GoldenBlogs Interview With Gary Tyrrell

Well, as we mentioned the other day, soviet everyman Gary Tyrrell was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.  If you don't know who Gary Tyrrell is, here's a kwick primer from the Woodside Fund.

Gary has more than sixteen years of accounting management experience, in both manufacturing and service environments, with both publicly traded and privately held organizations.

Prior to joining Woodside Fund, he operated a management accounting consulting business for six years, and worked as Chief Financial Officer for Orion Instruments, Inc., a manufacturer of microprocessor development tools. Prior to Orion, he was Division Controller for the Contract Manufacturing Division of Bell Microproducts, Inc.

Gary has a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University. He enjoys mountain biking and cross-country skiing, and he is an award-winning homebrewer.

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"I can't believe JShufelt said that Oregon brews were better, helloooo, have you ever tried Tyrrell 2008!"  -  Image via cache.gettyimages.com

Oh ya and also, he was this guy:

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Image via oz.deichman.net

Well, not the guy in mid-air.  That's Kevin Moen.  He's the guy who is about to be Mr. Moen's crash landing.  Mr. Tyrrell was nice enough to step away from his basement bathtub brewery to answer a few questions about love, life, and being the CFO of a venture capital firm.

1.  Did you see The Play developing or were you just caught up in the moment?

I did not (nor could I) see The Play developing, and I was certainly caught up in the moment.  I had been facing the southern (Stanford rooter) stands, and could see the scoreboard and game clock. Upon seeing the clock reading "0:00", I turned to see the celebration that had spilled onto the field, as band members from both schools, football players & coaching staff, even the Stanford Axe Committee (with Axe in tow), ran around celebrating, likely triggered by the tackling of Dwight Garner (TwistNHook Note:  Nice try, not gonna slip that one past this goalie!  The knee was never down.).  I didn’t realize that I had backed up into the end zone until I saw a video replay of the game’s conclusion.

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Easy angle to tell that the knee was NEVER down!  -  Image via img433.imageshack.us

2.  What do you think Stanford football has to do to get back into Pac10 contention again?

I am encouraged that the football program is moving in the correct direction. It’s a great development for the continuity of the program that Coach Harbaugh is expected to sign a contract extension including, as I understand it, compensation more in line with the market. He appears to be a solid recruiter, and hopefully he’ll continue to improve as a game-day coach.  In terms of on-field performance, the team is close, but it needs to learn to play 4 solid quarters per game, and to "finish" games.  Had the Cardinal avoided its late meltdowns at UCLA, at Oregon, and at TCU, we likely would have brought more than 8,000 fans to Big Game this year. (That said, the OSU victory to open the season was something of a "steal".)  Roster depth will always be a challenge, but it can be mitigated somewhat by a top-notch conditioning program; I recall that the program significantly upgraded the quality and focus of its year-round conditioning program during the Willingham regime.  Bowl eligibility and a bowl bid this year would have been huge, mainly because it provides another month of coaching and practice for the team.

The product on the field over the past two years has been a night-to-day improvement in terms of entertainment value as compared to the prior two coaching regimes, but that hasn’t been enough to fill the new stadium, which is a shame.  The student body is very loyal in attending home games, and they’re pretty vocal during the game (though not yet on par with the Sixth Man Club).  The local alumni pool is not especially large, and the season-ticket base (I’m a 20-year season-ticket holder) isn’t getting any younger, so Stanford’s Athletic Department has a huge marketing opportunity to reach out to the community at large to help fill those seats in the stadium.  Maybe if they let us bring our coolers of adult beverages into the stadium, as was the case until the late 1980’s, we’d get a boost in attendance.

Also, three words: Raiders Coach Tedford. (TwistNHook Note:  Three more words, NOOOOOOOOO)

3.  What was it like to be on That's Incredible! (a reader tells us that you were on an 80s TV Show called That's Incredible!  Hopefully, for the sake of this question, that is true). 

I don’t think I was ever on "That’s Incredible!", though I did appear (usually with Kevin Moen) on a handful or two of bloopers or sports-highlights shows, some of which never saw the air, as far as I know.  A great thrill was the opportunity to meet and visit with the legendary Steve Allen and his lovely wife Jayne Meadows, and (on a different program) to be presented a framed, bent-up trombone from Hall-of-Famer Bubba Smith. It was during these many tapings, which generally involved hours of sitting around waiting, when I got to know and befriend Kevin.

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Who is the guy second from the left?  -  Image via cache.daylife.com

 4.  Do people recognize you?

In the Bay Area, and sometimes in Southern California, my name occasionally rings a bell.

5.  How many beers have Cal fans bought you over the years?

Scores

6.  How many beers have Stanford fans bought you over the years?

Dozens

7.  Have you ever used your fame to get laid?

Umm, I’ll defer on answering this question until my Senate Confirmation hearing. (Filibuster? I hardly…)

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8.  What's your solution to the current economic crisis?

(Caveat emptor: I am not an economist, and I would welcome discussing this issue with any of your better-informed readers; I have subscribed to your site as user GaryT.) Though it’s a little late to close the barn door, I would like to see more oversight and regulation of U.S. financial markets. (As CFO of a venture-capital firm, I recognize that further regulation will not make my job any easier.)  Additional federal funding/stimulus should focus on upgrading our nation’s infrastructure. Any bail-out of the U.S. auto industry should be conditions-based; my neighbor Neil wrote an interesting proposal on the matter (TwistNHook Note:  His neighbor is Neil Young, apparently.  Yes, that Neil Young.). I have never been an advocate of supply-side economics, and I’d like to see the Bush43 tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire without renewal; the estate tax not be eliminated; disincentives for American companies that export jobs; and cuts in defense spending. For "Main Street" America, I’d like to provide individuals the opportunity to renegotiate onerous mortgages.  For those of us who are more than 15 years away from drawing on our IRA’s and 401(k)’s, I’d encourage us to avoid looking at your monthly statements for a while.

9.  The Stanford band has always maintained that they went out on the field only after they thought the play was dead. However, some people remember from being at the game that the band was at least out to the five yard line prior to the kickoff. What do you remember about that, if anything.

Oh yeah, The Play. Any member of the Stanford Band who went on the field at/near the end of the ’82 Big Game did so of his/her own will – no one ever instructed anyone to do so.  We had gathered at field-level behind the south end zone during the last 2 minutes of the game, in preparation for our post-game concert.  With 144 of us, some less disciplined than others, in that tight space, as John was driving the Cardinal comeback down the field, I wouldn’t be surprised if some bandmembers had trickled onto the field of play prior to the kickoff (we were playing "All Right Now" at the time, dancing around, and high-fiving – it was very joyous and fairly chaotic).

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via www.gasolinealleyantiques.com


10.  Do you still play trombone? If you do what is your practice routine? What brand and model of trombone do use? Have you played trombones with the Greenhoe, Thayer, or traditional rotor? If you have which have you felt is better and why? Do you belong to the International Trombone Association?

I can play the trombone, but I haven’t played very much since January 1, 2000, when I had the opportunity to join the LSJUMB for the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, which was a hoot.  I will occasionally pick up a horn, when inspired, to join the Band at a post-game tailgate performance, but mainly I use the instrument just as a prop when doing a sports banquet or other appearance.  I first started playing in 5th grade, and my first horn, and college "field horn", is a Conn.  My "good horn" is Bach Stradivarius Model 36B (TwistNHook Note:  Bach Stradivarious instruments are top of the line.  I once got to play a trumpet one.  It was worth $2,000.00.  I literally broke it the moment I picked it up.  Literally the moment I picked it up.  AWKWARD!) with traditional rotor; I’ve not played horns with the Greenhoe or Thayer rotors. I do not belong to the International Trombone Association (TwistNHook Note:  Really?  How could you turn down the International Trombone Association!?!?!).

11.  Were you drunk when during the Play? 

I was not drunk during The Play, though I did start my game day with the (then) traditional Stanford Band Breakfast of Champions: beer and donuts (Empirically Shown To Mask A Hangover Since 1968™).

12.  Do you have kids?  If so, how did you explain the Play to them?  Was it tougher to have that conversation or the birds and the bees conversation?

I do not have any children.  Everything my nephews, nieces, and Godchildren know about The Play (and, as far as I know, the birds and the bees), they learned from TV.

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Thanks, Gary!  Here's our parting gift.  -  Image via assets.espn.go.com

Much thanks to Mr. Tyrrell.  And please, be nice in your comments.  He did literally sign up under the name GaryT.  And I'm pretty sure we are going to make him a Marshawnthusiast.  Yes, he's a Stanford alum and apparently respects Neil Young.  But it will REALLY anger The Maharg.  So, I'm doing it!  Go Bears!

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