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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 11 months ago

Jeff Benedict

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joining me in the Huddle this week is author, Jeff Benedict. He talks about all of his books that he has written but we spend the most time on his latest book about the New England Patriots and the Dynasty they created.  Growing up in the North East you think his team would be the Giants or Jets or Patriots but he fell in love with the Miami Dolphins because of their uniforms.  He has also been a special-features writer for Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times, an this essays have appeared in the New York Times.  Benedict's stories have been the basis of segments on 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, HBO Real Sports, Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, 48 Hours, NFL Network, NPR, and ESPN’s Outside the Lines.  He is also a television and film producer.  He resides in Connecticut. Check out Jeff and all of the books he has written at https://www.jeffbenedict.com   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Hey everyone. We appreciate you joiningus in the Huddle, I'm your host fifteen year, NFL quarterback Gasfrot,alongside my longtime friend and cohost Dave Hager, where we talk to guestsabout how sports shape their life be sure to check us out on our websiteHodo up with Guscom, where you can listen to more episodes. Just like this.Now, let's join the huddle. Everone Welcome, toer episode of I'Your hostgestfotand, usually joined by my friend Dave Higgar, but Dave is nothere. Obviously you got another job so trying to get fit him in as been verydifficult. Now we're in the middle football season.I think things have been grown going great, but we've had a lot of guests onthat are professional athletes and people who who are professional athletsbut tell the stories of professional athletes and great teams, and so today, I'm reallyhonored to have a guest that we can ask a lot of questions to that write thosetypes of stories, but if you' really interested inhearing all of our other guests, you can find us on RADIOCOM or wherever youlisten to your favorite podcast. You can look for us on MTV and also on thenew IXEEN. Thirty one, digital news. This is a sixteen thirty one digitalnew studio, so we are excited to welcome our guests. Today. Our guesthas written a new book called the dynasty, and I think we know who he'stalking about if you, if you follow football at all, but Jeff Benedick isour gest today and I'm really excited jeff to really dig into not only thedynasty but all the other books you talked about and then really how sportsShaked your life so welcome into the Hobtle Jeff. Hey It's good to be here,gus thanks for having me on your program, yeah! No! So it's really exciting. Ithink people like you that have a great knowledge of a lot of different things,and especially in your background and talking about sports, but let's getinto your life about sports and why it s means something to you. So wheredid you grow up in? What was that first moment in your life, where you felllevel sports? I grew up in southeastern Connecticut,right along Long Island sound and a blue collar town, a beach community. Basically, I think the first realmemory I have of sports was watching the Mimi Dolphins play the Dallascowboys and Git beat in e earlys super bowl and really gravitating towards thecolorful uniforms of the dolphins and over the next couple of years. With mymy friends who were you know, we were five six years old, seven years old andfell in love with the miomy dolphins because they had the best uniforms andand at that time they had the best team. I went to my first professionalbaseball game at Fenway Park when I was about ten years old and I think youknow growing up in New England, new Inglands, a great sports area, we'reright kind of between Boston and New York, so great rivalries between theYankees and the Red Sock, the Celtics in the next, the giants and jets andthe Patriots it was a just a great place to grow up. I played a lot ofsports as a kid and then I think you know by the time I was old enough toget a subscription Os sports illustrated. That became a, I think, a real sort ofinfluential magazine for me, as as a youth, it was sort of a ritual that I had ofrunning home from school once a week on Thursdays. That was theday the magazine came in the mail to my house and I would run home everyThursday as soon as school. Let out to have that moment where I'd open themailbox and pull the magazine out a see who was on the cover that week, and Istill remember vividly the day that I pulled the magazine out and saw LarryBird on the cover for the first time he was at Indiana state and he wassurrounded by a couple of cheerleaders and who you know who had their fingersup to their mouth going. And I remember looking looking at thatpicture and thinking who is this guy and and not imagining that a few yearslater he would come to Boston and become the the athlete that most kids,my age grew up idolizing, so that was sort of my foray into sports. As a kid yeah, you know it's funny. You say thatI just saw. I follow this guy on twitter, his he has super seventysports and it's a lot of fun just because he does a lot of seventy sportsand he said: Hey figure, one favorite athlete that if you saw them in the syou would say this guy is definitely not going to be an Allstar athleteright and he put a picture Larry Bird Up, you know from when he was incollege a and but that was the great that's a great thing about sports. Youjust never know ye who's, gonna who's...

...going to be that guy or have that driveto be the best. Sorry, you gon your playinoff. Did you play all types ofsports? Did you just want to try everything? What W? What did you dowhen you were younger played football and baseball, and Iwrestled one year in high school? I didn't really pick up basketball as asport that I thoroughly enjoyed until actually until right around the time Iwas graduating from high school, but football and baseball where the mainsports that I participated in as a kid yeah. So we've had a lot of authors andWriters and journalists on here Don Yager. I know you go rote a book withhim he's been on the show before so that journalistic view comes from apassion T at that. I think all you guys have with sports one way o another. YouFall in love with him somehowsome way. So when you were in high school, didyou were you on the teams in high school, then and kind of you know, wbutwher. Did you also know that hey? I love this other side of you knoweducation and writing and all those types of things you know what'sinteresting is so starting in my freshman year I was on you know thefootball team and absolutely loved it, but reality was for me the family thatI grew up in. We really didn't have much in the way of money or resourcesand so believe it or not. By my sophomore year I was working practically full time. While I was inhigh school, I mean I had jobs at night on the weekends and I actually moved to the point whereI was working so much that sports became something that I continued tolove and watch, but as a participant, my own involvement dwindled because Iwas trying to earn money and thinking about things like how am I going to goto college if I don't start putting money in the bank, and it was also inhigh school, that I wrote for the first time. I wasn't thinking in high schoolabout becoming a journalist to be quite honest, fith you, I wrote because I took a class in highschool and was called you know the High School newspaper Class, and so I didwrite for our school paper and I covered sports for a high school, but Ialso covered the arts. You know I wrote about John Lennon's death. I wroteabout the drummer of lead, Zepplin's death and I did like it. I liked writing those stories. Butagain I wasn't thinking at that point of my life that I would be a writer right that, but that's kind of how weall I mean. I never thought when I was in high school playing football and inninth grade I actually broke my neck playing football and never imagine Iplayed fifteen years in the NFL right. That just did seem like a possibility,but you take that next step day in a day out- and you start, you know,leading your passions like- I finally got back on t a football fild as ajunior in high school. So tell me about that. That decision as you're gettingolder into high school now and you're writing more and more and then you'rethinking about that transition and what you want to do in that next step ofyour life going to college. So when I went to college, I went to Istudied American history in college and got a degree in history and my plan atthat point was to become a history teacher or history. Professor then I went off to graduate school. Igot a masters degree in politics and from there I went to law school andbecause in graduate school I was really transitioning. My thinking away frombeing a professor to being a lawyer, and- and so I applied to law school andgot accepted and was heading down that path, and it was thenthat I there was this long period between when I was in high school towhen I went to law school H. I really didn't write at all, because I reallywasn't thinking about writing and anyway, but I did a lot of writing ingraduate school because I had to it wasn't the kind of writing that anyonewould want to read. It was hapademic. You know just dry boring stuff, but thereality was. I was writing about things that weren't dry and boring. I wasactually in graduate school. I did my thesis on athletes and violence againstwomen, and I this was around the time that OJ Simpson was charge with doublemurder s right in the time that Mike Tyson went to prison for rate, and so Iwas into a topic that was timely. It was interesting and there weren't anymen at the time- writing about it. It were there were feminists and sort ofwomen's rights advocates that were writing about some of these highprofile athletes that had abused women, and then I came along with this sort ofvery academic study about it, because I studied hundreds of cases where thishad happened around the country over a number of years involving collegiat andpro athletes, and that's what actually catapoltcould be into journalism. Itwas an unintentional consequence of having studied it in graduate schooland then going into law school. I signed a book contract right after Igot into law school. That's when I met...

...actually met Don Jeger and we did abook called frozen cons together right that changed. That process changed mythe projectory of my life and my career, because at that time my objective wasto become a prosecutor. I actually had a job in the DA's office in Boston, sothat's where I was headed, but the opportunity to write I realized was wassomething that I really loved doing. I I realize ithad a much greater reach than arguing cases before twelve jurors and acourtroom, and- and so I stayed in law school and got the law degree, but bythe time I had gotten out of law school, I had actually written three books andI really never lookd back after that yeah that's. What I was going to askyou is, is you know, you're an attorney you're in a courtroom, you're fightinga case O or somebody that's having an issue, and you, like you, said, you'rein front of a judge and some jurors and but your reach is it like? Not a lot ofpeople are going to hear that outside of that community right, but your bookcan actually reach and influence many many people and it gives you anopportunity, as a lawyer you're not going to do a booktour or signing allover the country, possibly right. But if you write a best selling work likeyou have now, you can go. Tell these stories and help people understand whatthe victims have gone through and I think that's more important sometimes,but you also need the other side. So I'm sure you were a little conflictedbut is probably way more fun to write a book than being in a courtroom all day. Iyou know I loved Liw, I'm one of thosepeople who actually enjoyed law school. I love the learning aspect of it andthe summer I spent in the DAS office working in the sex crimes unit, helpingthe prosecutors prosecute accused sex offenders was somethingthat I got a lot of fulfilment out of and was something I think I would haveenjoyed doing for a profession, and I think I would have been good at it. Butthe reality was that writing, because it was something I hadnever contemplated as a profession. When I experienced it- and I saw howinfluential and impactful not only a book can be books are interestingbecause they last forever there it's a it's, not like a newspaper that getsdiscarded the next day or even Wright a DA digital publication. Where you knowyou go to the New York Times and tomorrow everything that you see todayis gone. You can look it up, but I mean it's just not visible anymore. Booksare things that people buy, read and then hold on, so they end up on a shelf,they're kind of a permanent record and beyond that they become a catalyst forthe author in some instances, certainly not all authors, not even most office,but some authors, if they write certain kinds of books, have an opportunity tobe on television on the radio on a podcast like this, where you talk aboutwhat you wrote about and that allows you your storytelling to reach and evenlarger audience than your readership and then there's another level to it.If your book gets made into a documentary, film or scriptedtelevision series or a movie or even a Broadway play, it takes on aneven bigger life, because now you get millions of people who are watching astory about what you wrote in your book, and so these are all things guss. Quitehonestly, I didn't understand the significance of any of this. When Ifirst started, but as I got into the job and started to produce book after abook after book, I became more appreciative of the scopeof how far wead the media can be. So when you write it, these nonfiction books you're tellingit's not necessarily story o putting the facts out there, but you're alsohaving your theories, your ideas of what you're reading, what you're seeing.So how do you work that into a book like pros and cons when you're, seeingthese guys lives, their professional athletes are attheir highest level and they're doing the wrong things? And so how do you like that story that it's not just youropinion, but it's really the facts. Yeah. I mean to be honest that the waythat my career started with a book like Clos and cons is actually so farremoved from what I do today and for what I've been doing for a long timewith books, and I teend to answer your question I'd. Actually, it would beprobably better to answer your question by referring to the book that I justdid on the doengland Patriots, the dynasty or the book. I did before thatthe DOCR, the biography of Tiger Woods, because the ginasty and the tiger woodsbiography or the Steve Young Autobiography those all present thechallenges that you just presented in...

...your question and one of the thingsthat you have to do as a writer is it's wide books take so much longer toproduce. In the case of the Patriot story andthe dynasty, I spent a full year just reading interviewing and observing the NewEngland Patriots Organization from inside before I ever thought about. Writing.In other words, there's a lot of thought process that goes into designing a story. That's going tostand, say for five hundred pages in a book, and you can't just sit down andstart writing. You have to do a tremendous amount of research andalso a tremendous amount of thinking. You know you learn all this informationand then you have to think about. But how do I structure this into anarrative? How do I what's the story that I want to tell, for instance,about Bill Bellacheck, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft, and and how do I do it on a page and that the amount of timethat you spend contemplating and, in my case, designing meaning, I literally have apen or a pencil and pieces of blank paper where I design on paper. It'slike a storyboard, where I r you know, make diagrams and sort of string it alltogether. So I can see visually how this story is all these differentpieces of the story connect together, yeah, so you've written a lot of sports kind of books. You know,obviously the dynasty tiger, woods, Steve Young, but you've written othertypes of stories too right between happiness is asparining was one youwere. You got to make a choice, but so tell us why you kind of wint back andforth, and it just is it just something that picks your interest at that time?O is thit, something that was kind of culturally going on. Like I, the up,and you also my name used to be Mohammed. I think that's a great bookas well just understanding and getting people and understanding of who you arean why why ar you switch like that yeah I mean I appreciate that guys,because when I started twenty almost twenty five years ago, the first youknow I did two books. I ran out of the shoot about athletes and violenceagainst women, and one of my concerns was you know I was being told at the time you couldbe an expert witness. You could be on cable TV all the time talking aboutthese shows like on Fox and at the time it was court TV there were all thesecable shows that were inviting me on and it like could have become a cottageindustry for me to be like that, guy who's, every time an athlete getscharged with a high profile crime, I'm in a suit and tie, and I'm on all thecable shows talking about it and getting paid- and I remember saying myagent- I don't want to be that guy, like I don't want to spend the rest ofmy career, just writing those kinds of books, and so I immediately tivided-and I did a book about Foxlood's Casino, the biggest casino in the world at thetime, and it was in Connecticut- and I did a big book about how it happenedand from there I did a series of books that had nothing to do with sports. Idid one on a food poison outbreak. I did one on a Supreme Court case aboutproperty rights. I did one about a sceledal biologist, Themisonian in agreat lawsuit. All of them had legal and political components, none of themhad anything to do with sports, but the thing was gosis time went on and I gotdeeper and deeper into my profession as a writer, and I got better with eachbook, I mean sort of like an athlete and I'm sure you can raate to this. Asa former quarterback, it's like every year, you'd like to think right, you'rea little bit smarter about how to be a quarterback you're a little bit betterat how to how to do your job, and I think, as a writer that was certainlyhappening to me with each book. I I saw things. I did last time that I knew Icould do better and then I came back to sports and it was really because inaround two thousand and eleven I started writing big special featurepieces for sports illustrated and when I did that, I suddenly found myselfback in that arena of sports, and then there was just a string of one bookafter another, starting with the system about college football and then Steveon and Tiger hatriots in between there. I did take on a couple projects, likeyou said my name used to be Mohammed, a great book about a a guy who left Islamto become a Christian and then had his life threatened because of it, and thatthat took me to Africa for the first time of my life to do his story, but byand large I think where I've ended up now and where I'm really happy to be isI'm back and sports, but the kind of stories I'm telling in sports now arethe stories I want to tell these are right. You K in depth byo biographicalbooks about people who are the best in the world at what they do and thereason I like that is because there's a...

...lot of inspiration there and there's alot that people can learn from and relate to by looking at an athlete liketiger or Stevieon, the Tom Brady and there's just life lessons in there thatI think go beyond the sport right. Well, I want to go back to Hanthing. You said, though, that so obviously you wrote these specialstories for sports illustrated, but when you were a kid you couldn't waitto go, get your sports illustrated. So that was that, like a was a real momentfor you that now here's the magazine, I grew up loving and I'm actually writingin my articles or in it. What was that like Foro? It was sureal, that's the word I woulduse. I remember I remember vividly the first coverstory that I had in the magazine, because I remember what it was like toget the magazine and see my name on the cover and it immediately brought meback to that story. I told you at the start ofthis interview about opening the mailbox and seeing Lerry bird and otherpeople on the Bro I it was it was for me. I mean I hade to say I grew up in apretty humble house. You know we my dad is a plumber. My mom was a stay at homemom. We had six kids in a house that would embarrass most people. If youknew the size of it was like a shoe box, and I just you know I never. I didn't even know how to dream thatone day I could write a story that would appear on the coverof the magazine that I subscribe to as a boy or that I could write a book thatthat would have my name on it, like those weren't things that a guy in myshoes would have known to dream about as a child, and so when it startedhappening to me every time. I still do it like this patriots book is myfifteenth, Fuck and or Sixteeno excuse me, and the reaction is the same whenthe books first get shipped O my house, you know a month before they're in thestores, and I open that box the first time and I see a pile of books that saythe dynasty on it, and my name was on the cover. I still pinch myself and say.I can't believe that I get to do this. You know what I mean. It's that it'sthat kind of thing for me yeah. I just picture. I don't know if you've everseen the Jim carry movie where it's the Comme I' Tryan othink of thename of it, where his son wants him to play baseball with them all the timeand he likes hose. They can saycoand. He finally gets to become a Hosa ansecoright, havthing, Outn S, s lay baseball N is so excited, but I picture you likeget in Te magazine with your name on an you're on the cupboard and you're going,I'm lary Ba. I you know this is Likeai've. Come bouvcome for a circle now, so that's awesome that you know, but those areall of us right. I grew up. Woth ou carry Grachel and then I'm playing inthe NFL, and he interviews me in an interview Bhut. I was with readskinsHan I'm staring at him speechless and he's Jerry Brachol just talking as bigas life. You know but yeah, but he didn't see that in me, but I saw thatyou know going on. I still think about that day. We yeah pretty immensty. Itis a man. So it's a lot of fun too. So, when you're writing these books, I knowyou got to interview, especially when you do something like with just steveyounger with just tiger woods but ive non Steve. I don't know personally thatwell anymore, but we played against each other a lot weere Surewen, a probotogether, but thing about Steve is that he hasthis super memory right. This photographic memory and all thesecoaches that have coached with them say you got to be like Steve Young and wereGoit to say one word you're going to remember the whole play and I'm likeyou know that guy is or how smart he is. Hes forpointos n Te College likenobody's Gong, no be Steve. John, ever yeah yeah, that's a good! I'm glad! Youbrought that up, because I remember when we were working on the book and Ispent years with Steve on that project, and it was one of the most enjoyableexperiences I've ever had as a journalist was getting to spend thoseyears with Steve and get really close to him and his family he's a he's, thewonderful human being. But I remember when I was interviewing my Shanahan,who was for a time, was Steve's offensive coordinator in San Franciscowhen they were in their Hayday, and one of the things that Shannahan talkedabout with me is that e forty niners had a very complicatedplay skime and they would so that they would play a game on a Sunday. Forexample, and the next day the quarterback, Montana or young would geta finder and it was the plays for the next week's game. And basically thenyou'd have the Offday, which was Tuesday and then Wednesday. They wouldget back to practice and they'd have a...

...few days to work on the playsgame forthat Sunday's game and what Shnhan said was just phenomenal was when theyshowed up on Wednesday morning. He said you know other quarterbacks, all ofwhom were smart, all of whom were hard working and prepared, none of whom nonewho would show up on Wednesday morning and literally have memorized the entireBinger and and that's what Steve would do. But one of the advantages he hadthat that the other guys didn't have was that sort of photographic memoryability that he had and it really gave him a huge advantage in terms of the forty niners great claybook. Is hehe knew where everybody was supposed to be on every play, because he'd look atthe diagrams in the binder which were very specific and he could visualizehim and see Hem all, and so this kind of rapid recall that he had. I thinkit's fascinating, like I see a lot of parallels actually between Im and TomBrady, I'm not saying that Tom as a photographic memory. No one's ever saidthat about Tom, but I do think that there are some consistencies with Tomin terms of tom to me is he plays the game much more with hisbrain than his feet or even his arm, and I think that that that's somethingI talked about with Steve a lot actually before I was working on thePatros Buk and then after I started on the Patriots Book, and I would callSteve Sometimes and say: Hey. Let me just run something by you, because Ijust did an interview with Tom and Steve would be able to react and sortof explain some things to me from the perspective of a quarterback, and Ijust found that whole thing fascinated yeah and I'm sure that when you'rewriting this book wit Steve, I would have to think that you would say heyyou remember this play and I he's like, of course I remember that play like forme. If I go back and you would ask me a play from you know, Whel I was in mysecond year onethousand nine hundred and ninety five. When we were playingthis team. I'd have to go back and watch the film or do something likethat, but I'm sure it was probably a lot of fun working with Steve Becauseof that type of memory, and that recall that he has it was and there's athere's a great. I don't know if you've seen the NFL films did a greatdocumentary on Steve for their football life series, and the documentary wasactually based on the book that I wrote for Steve and I worked with NFL films,Chris Barlow and those guys. I was like a a producer, an helped on that projectand there's a scene there's a scene at the beginning of that film. So if yougo back and watch it, it's pretty funny, but we're sitting there and Steve is sowe're on camera. So NFL films is filming us and watching the play whereSteve froze the past to trello and to peak om backers in the plans veryshameothe way, yeah and so Steve is describing andhe's like you know, recall he's like yeah terral was on a skinny post and hesays it just like that. A skinny post- and I said you know, what's a skinnypost and the reason I asked the question was: I know what it is, butI'm always thinking about readers and readers. Most readers, even footballfans might not know what that is, and so they know what a coast is. But theydon't know what a skinny post is, and so I say to Steve: What's Ha SkinnyPost and then he describes it in the film. The reason I bring that up is tosay that, while we're working on the book, I would constantly ask themquestions like that, and he would have very clear recall on plays like Jerrywas doing this or Brent Jones was doing that, and you know Harris Barton wassupposed to pull and block this guy. He remember that stuff I mean it'samazing yeah, it is amazing, is recalld I'llgive you a story of mine. Why? I think his memory is amazing that my wife andI met him. I can't remember where we were one time t an approval and then afew years later we saw him at another event and he came up and he goes hey anand Guss. How are you guys doing and my wife looked at like she's like we methim for like two minutes? Does he remember my name and I'm like NA SteveYoun? He has a great member ro great that' Steve. I can never dothisbutaertk a little short ak were talking with Je Ge Benedict, who justwroti another great work on the dynasty. We will be right now, hey listeners, thanks for joining Daveand I in the huddle we invite you to join our eclusive huddle throughPatreon, where you can get access to content made just for VIPs, likeyourself, Hend to our website, huddle up with Guscom and hit support ourpodcast on the popup ad. Once again, that's Hutdlo up with guscom. Now,let's get back in the huddle, everyone wer back welcome back to thesix thirty on Oi Stujudio, you dit find...

...our Sholan Hoo com or you can find uson twitter at how to walk with Dus and facebook at the same tag. So we weretalking today with Jeff Aix, who wrote a new book called the dynasty, we'redigging into some football, some other things that he loves right now I wantto get back into his next book that you know I'm interested to find out alittle bit. I'M A GOLFER! You know I'm not a very good one, but just Jeff. Canyou please explain to me, you know we just talked about Steve Young and likehis mental side of it, but you have to have a complete different mental sideof it for golf and tiger his rise to start him was so fast and early in hislife, and then you know he had pumps on the way as well. So tell us a littlebit about that mental side that he had it go through. So I think you know tiger to me is maybe the most mentally. I mean I hateto say temost, because I just spent you know the last seven years now betweenSteve Young Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, we're talking about three. You knowthree of the most elique competitive people you'll ever come across, but inTiger's case his training started when he was two years old when his father,who was a green borey and used a lot of military techniques thathe applied to his his son and EAN. It sounds almost brutal to think about it,but he taught tiger golf in a way that was so differentthan the way other golfers were taught to play. Golf and there was a racialcomponent to that. In other words, what I mean is one of the reasons that hisfather claimed him sort of this mental military approachto golf was because he appreciated and understood forward looking that whentiger came into progolf, he would be a very distinct minority, er aappreciated. This was a white man's game and these country clubs, wheretiger, would have to go and perform. He would look different than everybodyelse. Ind all eyes would always be riveted on him, and so there was amethod to why earl woods taught his D, His son, the way he did it's jarring.When you read the Tiger Wis biography, parents who read it are they arestunned and uncomfortable when they read the way that Tiger was coached byhis dad. It is so unaccustomed to how most parents are used to teaching theirkids a sport, but earle was thinking about what was a head for tiger, andthis was all calculated. It was all planned, and it's why I mean I don'tknow many dads quite frankly, who would be capable of doing some of the thingsthat earl woods did to get tiger conditions to deal with what he wasgoing to deal with as a racial minority come into coming into a sport like golf,so that is a sort of its a dicy treacherous part of the biography. ButI think it's the most important part because it explains so much about theway that tiger was able to focus as a young man on the PGA tour and thereason that he was so dominant so lethal in his first years on the PGAtour and why other golfers, who had been around for twenty years and onetournaments, were intimidated. They were intimidated by him Gosh, they wereafraid of him. Oh Yeah, even technically just kind of a boy rightout of college left stanfor early, but the minute he joined the tour peoplewere intimidated. He was his approach to golf was much morecomparable to say Dick Buckas's approach to football. He was anintimidating physical presence who had a mental edge over everybody else onthe Tor and he used every one of those advantages to beat people and he wasn't interestedin just beating you. He wanted to pummel you to crush you and that'sthat's the way. His Dad and his MOM taught him to compete yeah. You know, and I think that for me is like when I lost my dadthere's a big part of me that were with them, because t iy couldn't call themanymore. I couldn't talk too many. More couldn't get advice from them. So tellme about when you know you tell us about hen, tire came on a tour and howpowerful that was and thereas his oach still coaching him, and then he loseshis dad, and it seems like, after that things started to change a little bit yeah. I think you know we ArmandCuntain, I Armin and I wrote the Tigo...

...is biography. Together we spent threeyears on it, which is the two guys it's like the equivalent of six years. So wedid a 's a lot of research and I think it's accurate to say that the changehappened well before earle passed away. I'm not minimizing the significance ofearls loss. It was cofound on tiger, I'm just pointing out that theirrelationship had changed in the years leading up to earl passin tiger hadchanged. A lot of things had changed in that whole dynamic tiger was a man bythat he was not a boy anymore, who was under the wing and under the control ofhis dad. He was on his own. He was his own man. He had a new sort of grouparound him. His father was no longer in that inner circle. The way he in theold days, you know earl was the inner circle right by the time you know bythe time tiger reached. His Pinnacle Earl was outside the inner circle, andso I think what happens when all passes Iit is obviously devastating because it is his dad tiger was- was an only childin that marriage and they were close and it was hard and it threw him.There's no question about it, but I think that a lot of the things thatthat ultimately came into play and unraveled tiger's life. All of thosewere already in motion before earl passed away. Yeah. He talked about a guy. He was just at the peak and thenhad so many struggles in between, because I mean you obviously spent a lot oftime with him no knew his family when he was growing up. You know we try toget our kids O play every sport to go out and socialize and do those things-and it almost seems like tiger- did not have a lot of that, and so then, whenhe did become his own man and created doing a circle, he was seeing a life.It's almost like the amist right when they're turned sixteen, they let him goout and see. If that's what they really want to be yeah, we spent a lot of time in the biography in Siger's childhood, because it's, I just think it's so it'simportant and it's so insightful to see that in those years of Grammar School in middle school hereally he wasn't allowed to play. Other Sports and Tigers are an incredibleathlete. I think I think he would have beengreat at any sport he played. He is he's in the conversation for thegreatest athlete of our time. So that's not just e greatest Colfer, I'm talkingabout Mo Athlete, I think if he had played football or basketball or soccer.I remember this is great story. Guss it's in our book. Actually there was a. It was a scout on the west coast, whowas considered like the Best Scout California for Scouting Young Golfers,and a lot of the top colleges like Okhoma State Stanford that had the bestgolf teams they relied on him for intelligence and information. He wouldgo to a lot of the junior tournaments and watch the best. Golfers and Tigerwas at these tournaments and he was just wiping people out and the parents, parents of the golfers that he waschilling it these tournaments. They would come up to the scout because theywanted to know what are his parents doing that we're not doing like how dothey make him play like that and the scouts answer was always you don't wantto know yeah. You don't want to know, because youcan't do this d and he would say things like. Let me put it to you this way. IfTiger Woods wasn't playing golf and he was playing soccer, this kid wouldscore six goals every single game. If he was a baseball player instead of aGolfer, he would hit three or four home runs each game. I mean that's the kindof kid you're up against. It's just he's playing golf, and so I think thatthat that was partly a result of it's sort of like watching braidy now,in the sense that he practices all year long, there's athere's, a great story in the dynasty about when Randy Mossand Westwelkercame to the Patriots right and they had that season in two thousand and seven,the first season there, where they went undefeated and then lost t the giantsand next year you remember what happened in the first game of the nextyear, rady blows. His knee out takes a kind of low hit, andhe thisis the wholeseason. He has surgery and all that when he comes back from surgery, it'sright as the two thousand and eight season is ending, so ranny, Moss andWestwelker had just finished a season. Tom's, finally able to start runningaround. He wants to start practicing...

...immediately and Wat e Mostr like MossonWelter, like we need some time off and somes like no way we're like workingout now- and I think this is what you see in Tom- is it's year round. Nonstophe's been doing this for now he's in his twenty first year and there's justno letup in the drive in the determination in the motivation, and Ithink that that you, you know this. This is rare. I mean there's just apoint in the professional athletes life where that dride to work that hardevery day kind of starts to go away. It's not that you don't want to playanymore. I'm not saying that I'm saying what it takes to get out of bed everyday and practice that way day in and day out for twenty years there justaren't many guys that are wired. That way, I think yeah Tiger Tiger was wired.That way from the beginning. I think Tom is wired that way. Yeah it's justnot ustatable. For those people, I mean no, I take fifteen years and wetraveled all over this country and had a family and kids at some point whenyou're thirty, eight you're, just like all right now, it's you know maybe timeto move on. You know because there'salways somebody younger fastor, stronger, coming and and they're alwayslooking to replace you and, and obviously Tom has a resume that isuntouched in the NL. You know and there's only a few people that couldever be in your right, like Tom to me and pet manning and pager woods andjust their drive is relentless, but Tom, I is definitely you know, he's tryingto be like tiger. Obviously tieris going to be able to go f into his S andTom's Tringtoa on the s if he Uiwouldi wouldi would sume. I think it's what'sinteresting and it actually one of my when you talke about storytelling. Oneof my favorite things to have written about in the dynasty was the fact thatTom Brady and bill bellacheck together. If you have this, this is somethingthey have in common there's a lot about Tom and bill that are different.They're, not close in terms of the friendly relationship with them,doesn't really exist away from work like Hey, I een, Lord friendly withBill Bell. Checko I mean bill has friends, he does andhe's got a great sense of Humr and all this other things. But the point is: isthat he and Tom didn't have this away from work, close relationship when theygo out to dinner have beers together. They didn't do that, but what they didhave that was so unique was a mutual drive that surpassed everyone else intheir class, so for bill, there's no other coach, no other coach and I wouldsay in any sport, so I'm going outside the NSL here, I'm talking abouteverywhere. That's is driven to win consistently as he is. If you thinkabout how old he is only P, carrol is older and that's by a sliver, but thedifference is bill has been doing the same thing. His entire life he's neverdone anything else, but coach football as Robert Kraft likts to say Robertsays, I think he was put on earth to do that. One thing and I think what madehim and Tom so unbeatable as a parknership for twenty years. Thereason they went to nine super bowls together, N one, six and and own theANC east, for that entire two decades is because of the endless reservoir ofdrive. I think both of them have a Monu mental chip on their shoulders, wherethey are constantly trying to show everybody that they are good at. Theyare great at what they do, and I see that as a that is a quality, not acriticism. I'm not saying this in a critical way at all. I think it's whatseparated of Patriots from everybody else and I think what the genius ofRobert Craft was the owner was he new. He could see a long time ago that hehad Paul mccarney and John Lennon on his payroll, and he also knew that if Youve got the Beatles, it'sit's really hard to keep them on the same stage. There's a reason that theBeatles only stayed together for about seven years, and I think what craft wasall about was figuring out. What's it going to take to keep John and Paul inFoxborough Fer as long as possible? No one imagined he'd be able to keep themtogether for twenty years, but to the detriment of the rest of the NFL.That's what he did yeah and it's amazing. You Watch. Youknow you talk about their drive and their passion. I think what was greatabout it is that they didn't have to...

...worry about the other one right.Sometimes you have a great quarterback wo, trying to figure out their headcoach and you're trying to have that relationship, and you don't reallyunderstand or the head coach to say man. This guy has all the talent. Why isth't he just out there working all the time, but they both did thatrelentlessly and, like you said that caused them to respect each other, adidn't matter. I tidn't have anough fo French check because they knew exactlywhat they wanted when they walked in that building they wanted to be thebest and together they were, they were definitely unstoppable and you know weknow their stories, though Ye we know thei stories about build, bellcheck andTom Brady and because ther lot have been told about them, so tell us aboutsome of the other characters that took part of this, because football is the ultimate team sport,even thoug. You had these two guys that were the leaders that drove everythingthere had to be some other characters to produce championships right, other people that not necessarily were the ponds,but were the other. You know the Queen and the and everybody else that had toplay a big role in all this, so tellsus o some of the other importantcharacters that created this dynasgy. So I mean I didn't want to interviewhundreds of players because obviously there've been hundreds of players whohave participated. I acads tin, to seek, but what I tried to do wasstrategically choose clayers from each sort of place in the dynasty. That Ithought would be important to tell the stories, so I spent time with drewBlodso and geon branch, tendy Bruce Keter, Ranny, Moss, William Mginnis RobDrunkowsky, just clayers that are in different episodes of this long runningsaga, Bill and Tom are in the entire saga. Theyre they're there for thewhole run of twenty years right, but all all those other players I mentionedare there for pieces of the of the run and they're all critical. I mean rodnyHarrison Ti law lawyer Malloy the names that have come through New England overthe last twenty years. It's remarkable, and so I think the stories that that are therear phenomenal. I just tell you one and it's actually a brady story, but it's a storing that speaks to sort ofeverybody else. In two thousand and one when drew Blodso was the star not onlyin New England, he was the highest paig player in the entire right valley.Earning a hundred three million dollars he's the gun. Slinger I mean he is theman in New England and that year, of course, we know the story. Molo is hitshim and he goes down and Tom is thrust into the starting roll and they have a great season with Brady atthe helme and they make it to the playoffs and they play that famous gameagainst the raiders. That's known for the Tuckrule, but is this here's? Thestory that I think is fascinating and I Bella check is very strict aboutplayers being at the stadium, no less than three hours before kickoff. It's ateam rule, at least it was in two thousand and one and Gradi's like arookie he's the starter, but he's a kid. You know everybody calls him Tommy he'snot Tom Rad he's Tommy and he lives very close to the stadium he's notmarried. Yet he's single hes, 't kids he's got a bachelor life, and this iseasy. You know so e. He comes out of his house hand, trows his bag in hisjeep and he starts driving to the stadium and it's snowing out, and itwas a sudden snowstorm and for the first time Brady hits sub seriousgridlock and realizes the traffic is so bad heading to the stadium becausethink about it. For New England fans they're under the impression, whichproved be too that this would be the last time that they'd ever be at a gameof Pato stadium, because the stadiumis going to get torn down after this gamemake way for Joetsi. So people are all going early, ind snowing out, it's athat. The highways are jam and Tom Realizes, I'm not going to make it tothe game are certainly not going to make it on time, so he picks up thephone and his jeep and he calls ahead of security who's at the stadium offormer stake, rooper Ginin, Ik Mendus and he says Frank, I'm stuck and efrank. This is like frank's moment to be the hero right and Hi's. likwhereare you and what are you driving? And you know he tells them. I'm in myyellow G be gives them the coordiane within a few minutes. A stake. Roopershows up. You know all the cars are moving out of the way, so this guy,with his lights on, can get to the GE, and then he basically tells Tom. Followme. You know: Lihe Oan, sirens Tom Pulls out, gets behind the trooper andstarts to make it his way. Ind the cars all along the highway are parting. Likethe Red Sea making away. There were other players trapped in his trafficand they all know ye no toms G, because...

...it's a yellow, geep but stands outis aCalifornia kid so one by one, the other players start getting out of wine andgetting in line behind Tom who's. Following the trooper, the fans thatare in their cars, they figure out who these it's, the pit, it's Tom and theteam and everyone's like honking and screaming an yelling. It's like theylove it. Here's why I love this story. GOSSININIT'S! It was so forshadowing of what was going to happen in New England.This shows SOM Brady as a leader. It shows people wanting to follow him andthey make it padium on time, and Tom has one of the most important games ofhis life and does lead them to victory and they win and so the dynasty. For me, the reason Iloved it is because it's full of thes sort of behind the scenes moments whereyou get to see like the thinking of Tom. You know this is kind of the way thatyeah I could did it and how other players reacted to him yeah. No, that's that's that's! Whatthe amazing part is is that you heard guys talk about Tom as yeah he's toughwe're going to go out and work out, Yeu're going to do everything, but he'salso going to be your buddy you're going to be. You know I mean I'm goodfriends with West Walker as well, who he and I played together in Miami andthen the next. I think next, two two years after I left Miami e goes to tothe Patriots and he tells great stories about Tom. I mean love o Guy, butthat's what it's like. You know the ultimate leader that, but I don't thinkTomas is so harsh on everyone. He is oring a game. Sometimes we see a littlebit about that, but he's also wants to build everybody up to be better right.Definitely I lo. I love that about them and I think that really comes out. I,the narrative in the dynasy. You really see, there's a reason that playersgravitate to him why they want to play for him. That was certainly the case inNew England as they play for him, I deed to play with him and in similarly that players that havewanted to go to Tampa Bay because they want to play with them down there. IaRob Grun pawsty right, and so what do you think is going to happen with MrKraft? Now Tom Brady's left at some point bill Bellanche's going to retire so Mr Kraftgin, to retire to and justsay, okay, I'm going ta sell the team, I'm done. I've had it like yeah, we di,I think thits. Now this is a family business. They run it like a familybusiness. I think that you know Robert Crafts wishes are the same now as they were when hebought the team, which is, I think he would like this to remain in the craftfamily for a long long time, and I think it will because I think the wayhe's built the company and built the organization it is. It is set up to to have that kind of succession and continue to have the craft name yeah. What an amazing book it had to bejust an amazing time for you to be. You know, inindate in the PatriotsOrganization for for years and Jo Ju, just to see how it runs, how theoperation runs, because, obviously, I've been in a lot of facilities andbeen around football for a long time. But for you to come in and sit andwatch that day in a day out, did you get to sit in any quarterback meetingsto see those like what it's talked about? Whatit's like the weekend week out of o the preparation I sat in, you know variety of different kind of meetings.I never sat in a quarterback meating, but I did have the opportuniy to sit tone on one with Tom at the stadium and have him explain and talk about youknow all these different facets of quarterback in which, for me was a. It was interesting for me, havingalready spent so much time with Steve Young and had those kinds of sort ofintimate conversations with him about the job of being a quarterback technical aspects of it that I nevereven could imagine and without having you know, having someone like SteveWalkyou through it and then to be able to interview Tom. There were thingsthat Tom would say that I understood thanks to Steve Yeah, and so it's great. I think thebook is wonderful. Everybody's got to read the dynasty, so hey son. Are youready we're going to do the two minute drill? Let's do it all right we're going tothrow two minutes on the clock. We get some easy questions or a lot of fun andjust let's rattle through these, and here we go gas or electric car. I have a gas car, but I prefer anelectric all right, so you're your tess as coming your way. All right. Wouldyou rather fly or drive depends where I'm going depends. How far I have to go for me. I'm a driver. I'd rather driveall right. What's your biggest pet peeve ignorance...

Ik, you deal with a lot of that thesedays. Okay, give me your amount, rushmore of you all your books. Whatare your four top books for you? For me, it would be thedynasty Tiger Woods QB, my life behind the spiral, SteveYoung and probably without reservation. Oh Ilike it. I like it. I'm gonna have to read that one all right. What's your favorite sportsmovie movie, probably boy, that's a tough one! The natioral! That's a good one! Yeahget that one a lot all right! What recreational sport do you play now? I stopped playing recrational sports afew years ago. Just for my own sake of my knees, I, like I ride a bike, a lotand I still run on the beach. I exercise, I just don't play see anykind of team sports anymore. I'll take it I'll, take it all right if you caulchange places with one person for a day, who would that person be obottom? I like it, like, I thought youmight say, like John Lennon or somebody, you know, go back to be the DPEETLEthene Al Right, who's, your favorite qb, that's easy! I'd be braided all I loveit all right. What couple more here? What do youthink the most exciting Olympic sport is? You know, probably I mean acrossbetween Bob sledding and you know H, because it's so dangerous, I mean whenI watch those sports ar UNNERVESMA. That does all right last one we'rekicking FELLE goal here. You you've ridden about football right, we're Gointo switch over to basketball, and I want you give me your top guy he're outof Georda, Jordan, toby or Lebron. You don't know. I can't answer that.I'm writing lebro HRETO Foryou, I jus say they gro I'll just say thisway. Growing up my favorite player o watch this Larry Bird. That's hepolitical l get out of that. Ni have to add lebro Fer to that the that next oneall right so jack. U really appreciate you join us in the holdle and gettingas getting letting our fans do a little bit more about you cas to everyonewhere they can find your poo. How te an your website how they can can get ahold of everything that you're doing sure my website is easy as JeffBennedickcom as far as were to get the book, I'm abig advocate of the local bootstores, but this book is available everywherefrom Amazon, the Barns and noble to you know, pig box book stores. All righone thing tell us why thedynasty is as a best seller. I think just because it's a story,that's more a lot more about life than it is about football. It's got a greatfootball backdrop, but this is a story that women who don't even like football,get a lot out of, and that's I think, that's why it made the list all right, awesome all right, so we'vecome along get way since your days of ful sports illustrated out of themailbox. I was the same way with baseball cards. I still collect them tothis day old ones in and there's nothing like gripping a pack open, andI mean I collect old steelers now, and I can remember back in the s when I wasa kid pull no steelers out of the pack. It was like the most Glorious Day, so Iknow exactly how you feel so jeff. Thank you getting for joining me onhottawalk with Guss. We really appreciate it. Thanksguys I reallyenjoy. That is fun all right. Everyone! Thank you forjoining US another edition of Hoddl up with guests. You can find us onRADIOCOM AP or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast Fortis, a O. UGCOM WEO like the subscribe and also Osixteen thoronthank you for joiningDave, and I in the huddle. We hope you enjoyed our podcast if you like to hearmore podcast, just like this go to huddle up with Guscom, where you canfind our social channels subscribe to hear more by our merchandise and joinour excusive huddle through patreon. Please Jon US next week when we talk tomore guest about how sports shaped their life.

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