CCP 051 | Caldwell All Out Kings
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The IPCPR is no ordinary trade show. With booths the size of retail stores complete with glass doors and walls, you can stuff your suit case full of cigars that companies offer you as you explore the massive trade show floor. How do you make your company stand out in such a large scale, competitive environment? Learn how the Gurkha Cellar Reserve 21 Years and the Caldwell All Out Kings performed became the highlights of the IPCPR.

Listen to the podcast here:

Cigar Cafe Radio IPCPR 2016 8-4-16

I’m hanging out with Harris at Cigars & More, what’s going on with you?

I’m still recovering from the IPCPR and smoking a thousand cigars.

I don’t think I knew how much work it was going to be. I needed a weekend from my weekend.

It was non-stop.

How are you Sean?

I’m doing well. For everybody, this is our first post-IPCPR podcast. It’s really the first time we’ve talked. I’ve texted you a little bit and maybe some email here and there, but we haven’t talked since we got back.

Throughout the whole entire convention, I was getting bragging texts from Lane telling you what he was smoking, how much shit he had been given, that his taste buds were shot from having too many. I got a picture of the Davidoff lighter that they gave away. Although I was happy that you guys were there, I was a little jealous, I got to admit. I have to go next time.

I think you do. Even if you only came for a day or two or part of it. It would be worth it. You’d really like it.

What I most love is the fact that I have, according to you guys, a care package coming with cigars from the IPCPR that no one can get. I will be tweeting my bragging sticks in a couple of days. The great thing is I’m almost out of them, so I’m glad to get a reinfusion. Go ahead and tell people how many cigars you got from the show.

I had a huge suitcase that was only half full and every square inch was crammed full of cigars. That was without trying. That was just what was handed to me. If I tried harder, I probably could’ve gotten more.

I came home with probably 70 or 80 cigars. I wasn’t trying to go around and get samples. I was setting up interviews and run by the reps that we know and the brands we know, just seeing what they had. It was fairly common that they’d put a cigar in your mouth and you’d smoke an inch and a half of it before you had to go smoke somebody else’s something.

The thing to point out is that’s something you brought home. That doesn’t include what you smoked.

I probably smoked at least part of eight, maybe ten cigars a day for the entire week. There were a few that I loved. The Alec Bradley Mundial. I smoked the shit out of it. It was gone. For the most part, I would smoke an inch or so and had to move on.

I was telling Lane you had a tough time keeping the Mundials in stock. I’ve asked you for a couple over the course of three or four months. It’s been tough to get them.

They don’t always have them. They make them when they have the tobacco available. At the show we ordered more. We ordered a few different sizes this time too, thinking if one or two sizes don’t come in, maybe the third one will.

You’ve got one on the way.

You are smoking a Gurkha Cellar Reserve 21 years. Was that one of the show cigars?

Yes. This is one of their new releases. It should be shipping fairly soon, probably in the next one to two months is what they said. It’s nice. It’s a little different than the other. There are quite a few Cellar Reserve cigars now. I don’t have the info on it right in front of me, but it’s a little different, off to a good start. Everybody I’ve talked to who smoked it seems to be liking it.

That is my favorite Gurkha, the Cellar Reserve line is my favorite. I’m a big fan of their 15 Year. That’s the one with the silver wrapper on there. It goes what, twelve, fifteen, eighteen.

Is that the Maduro, the dark wrapper?

I believe it is. It’s got a really unique flavor to it. My brother in law says it best, and I don’t want this to turn people off because it’s a little odd, but it’s got some lemony citronella type of notes in it. That’s the only way I can really describe it, and it’s really good. It’s not bad. It’s got lemon in there and it’s very unique. I love that because of how unique it is, much like the Escurio. It’s just so different that need I to smoke every once in a while. What do you have Lane, what have you been firing up?

I have the new AVO Nicaragua Fogata. It is like a re-blend revamp of last year’s Syncro Nicaragua. The blended information that I was able to get on it is it’s Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, it’s a Mexican San Andres binder, and something you may hear a lot of lately and probably for the foreseeable future. It’s got the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. If last year’s Syncro was a medium-bodied stick, a Nicaraguan profile toned down a notch, this falls into the medium plus.

There’s some upfront cinnamon but still that same drive through fig, raisin or something like that and the cocoa and espresso that you typically find in Nicaraguan sticks. It’s good. It’s definitely turned up a notch. That’s one of the things that surprised me visiting some of the booths. I felt like Drew Estate stepped back a notch from some of their upfront intensity, at least for the new lines that they’re pushing. You start talking about the Swamp Thang. The Caldwell-Drew Estate collaboration is immediate power. You’ve got one on the way and it’s not even branded as a white label.

CCP 049 | Caldwell All Out Kings
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Caldwell All Out Kings: The Caldwell-Drew Estate collaboration is immediate power.

The one that I got, the Caldwell one that he had like 27 of, it has a printed band. I didn’t know that was a collaboration between Drew Estate and Caldwell. Caldwell cigars are some of my favorite. The King is Dead is a top five for me right now. We run in and out of our top five, but tell me more about that one? I’m super excited to get one. I know we didn’t have very many. I know you had to almost beg them to give you another one.

I feel like Drew Estate has stepped back from some of their Liga intensity with their show releases this year. Davidoff has stepped things up a notch. We thought that the new Yamasá was going to be a replacement for the Pirata line but it was completely different. It was spicy, a little sweet but not like the Escurio. It was more potent and intense than most of what you tend to see out of Davidoff, and this definitely is too.

They went more that direction, Drew Estate, a little more of the middle.

There are some good surprises to come out of that. Back to the Caldwell stick, I did an interview with Robert Caldwell while I was there. I met him in North Carolina a couple months ago and then ran into him at the show. He was happy to sit down with us and talk about what he’s doing. He brought 30 or so samples of All Out Kings to the show, and he was passing them out sort of one at a time. He said he had 27 left at the time. I said, “Do you want to make that 24?” He said, “I’ll make it 26.” He hands me one, but I was going to bat for you guys. I was trying to score one for each of you.

After we did our Gurkha dinner on the last full night of the show, we ran into him at the circle bar at the Venetian. He reaches in his backpack and hands me another one and hands Harris one. I was like, “I got my three.”He told us is that it’s all Liga tobacco. It’s really dense, it’s got all of the typical high-end Drew Estate construction, no draw issues or anything like that. It is turned up to $14. Blue light that cigar and there is an immediate hit of T52 spice where it just about knocks you over because it’s that much of it. After you get an inch and a half, two inches into it, it throttles back a little bit, but upfront, it’ll hit you.

What made it different from a Liga?

I’d say stronger for sure, but just a unique combination of the tobacco. Like Lane said, you can definitely tell some of the tobacco they were using.

Having smoked more No.9s lately, as you got into it, you could taste a transition into that mellower Liga line. It wasn’t a copy of the T52. It wasn’t a copy of the No. 9, but it had some elements of both.

That was definitely a highlight for the show. Is that fair to say?

Yes. He’s put out pictures since the show. He was running around with the one that had the official branding on it, but he’s put out some photos of it now so the vans are ready. They’re going to start shipping. The first shipment went out yesterday or the day before, but the one that you have has inkjet paper band. There’s only 30 people that have smoked those suckers at the IPCPR, I’m glad I’m going to be one of them. It will be one of my first ones that goes, believe me. I know that you guys ran around all day. I know that you are keeping your steps and you walked like three or four miles every day, right?

No. It was like nine or ten miles. I go to the gym and do three to four miles a day basically every day, and I probably average at home seven plus miles a day anyway. I was averaging in Vegas on the days that were peaceful, nine miles, and getting up to ten and eleven on some days.

What were some other highlights? The stuff that just knocked your socks off, you were so glad that you had it. Give me some more highlights from the show.

What was your first impression walking in? You had not been before to the IPCPR. They were interested in your thoughts on it.

I’ve been to trade shows before but never quite like this. I worked for a software company that operated in the petroleum business when I was 22 or 23, and I occasionally had to go and help set up for trade shows and stuff. It was very simple. You’ve got the trade show floor and everything, but basically there’s a table, there’s a curtain, there are people passing out business cards, and that’s all you’ve got. Maybe you’ve got a kiosk set up to showcase your product. That’s not what this was at all. This place was massive. They had little food trucks on the food line. The surge of people that just walked in, when you immediately get there at 10:30 AM when they opened the doors that first day, people just continually poured into this meeting space.

When you walk in, the first thing you see is this two-story Drew Estate booth that’s probably 75×40. They have a DJ, they have a section over here for ACID, there’s section over here for Liga Privada, and it got a little bit of everything everywhere. That’s literally the first booth you see, but then you have to realize that while that might be the biggest booth, there are hundreds of these. Some of them like Perdomo’s booth look like retail stores. It has walls and you walk into it. It has glass showcases where they have all their cigars laid out. Nick Perdomo had some ridiculous 22-piece drum kit with probably another dozen or so cymbals on it.

CCP 049 | Caldwell All Out Kings
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Caldwell All Out Kings: When you walk in, the first thing you see is this two-story Drew Estate booth that’s probably 75×40.

Was he out there playing?

Occasionally he would sit back. What I heard was that after some of the sales that they did, he would get up and just riff on the drums.

Was there booze on the floor too?

Some. They had wine and beer for sale. A bunch of the cigar lines had a beer tap or wine.

Rum tasting, pairings and things.

Rocky Patel had almost a full bar. You can walk up and they would do it.

Alec Bradley had an espresso station. You can get just about anything you need to do to enjoy a cigar just by asking for it.

Perdomo, you think was the most impressive?

Overall, yeah. Drew Estate was bigger. Walking the floor after that, there were other booths that were in the same vein as Perdomo. Ashton didn’t have the same colors, the same look as they did, but it was the same idea. Alec Bradley’s booth was very similar to that too. La Palina‘s was all done up in wood. It looked like a cabin or something like that.

Like white wash type of thing?

No. It wasn’t even painted, it was not really reclaimed wood. That’s what Caldwell’s was, but just natural untouched wood.

It sounds like a serious event, like they do it up right. Do you think that that was partially due to the fact that the FDA is looming large? Did they really want to pull out all the stops for it, or is that how it always is?

That’s just how it always is. It would be interesting to see next year. If nothing changes, do they scale it back? They won’t have all the new releases. I don’t know, it’d be interesting to see. A lot of people invested a lot of money in updating their booths this year. Like Perdomo, for example. This was a brand new booth for them that they spent know a ton of money on. There were a lot of vendors like that who had really bitten the bullet and updated their boosts or upgraded. I don’t know. I guess that means they are positive for the future, because they’ll use those booths for a few years at least.

There definitely was in the talks that we had and the buzz on the show floor, there was a guarded optimism. Steve Saka believes that there will be a navigable path for cigar makers. Christian Eiroa said, “The good news is for the retailers, unless you start talking about specifically pipe retailers, there are very few changes that retailers are going to have to face head on. Most of them are going to be fought before the cigars ever get to the retail level.”

He was saying too, that even if it’s the doomsday scenario and a lot of things don’t make it through, there’s still a ton of cigars out there that will be grandfathered in. For retail stores, worst-case scenario, we may have different brands, but I don’t think we’ll have a shortage of brand.

George Sosa was even fairly optimistic. He said that right now their focus is protecting and securing the blends that existed prior to the predicate date. They didn’t release any cigars this year for the show.

Which is surprising because almost every booth you visited tried to release more than normal. In a normal year, most people would have maybe one to two new blends. I had several companies that had five to ten new blends. Rocky Patel said he released 1,400 new skews, different sizes and shapes of cigars that weren’t all available but that he was officially trying to file paperwork on.

CCP 049 | Caldwell All Out Kings
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Caldwell All Out Kings: Rocky Patel said he released 1400 new skews, different sizes and shapes of cigars that weren’t all available but that he was officially trying to file paperwork on.

I meant to ask you guys, Leaf has dropped off around here. I haven’t been able to find them. Is that a brand that is going away?

They were at the show.

Jim Robinson, Island Jim and Oscar Valladares.

They were there. As far as I know, they’re going strong. They made a few things available that previously were store exclusives. You can get Leaf by Oscar in a Robusto now and a Lancero. Those are his new things. Oscar was selling a new one. The packaging was fantastic. They made the boxes out of cigar presses. He had cut them in half and routed out the inside and made it where it would hold ten cigars. It’s very creative. Then he wrapped three-quarters of the cigar in a candela tobacco leaf with the actual cigar sitting out. It was green with a really dark wrapper. They’re more expensive too. He’s doing those on his own. They’re not part of the same company is what they told me. It’s a separate venture for him, but $10 to $15 range, a little step up. They seem good. They were one of the busier small booths I saw. They had a little booth but they were real busy.

That’s my favorite Connecticut. Out of all the Connecticut’s I’ve smoked, and I smoked quite a few in the last year, that is my favorite. It’s the most unique. It sits in my palate the right way. It’s got some citrus in it that’s very upfront. I’ve been trying to find them. I wonder if the FDA stuff has bit them, like, “We’re going to bow out.”

No. Their plan is to follow the paperwork and try to get approved. They’re going to at least be selling for the next two and a half, three years probably if they don’t get approved.

One of the first conversations we had once we got there was with a guy who was raving about the Leaf. There was a guy sitting in front of us at one of those talks that first day on Sunday. He runs a cigar shop out of Arizona. He asked Harris, “What boutique lines do you carry”? We went through a bunch of them, and then Leaf came up.

He was as happy with it.

He was totally jazzed about it.

He also was very worried about his store because that’s all he carries, the really small boutique brands. He was worried that some of those guys might not make it through.

All he carries is boutique brands?

That’s what he said.

A lot of stores do that. We’re a mixture of both, but there are some guys that that’s all they’re doing. It’s a smart way to do it too. It protects your store a little bit because a lot of those are harder to find. You have to come there. You can’t get them on the internet as much.

They’re protecting their margins and stuff.

Once people try those and like them, they’re probably going to be coming there.

Plumbing contractors do the same thing with plumbing fixtures and manufacturers that don’t sell to big box stores. It makes sense to me. It would seem like there are some bigger lines that you almost have to have. For instance, Drew Estate would be really nice to have because everyone wants ACIDs. That sells.

That’s more the way we lean our stores here.

You have to have Rocky Patel, it would seem.

I think of it like Walmart. They have everybody’s brand, but then they also have their own brands right there with it. They’re doing both.

I wanted to tell you I finally had the My Father Lounge Exclusive from your store. It’s a gigantic stick. Let’s start it out by saying holy shit.

Yes. It’s a big one.

I was into that sucker for about an hour and twenty minutes and I had another hour to go. I finally had to play it down and go, “I’m done. Nomas.”

That one’s actually the bigger version of ours that is for Cutters Cigar Emporium in Atlanta.

It was very similar to the Flor de Las Antillas. It was more that way than any other way for My Father.

It has a similar wrapper on it. That is what’s in this box for us, so those push it that way a little bit.

It had some cinnamon upfront, some of those baking spices. It was a medium, maybe even on the milder side of medium, but I loved it. It’s just too damn big. I couldn’t finish it.

That one’s an 8×52 or 54 box press or something. It’s a huge cigar. Our first show night there was the My Father dinner, and Cutters was there with us. They were at our table.

Which ones did you guys love and which ones do you think that this show in general gravitated to? I know there had to be a buzz going around about something.

I can definitely tell you which ones I’m excited about. I haven’t smoked all of them. I’ve smoked the new Davidoff. I’m smoking new AVO. I’ve smoked the Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thing. I didn’t get to smoke The Flying Pigs, but I do have a Stalk-Cut T52 that Drew Estate gave me.

Tell me what a stalk-cut is.

Stalk-cut is the way they cut the leaf when it grows. I went to a tobacco farm in Connecticut. Basically, the guys are in the field harvesting the tobacco. Instead of doing it with the machine or whatever when the plants are ready to harvest, they take machetes and they hold it and they cut the stalk. It’s a different process.

CCP 049 | Caldwell All Out Kings
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Caldwell All Out Kings: Stalk-cut is the way they cut the leaf when it grows. Instead of doing it with the machine, they take machetes and they hold it and they cut the stalk.

That sounds to me like a marketing gimmick. I’m asking you truthfully. That’s sounds like having a blade cut it from a machine as opposed to someone holding it and cutting it with a machete. It seems to be a little much to tell me that it’s a different type of cigar.

Do they roll it so the foot shaggy or something?

Yeah. A lot of times they do leave a little bit of shaggy at the foot, like T52.

I haven’t opened the tube that it’s in, so I haven’t looked at it.

I do think it probably is more marketing. I don’t see how that has a big effect on it.

What other ones are you excited about it?

The cigar that I’m most looking forward to that I couldn’t get at the show, La Palina decided they needed an anniversary cigar. They released the El Año 1896 Oscuro. They say that it is the same wrapper from the same field as the Padron 50th Anniversary. Apparently Padron has retained some rights to that field, but not all of it. Apparently La Palina has acquired some rights the remainder of that field. Not from La Palina, not from Davidoff, just from show buzz, I heard that Davidoff has also acquired the rights to that same wrapper and intends to release a cigar with that wrapper. We’ve smoked that crazy Padron and it’s amazing, and it retailed for like $106 or something like that. They come in boxes of 50 and they’re $5,300, and that’s just what they are. La Palina’s releasing it at a $10 price point.

CCP 049 | Caldwell All Out Kings
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Caldwell All Out Kings: La Palina decided they needed an anniversary cigar. They released the El Año 1896 Oscuro.

I was really surprised at that price point.

The intel about Davidoff releasing the same cigar, the word is that it’s going to be under $20.

Davidoff seems to be moving that way, that under $20 price point.

That’s their target for sure. I was a little surprised that new Davidoff Yamasá the Piramides is in the $23 range. We just got those in. Everything else new they’ve released has been under $20. That’s their target range.

Nat Sherman has released a Habano line to their Metropolitan lines. They’ve also added a couple Gordos to be existing Metropolitan lines.

The tough thing at the show for me was that there were such a huge number of new releases. There was a lot of trying to figure out, “What are going to be the really good ones and what are going to be ones people are releasing just because they have to get it on the market before August? Are they rushing it?” There’s definitely a lot to sort through. The ones that stood out to me from the big guys were Davidoff Yamasá. It’s going to be a great new release. I’ve smoked it and it’s unique. It’s hard for me to describe what it does to your palate, but you’re like, “This is really interesting. There’s a lot of things going on that stimulates the palate a little more than the regular Davidoff Nicaragua or the Escurio.”

They put cocaine in it. No, I’m playing around. It stimulates the palate. My mouth was little numb, I don’t know why?

It made my gums feel funny.

It had a lot of energy in it.

I was trying to pick up pieces of it off the floor when I was done.

There’s that adult podcaster thing.

That’s why we have the explicit writing. The Liga T52 and the Liga 9 Flying Pigs sizes, that’s a cool one. It’d be interesting to see how often we actually get them. That may be a unicorn, but hopefully not. They’re releasing the Undercrowns in Flying Pig Vitolas too.

Any new Undercrowns? I know they have the shade and the regular Undercrowns, any new ones other than the Flying Pig versions?

Yes, I believe there was a new wrapper.

How was Kristoff? Did they have a showing there?

They did. They had a great booth. The new Pistoff Kristoff just came in.

I have to smoke that just because of its name.

The feedback so far from customers has been very good. The one I smoked is very full-bodied. It’s probably their strongest cigar, but it’s very rich, very flavorful, not harsh. I really liked it. I thought it was a good change of pace from some of the others.

CCP 049 | Caldwell All Out Kings
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Caldwell All Out Kings: The new Pistoff Kristoff just came in. It’s very rich, very flavorful, not harsh.

Who had the best show dinner of the event?

They were all really good. We ended up with three dinners. On Monday night, we went out with My Father. On Tuesday night we had the Davidoff Golden Band Awards. On Wednesday night we went out with Gurkha.

They were all very different.

If you had asked me on Monday night, nobody was going to outdo My Father. We overthrew a Morton’s Restaurant in Vegas.

That’s a hell of a place to overthrow.

I drank all of their Blanton’s before we sat down for dinner.

It’s impressive they have the open bar, top shelf, anything.

They had the servers walking around with hors d’oeuvres while we smoked cigars in the middle of a non-smoking restaurant that there was no one else allowed at that night. The family rented this entire place out for the entire night. There were constantly cigars burning in this place. It’s dimly lit, there’s just a thick haze over. They have a DJ, they have open bar and hors d’oeuvres, and then we all sit down at tables with our individual reps. They hire the services of a different firm to handle their outside sales. We sat down with our guys. We were there with Cutters from Atlanta. Who else was there that night?

Cutters had a bunch of guys and some other guys from Georgia.

We all sat down. They’ve got a mostly fixed menu. We had sea bass, chicken, or filet, and then everything else was decided for. You get lobster bisque, you get Caesar Salad, and they had this little dessert thing. We got through dinner and everything and there were some thank you speeches and stuff. Then the DJ really ratchets things up a notch. There’s thumping music. When it hit the Spanish part, the entire family got up and starts dancing in a circle and everything. My wife is not going to hear this episode. Allow me to assure you, you have only ever seen the Macarena done incorrectly. Until you see a Cuban expatriate do the Macarena, you are right to currently believe that the Macarena sucks. I have seen it and it does not.

How’s Jose Blanco doing? You’re a big fan of Senorial, and he’s only got one blend, actually two, his wife’s blend. Las Cumbres, I’m sure they had a booth there. Any new stuff from him?

They did. He has a new box press Maduro for both Freyja and Senorial that he’s putting out right now. A new wrapper box pressed. I haven’t smoked it yet. I’ve got one of the Senorial, but he flat out told me, “If you’ve already wrecked your palate, take this home and smoke it later. Tell me what you think.”

I’m a big fan of his. He’s very good to the industry.

I got an accidental interview with him. I’ve been looking for his booth all week. I saw him the first day. I found him next to the massage table. He was engaged in conversation with somebody else at the cocktail hour and just hadn’t bumped into him again. He finally walked by. It was the last full day of the show, and I didn’t have any appointments until 4:00 PM with Christian Eiroa. I said, “How you doing?” He was happy to sit down with us. He had lots of really good things to say about Harris and dad. He thanked us for having him on the show. He’s just super gracious and just a wealth of information.

He just seems like a genuine guy. I know that the family’s cigar plantation is big and I know that they make a lot of cigars for other people, but it’s amazing that he doesn’t have more for himself.

You see that a lot with certain guys who do really well. They’re great manufacturers of cigars. They do a great job and they make a lot of cigars for other people. Maybe they have a brand that does okay, does good, but the majority of their business is making cigars for other people.

I’m a big fan of his. That cigar is my go-to when someone says, “What should I smoke? What should I get?” I have a couple of those always waiting in the wings to go, “Here, have this,” because it’s so balanced and inoffensive to any palates. Even if you like strong, full-bodied, full flavored cigars, and even if you like milder cigars, that’s one that sits right dead in the center and you’re like, “This is really good.” That’s my go-to when someone says, “What should I smoke?” I can always give him one of those and they’ll be like, “John, that was a great cigar. I never heard of it before.”

You’ll really like the Senorial Maduro. I’m a big fan of the Maduro.

I want to try it. As far as the other dinners go, the Golden Band awards was a very unique experience. It was in one of the Venetian ballrooms. It was black tie. I smoke a lot of AVO cigars over the last ten or eleven years, a whole bunch of them. At some point early in the night, I realized that I was having dinner in the same room as Avo Uvezian. I was like, “That’s cool. I’m going to fanboy out a little bit.”Then I realized later on in the dinner why he was there.

They referred to him as being the father of Davidoff. They had a guy come in and read a letter from the Prime Minister of Armenia, where Avo’s from, and basically award him his home country’s Medal of Honor while we were there. It was probably the most moving experience of the entire trade show. It was set up to be near-ish his 90th birthday. It was at the trade show. All the Davidoff CEOs were there. It was really impressive.

Did they have a new anniversary out?

They do have an Avo Limited Edition for this year. It’s the last year they’ll have one.

Is it 89?

They’re calling it the 90.

I still have 75 sitting in my humidor. I’ve smoked all the rest of the limited editions. I’m still sitting on the 75, I don’t know why. One of these days I’ll smoke it. I want to save it for a special occasion. Maybe after that first football win. We started football season.

Are you coaching again?

I am on the defense. My son got hurt. He’s going to the doctor. I feel bad for the kid. He’s a monster and he tweaked his hip. I don’t know if it’s a hip pointer or a groin injury. I hope it’s a couple of days and he’ll be fine. He broke his thumb last year and he missed half the season. When you work out all year and you focus your time, I can see why someone like Jaylon Smith would be so devastated, the phenom from Notre Dame.

Jaylon Smith was the baddest of the bad. When I saw him go down, I’m like, “You worked your ass off. You were the first one there and the last one to leave at every practice your whole life. In a ballgame that means nothing, you could lose $30 million.” How devastating that can be? I’m hoping it’s not a long-term injury because he really wants to play. We run a very good team.

How old is he this year?

He’s twelve. He’s 5’6’, 120 pounds.

One of my friends’ kid went to an LSU camp. I told Scott, “I don’t want to be that guy that cheers against his friend’s son, but I’m going to tough it out.” He’s a junior so he’s got to decide soon. He’s got to hit across that line, right?

Yeah. I was in Vegas and I start seeing pictures of him in Death Valley and his son. I was like, “What is your kid doing at LSU? This is not okay.

You know what’s funny though, when you get into that big-time D1 recruiting wars, you learn to be a fan of a different school real fast when they’re willing to pay your son $30,000 a year to go to school there. I’m a huge Notre Dame fan. If Quinn gets courted to Michigan, I’ll be mad for about five minutes. I will wear the Mason Blue for five years. I went to Mount Carmel High School. It’s the winningest high school football program in the state. We’ve won thirteen state titles. Providence Catholic is in annex here. We’re both part if the Catholic League Blue.

A lot of kid football players go to Providence from here. My buddies are like, “What if Quinn decides to go to Providence and not Mount Carmel?” I said, “If it worked out that way, I would wear the green and white for four years. The minute he graduates, everything would go into the fire put and I’d burn that shit right away.” I will only cheer for four years and that’s it. In college, it’s a little different. When they take care of your son and they pay for the school, you learn to be a fan.

That scholarship is definitely a big deal.

I got to cruise. I’d love to talk more about it. I know we could probably do another whole episode about it, and I’d love to. I got to run. I’m looking forward to seeing the cigars. I’m not even going to ask because I’m just going to open up the box and I’ll do some unpackaging stuff because I think that those are fun. Thanks. I appreciate you taking care of me.

No problem.

Have a good weekend.

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