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I'm a former NFL pro who started a winery with two of my teammates — here's how we carried lessons from football into our business strategy
Tony Moll is a former Green Bay Packers player who opened a winery in Sonoma, California with his former teammates, Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitzs. They named it Three Fat Guys.
Lessons from football — like coordination, quick thinking, and rolling with the punches — have helped the cofounders tackle challenges.
This is his story, as told to freelance writer Molly O'Brien.
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I grew up in Sonoma, California and played sports year-round as a kid. The wine industry was always a fascination growing up here, and part of my family history. My great-grandparents on my mom's side moved to Sonoma County from the Lucca province of Italy in the early 1900s, and on their ranch, they grew zinfandel to sell to the local wineries — along with making a little for themselves.
I graduated from Sonoma High and went to the University of Nevada Reno, where I played football on a full scholarship. I was drafted in 2006 to the Green Bay Packers, which was an eye-opening experience — being a rookie, I was a player that could easily get cut from the team.
Joining the Packers motivated me to work hard and make the best of what was put in front of me. I ended up starting my rookie year and blocking for Brett Favre.
I made great friendships that year, especially with two other "fat guys" on the team.