In Search of Glory
Sacramento, CA – It is a sunny Sunday afternoon in late February. I am sitting in the living room of legendary horseshoe player turned promoter Chris Mohler. He just called my cell phone letting me know that he would be a few minutes late. Chris told me not to worry and grab a Bud Light from the fridge. His wife, Tamara, had let me in and was preparing something in the kitchen that smelled very good. I have been trying to get this interview for several months and was feeling a bit nervous that it was about to go down.
Five minutes later I hear the low rumble of the V8 on Chris’ Jeep. I look out the window and see the shiny black vehicle with the dark tinted windows. There is a yellow Railroad Earth sticker on the back window, signifying one of Chris’ favorite Bluegrass bands. Chris jumps out talking on the cell phone. He is wearing tan dress slacks with a light blue button down shirt. His sport coat looks brand new or, at the least, freshly pressed. His hair has grown quite a bit since I last saw him publicly at the 2007 Balboa Open. It hangs down over his dark Von Zipper sunglasses. Chris finishes his call as he steps through the back door. Always moving and energetic, Chris opens the fridge and grabs a Bud Light. He hangs his sport coat in the closet and turns on some music. Chris enthusiastically lets me know that this new band most recently opened up at The 728 party, an ultra successful all night event featuring three of California’s most prominent up and coming Americana bands.
Chris sits down on the couch and asks, “how should we do this?” I switched on my tape recorder and off we went.
JJ: “After all of your success in the past and then complete disappointment the past two years, what are you going to do differently to get back into the finals?”
CM: “Well, this is going to come as a major shock to the horseshoe community. Last year I felt stale with no spark going into my first round game. The lull lasted into the second round and before Andy or I knew it, we were out. So, after much soul searching I decided it was time to part ways with Andy Paiko. I just recently opted out of my contract and am now in negotiations with a potential new partner. I can’t release any of the details as things are not yet finalized. I will say that I am looking for a veteran old bull and a one year contract. Unequivocally, I am looking for someone who I believe I can win a championship with…THIS YEAR!
JJ: “Is this a mutual decision that was made with Andy Paiko?”
CM: “Truthfully, Andy has other things going on in his career right now. It became obvious that winning a 4th championship was not on his agenda for 2008. We may get back together in 2009 but nothing has been written down. I look at what Kaminskis did last year, sign a veteran player hungry for a championship, and hope to replicate what he was able to accomplish.”
JJ: “Can you give me any indication on who you are going to sign with?”
CM: “There is a real short list, really. When I think of Old Bulls, who have yet to win a championship, and have the skill to do so…maybe three or four names come up. A move to someone with a championship is possible as well…I have gotten a few calls from Jason Wheeler’s people. I am looking for fire…I want someone who wants their first taste of Epic Glory as badly as I want a 4th championship.”
JJ: “How has your ultra successful promotions company Epic Glory Productions affected your horseshoe game?”
CM: Well horseshoes was really the bridge to Epic Glory Productions. I am so fortunate to have had so many opportunities in my life. EGP is looking forward to some major events this summer. As far as my training is concerned EGP has not been a problem. I will arrive in SLO with the goal of once again Achieving Epic Glory.
JJ: “Chris, do you have anything else you would like to add?”
CM: “Listen, I think this year is going to be the most competitive Balboa Open ever. Come on, it is history. I feel fortunate to be friends with all of the front runners and will be cheering for everyone. The residents of The Balboa impress me every year with their professionalism and over the top rocking events they throw. I look forward to partying with epic buddies in the warm sunshine of the San Luis Obispo spring. I am lucky to have this opportunity, the opportunity to be the only player in the history of the sport to have four championships…if I win, Jan, shit I might just retire…hey it looks like our beers are empty…lets have another
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