in 50,000 man you gotta compete all dayevery day and are and it's been fun for us to the team we put together. Um It'snot part of the interview process, it's not a question that we asked in theinterview process, but they're almost all athletes, like team orientedathletes. Uh Matter of fact I hope who uh is the er director of sales for thedouble backside of our business? Um She and her mom went into the Walla WallaHigh School Hall of Fame on the same day. Really? That's really cool. Sowe've got theirs to Walla Walla High School Hall of Famers on our team, Iget to be one of those, let's go Blue devils. And uh and then uh and then uhand then hope so, but but our team, you know, they they're competitive as hell,and in really good ways, they're never trying to, you know, stomp on ourneighbor. As a matter of fact, they're always trying to build up our neighbor,our neighbors around us because we want everybody to to do well, we just wantto do better than everybody else. And uh by having that super competitiveteam, especially on the sales side, um you know, allows us to stay at the, atthe front of the, front of the line. Oh yeah, You want Walla Walla to be thatname. Um, if it's an individual person, it's probably a lot harder. But youknow, napa, there's a ton of people their right or Wallawalla if your wholecommunity is doing well, everybody's gonna know, hey, we need some wine fromWalla Walla. Absolutely. It's the biggest difference from my, uh, a lotof similarities, the big, biggest difference from our previous life thatyou and I lived to, uh, to the wine business, You know, in football, youwant your competitor to lose and you want him to lose as bad as possible,right? You know, I mean like, like, especially if it's the jets, right? Youwant the jets to lose 520 every single game and never ever win another one.Right? Well, that kind of comes true sometimes. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Itdoesn't break my heart at all. Um but in in the wine business, you know, ifmy neighbor does well, it's good for me, right? And so and so uh, you know, andour community really embraces that where we're always supportive of theother people in our community, other businesses, our community because it'sit's actually good business um to have my neighbor. Um if you wanna makebetter one. Yeah, I would think so. So true. You know what you had, you hadamazing career in the NFL. I want to congratulate you and all that and allthat success and then now you have an amazing career in your second, you know,job business that in in the wine industry and that you can't say thatfor a lot of guys and you're doing something special that I think a lot ofpeople enjoy, and I appreciate you taking the time to tell me a little bitabout your story, on how to up with gus Absolutely, man, Well, we got to uh weneed to get together and drink some wine, but because, I mean, for it, atthe end of the day, that's that's the reward for for this cool business I getto be in. Um but you know, I will tell you, man, and I know that uh that youwould echo this man. What what crazy...

...cool ride. We've gotten to go on theinternet. I mean, jeez, man, you think about when you're a little kid, you're,you know, you're out at recess, you know, throwing the ball around,throwing a nerf football around, and you're pretending, like, remember wayback when I remember, you know, I wanted to be terry Bradshaw becauseterry Bradshaw before, like the Draft class in 83, it was Terry Bradshaw. Hewas the guy, uh, especially for you in Pennsylvania was my number. That's whyI have my number. Yeah. When he came to, when he came to Washington andinterviewed me and how you talked about like those guys, when he came andinterviewed me in Washington, I was kind of in awe, right? Because there'sa guy I always watched on every sunday morning. Absolutely. You know, and youthink about that, you know, and you know, you and I got to do that man. Imean, how freaking it's crazy. I mean, it's just crazy. And then, uh, you know,for me to go from there and then to be able to, you know, go back to myhometown and you know, call my second career, you know the wine business. Imean, shoot man. It's been, uh, it's been a crazy ride. I've been, uh, I'vebeen, I've been extremely blessed in my life in so many ways and um, and Itruly don't take it for granted. I, I really appreciate it. And we'll come up,we'll take a bottle of wine up, we'll go see my old best man, john freeze upin court Elaine and go see coach coach price and we'll have some wine withthem and it sounds like a good time. Heck Yeah man, we got to get backtogether with freeze. I haven't seen freeze in about 15 years. I see somepictures every now and then. Um, but you know, love freeze and uh, yeah,come on out man. We'll show you a good time and we'll drink some good wine,maybe hit a golf ball or something. Yeah, I love it. So tell tell of ourguests uh you know how they can follow you and how they can find your wine.All right on. Yeah. Thanks man. Uh Just the instagram stuff is just at DrewBledsoe. That's B L E D S O E. Uh And then on the wine side it's just doubleback dot com. Go find us there and then you know if you go there we actually weactually have three separate and distinct wineries. Um but you go todouble back, you can find the other stuff too. Um So it sounds like you'regrowing, it sounds like you're growing. I wish you the most success and thankyou again for sharing your story right on ghost man. Great to talk to youabout it and look forward to seeing you here in the pacific northwest herebefore too long. I would love it. I would love it. My wife and I will bedriving the airstream out soon. Oh, there you go. We've got a good spot foryou to park the airstream right on the property. I love it. You can roll it upand we don't have you got to go dump your own septic. We don't let you dothat. But before we get there there you're good, good, good. But we've gotwe've got a great spot with some great views right in the vineyard where youcan park the trailer for a little bit. I love it. I think we have our we'regonna have our little wine cellar in the whole back of the RV. That's what'sgonna power us through. I love it, man, I love it. All right. Drew thanks againman, I appreciate you. Hey everyone, thanks for joining us. Another greatepisode of huddle Up with Gus. I want to thank Sounder FM and I also want tothank 16 31 digital News Studio and super producer brian, Happy birthday toterry and thanks again. Ian for doing all of our social, everyone have agreat day and we'll see you next time. And that's a wrap sportsman. Thanks forjoining in the fun at the 31 digital studios for another actually, huddle Upwith Gusts featuring 15 year NFL quarterback. Gus parent huddle Up withGus is proudly produced by 16 31 digital media and is available on AppleMusic.

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