Now Reading
Fishing & Football Owners, Captains, and Quarterbacks

Fishing & Football Owners, Captains, and Quarterbacks

Fishing and Football
View Gallery

I think it’s safe to say that most NFL team owners probably have a lot in common. Success in the business world, ultra-competitive and passionate about their hobbies are also traits that describe most boat owners whose teams compete in the high-dollar, high profile big game fishing tournaments of the Gulf of Mexico.

Since we live in the South, conversations about either football or fishing are about as common as humidity and sweet tea. But until recently, I hadn’t thought of combining two of my biggest passions into a dockside chat.

Some team owners are heavily involved in the day-to-day decision-making of their teams (think Jerry Jones). Others owners prefer to entrust their general managers, coaches, and players to make the best decisions for the franchise. In either case, you can bet the owner always has the final say on the most critical decisions for one undeniable reason, said one boat owner bluntly, “Because I pay the damn bills.”

NFL teams that consistently win have great owners and usually a great quarterback. Sometimes you see a team win without having both, but that success rarely lasts (please see my beloved Chicago Bears as a prime example).

The more I thought about it, the more I saw the similarities of owning a sportfishing yacht that competitively fishes in the Gulf to that of an owner of an NFL franchise. Both have made significant financial investments in something they love, a football team or a boat.

Both must depend on key team members, be they a quarterback or captain, to execute in pressure-packed moments to win the ultimate goal, a championship.

Like the owner rooting for his team while in his suite on game day Art Favre sees his boat, the 92′ Viking ‘A Work of Art’ as his happy place place outside the office.

“My boat is an excuse to get out of the office and away from work Sometimes it seems like you have to force yourself to make time to use your boat, but once you get on it. It’s very easy to forget about work and enjoy your time on the water.”

If an NFL team owner owns another business, you can bet he isn’t thinking about that business on Sundays during the fall. Most NFL owners aren’t directly involved in implementing the game plan leading up to each game, much less making strategy adjustments during the game, that is what coaches get paid to do. But owners fishing in a big game tournament can directly affect the tournament’s outcome.

“Even though I am the owner, creating our ‘game plan’ with my captain is a part of tournament fishing I still enjoy after all these years,” said Favre. This type of owner involvement should not be confused with a head coach rolling his eyes at a business tycoon’s suggestion of a fake punt during a playoff game.

“Art has been tournament fishing for a long time and had great success before I joined his team,” said A Work of Art Captain Jason Buck. “I’m happy to have an owner who is part of the decision-making process and brings valuable input and experience.” But not every owner is as hands-on. “I don’t even ask until we are about 80 miles offshore,” said Team Owner Matt McDonald on the 72′ Viking Breathe Easy from Orange Beach. “My Captain Pat Ivie and his crew are the experts regarding tournaments, not me. I am pretty sure the one time I did ask Captain Pat where we were headed in the morning, he told me something false. He was afraid I would tell someone on the dock, and he didn’t want anyone around us when we started fishing,” said a half-joking McDonald.

On a boat, the captain is the quarterback. You can have the fleet’s biggest, fastest, or prettiest boat, but it’s hard to compete if you have the wrong man at the helm. Breathe Easy won the Gulf Coast Triple Crown in their first season with Captain Ivie ‘under center,’ and since his arrival back in 2016, McDonald’s squad has consistently been one of the top-money winning boats in the Gulf.

“It’s paramount. There is no bigger key to success than having the right captain said Favre. Captain Buck led A Work of Art to the 2022 Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship, and they also won the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin.

For Buck, it marked his fourth time winning the coveted championship trophy (think Tom Brady) and his first with Favre, who many feel just like a shrewd NFL owner, may have pulled off the greatest free-agent acquisition a few years back when signing Buck to lead his team.

No boat owners on the tournament circuit may be as eccentric as former Raiders owner Al Davis. However, when a tournament starts, they all have the same goal…’ Just Win Baby!’

Coastal Lifestyle Magazine is dedicated to upscale coastal living. We explore local dining and entertainment, boating, art, home décor, travel, tour luxury coastal homes, and so much more.

Follow us as we highlight upscale coastal living from Mobile to 30A! You are going to wish you lived here!

Coastal Lifestyle Magazine.
Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top