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July 19, 2013

Tim Brown

Mark Rypien


JEREMY FRIEDMAN:  Quick introduction, my name is Jeremy Friedman.  I work in Golf Channel's PR department.  We announced earlier this week our 20th season of Big Break.  It's going to be called Big Break NFL.  It's one of the longest reality competition series that's on television.
And to celebrate our 20th season, we partnered with the NFL for Big Break.  So it will premiere October 8th, 9:00 Eastern.  It's going to feature these two, Tim Brown and Mark Rypien along with Jerry Rice, Chris Doleman, Mark Bulger and Al Del Greco.  They're going to team with male and female Big Break competitors to play as three‑person teams.  So they're going to take the team aspect from their football games or from the football days to the golf course.  Also tomorrow we are going to be on the driving range from 7:30 to 10:30 and then from 12:30 onward.
We're going to call it a Big Break Celebrity Glass Break Challenge.  We're going to have the Glass Break Challenge on the driving range where all the players will have the chance to play try to glass break.  It's going to be a timed event.  We're going to shoot this for a Web series that will premiere around Big Break.  And it's all going to be for charity.  So the top three times will get money from Golf Channel to donate to the charity of their choice.
Just wanted to open to these guys to talk about their experiences on Big Break NFL a little bit, specifically about the pressure that they experienced on the series and how that type of pressure is going to help them this week here at American Century.
TIM BROWN:  Yeah.  The pressure was immense.  No doubt about it.  Playing 17 years in the NFL, been in some tough situations, you think you can handle anything.  But what I quickly learned is in the NFL I had multiple chances.
I had a chance to redeem myself if I dropped a pass or something went wrong.  With this, it was one shot.  You warmed up for an hour and a half.  You have one shot.
If you didn't hit that shot, you were in trouble.  So it was‑‑ it was pretty tough stuff.  Two weeks of hitting balls every day.  I probably hadn't done that ever in my life without being threatened, my wife threatening to divorce me or something.
But for the most part it was an incredible opportunity, incredible experience.  And my litmus test for everything is would I do it again and would I put myself in that situation again.
And certainly if the opportunity arose, I would do it again.
MARK RYPIEN:  I echo that, too, absolutely.  If a reunion came up/down the road, absolutely.  We'd love to be involved.  The intensity ‑‑ surreal was kind of the word I used.
As a quarterback, the one thing you always want to start the game off was a hand‑off, because you got the nerves going and if you had to go play action, go downtown, it was like oh gosh how is this going to come out.
That was every day at Big Break.  Here in Tahoe, you get that first tee jitters and you kind of build up into your game and you get going.  There's nothing‑‑ you can't even explain, I think, the realness and the intensity and the nerves and the shaking every single time and you only had one chance to do it.  Not only that if you're doing it for yourself and that's one thing.
But you've got people relying on you that you gotta make a shot.  This is their life.  They're wanting to make it, have an opportunity to play, get a sponsor's exemption to a PGA event or an LPGA event.
So we're there to help them but we're also there, they know if our shot counts, that they've got an opportunity and if we don't do so well, it could hurt their chances.
So the intensity even mounted especially as the days went on and you grinded it down.
But as far as hitting balls you hit balls for hours and hours for one shot, and that was the part that was the toughest.
JEREMY FRIEDMAN:  So the grand prize for Big Break NFL, traditional Big Break, competitors, players play for a PGA TOUR or an LPGA TOUR exemption, that's what they'll compete for.  These guys will compete for $50,000 towards the charity of their choice.
For Tim, it's for the Tim Brown Foundation and for Mark it's for the Mark Rypien Foundation.  So questions?

Q.  I would ask Tim and Mark, what's it like to be sworn to secrecy you hear that about people are going to do well we did this and we did this and we played we can't tell you the outcome?
MARK RYPIEN:  The last month has been hard, I'm horrible at Christmastime keeping presents from everybody.  I usually tell people give them hints what they got.
I was also saying hey if you want to keep me in Puerto Rico for a month at the Ritz‑Carlton in Puerto Rico I'll stay here and I'll keep my mouth shut if you want me to.
TIM BROWN:  I've been telling people I can tell you but I have to kill you, from that standpoint no one wanted to know.  But it's been a little tough.  But I think everybody's excited to watch the broadcast and it's like knowing the end of a book but when you start to read it you don't want to know that.
So my family and friends have really backed off from me after the first week of being home, it was pretty tough that first week.
But at this point they're all willing to sit back and wait for the game, for the broadcast to air.

Q.  Based on what you guys experienced was there anything comparison to other televised shows (inaudible)?
TIM BROWN:  You know, I've done a couple of those Children's Miracle Network golf skill deals and those get pretty intense, too, especially if you have Bo Jackson in your ears saying:  You better hit this shot.
But I think because this was every day, 11, 12 days of competition, it just really, after a while it started‑‑ I think I got more gray hairs from this tournament after I left.
MARK RYPIEN:  I think anytime you play, either member guest with your partner, you are held accountable for what you do on the golf course with your partner there's some nerves, but in comparison to this, nothing I've ever competed in would come close to what each day was in Puerto Rico.

Q.  You guys have a lot of opportunities that come up to support your various foundations and your charities over the years.  I'd like to ask if you've been into this long enough to know what kind of pushing you're going to get, is your foundation going to get if you take home the money on this thing.  Number one, how important do you feel this is towards your individual foundation?  And number two do you have any thoughts about what you might like to dedicate some of the winnings to the foundation to what you would like to do with that money in regards to your foundation?
MARK RYPIEN:  I think one the hardest thing was we had to be held back when we could get the word out.  Once the word was out social media being able to put it on your website and the awareness factor and what you're doing and the monies that you could possibly win where those monies are going to be earmarked towards is all kind of‑‑ it would be decided as probably Tim's foundation would is board meetings and say I'd like to earmark this specific dollars to go towards children's carts that they have their IV poles in where they could go around the hospital and take their chemotherapy and their stuff but still be kids.
So we could earmark specifically those dollars they could put that on there, a little label saying that this was brought to you by Mark's participation in the Big Break NFL and such.
TIM BROWN:  I think for me, you know, the Tim Brown Foundation, we have been doing a summer enrichment program for kids over the last seven, eight summers.  We hadn't done it the last couple of years because we're building a new facility.
So we're supporting a couple of other charities, five star life.  See that five star right there.  And 911 for kids a charity that I've had a golf tournament for for 20 years.  We do a program 911 for kids that help kids learn how to use 911 properly.
So over the last 20 years we've probably approached over 5 million kids with this program.  So but what I kept saying during this whole deal in Puerto Rico was our tournaments, Mark and I have the ability to go and raise money for our tournaments.
Yeah, it was a beautiful thing that they put the money up for our tournaments, but for me it was all about trying to help my teammates get to that next level, because that was such a big deal for them to be able to go and play in the FedEx St. Jude Classic or play in the ShopRite.  That's such a huge deal for them.
I kept saying we're going to raise money.  I need to raise money.  I need to help these guys get there, because I think from that standpoint it sort of kept my focus on what I needed to do while I was there.
MARK RYPIEN:  I'll say one thing, too, there's no doubt being on NFL Big Break or Big Break NFL, and Jeremy will be working side by side with him on this, is this will leverage, once it's being shown, this will leverage our foundations.
We'll be able to solicit some more donors and solicit more people to get involved because of the magnitude of this and especially around that time that this airs.  You can do some fun things at your club or something like that that can be maybe a day of the wall shot or whatever you might want to do or even a glass break for your member guests and earmark some of that money.
So there's a lot of ways you can leverage this.

Q.  Tim, Mark, I was wondering a lot of people you're playing with don't know your accomplishments.  I imagine they're a little bit younger.  Mark, Tim, how does that fly when they say Mark what did you do?
TIM BROWN:  That's so funny because when I came out the young lady I was playing with she was like:  Who are you?  She basically asked me that question.  And she was a little feisty.
So she really didn't want me there.  I mean, she said hello to me then she turned her back on me the whole time we were doing our little welcome presentation deal.
So I was like hold on now, this wasn't the welcome I expected to get.  And it's funny, and I think you'll see during the show how the relationship between the three of us really emerged, because, you're right, they had no clue, after it was all over, in the room that we all gathered, in the breakfast room, they had all of our highlights playing.
And she was sitting there watching my highlights.  She was like why didn't they show me this before you guys came in, I would have known a little bit more about you.
But you're right it was a little something that you had to get over.  But at the same time it was all about golf.
MARK RYPIEN:  It was great.  I think it's going to be great television no doubt, because the whole thing was a surprise for all of them sitting there on the beach waiting for us to come in to find out‑‑ first of all they don't even get‑‑ they don't even know where they're going.  They get the ticket the day they're leaving but they know they have to wear certain colors, each team.
So other than divulging any more than that, it's going to be great TV because you're going to get a whole two weeks of people kind of coming together or splitting apart or whatever.  However it's going to play out.
You never know how this would happen.  But the great thing about it, I think from a television standpoint and a production standpoint, there's a lot of great footage and there will be a lot of real good scenarios that will play out in this.  That's all I can say.

Q.  I heard Mark saying how important it is to divvy, for lack of a better word, the money and where you wanted to.  And when you said about the pulling of where the IV goes and all that, having been there ourselves for both Doug and I, I cannot tell you the smile you guys put on our face back in the day when we were at Shriners Hospital and to hear you guys do this for the children, just has left a lifetime memory.  And I can't thank you enough on our behalf.
TIM BROWN:  Appreciate that.
MARK RYPIEN:  Appreciate.

Q.  When did it take place?
MARK RYPIEN:  First of June to the 17th of June.
JEREMY FRIEDMAN:  First two weeks of June, it was at Dorado Beach Resort in Puerto Rico.
MARK RYPIEN:  Telling people you're going on vacation, you know, you can't tell them where you're going, that's a hard thing, too.  You can't tell me where you're going on vacation at?  No, I can't, really.  It's in the Caribbean somewhere.  Just we're going to be cruising around.
JEREMY FRIEDMAN:  And you guys tomorrow, we would love to invite you guys to come out.  You'll see it on the driving range, you'll see the glass break.  And when they all tee off tomorrow, if you would like to try it yourselves, we certainly will encourage it.  So thank you.  Thank you very much.

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