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From Horseradish To The Hall Of Fame

From Horseradish To The Hall Of Fame

Our Brother Ryan has always been a very competitive guy - he likes to win and hates to lose. Even as young kids he always had to gamify everything - no matter what we were doing it would quickly be turned into a race or a contest. I’ve read lots of business biographies and that seems to be a trait that successful business owners possess. They like the gamble, the risk and the reward. They like the grind.

That is Ryan for sure. He is and always has been a workhorse. His philosophy is simple - roll up your sleeves and outwork the competition. He has a drive inside of him that he’s always listened to and it has always seemed to pay off - except that one time.

It was the night before our oldest brother Jason’s wedding and the family was all sitting around the table visiting. Out of the blue Ryan says, “Who wants to have a horseradish eating contest?” I know that may sound ridiculous to most of you, but that is a very common instance, the dude just loves to compete, always! On this particular night he had some takers - some familiar opponents - my sister Gretchen and my brother Casey agreed to take him on. I probably said something like, “Why are we doing this?” and got ignored, but I always love to watch it go down.

We all stood around as Ryan said “I’ll go first” and immediately stuck a spoon into the jar and pulled out as much horseradish as physics would allow. It was heaping, and I mean heaping. I looked at Casey and Gretchen, their eyeballs as wide as half dollars, as Ryan shoved the spoon into his mouth. His face turned as red as a beet, he started coughing a little bit and his eyes were watering uncontrollably. He finally got it all down and with his hands on his knees he looked up at Gretchen and said, “Okay, it’s your turn.” Gretchen said “Nope, I’m good” and Casey quickly said “Ah yeah, you win RP”. Ryan celebrated loudly with a giant smile.

The next day we woke up and we were putting on our tuxedos for the wedding. Ryan came downstairs covered from head to toe in giant bright red hives. “I know I look ridiculous, but I got the W baby!” Every time we pull the old photos out of the shoebox and see Jason’s wedding party all looking dapper and then there’s RP looking like he stuck his head in a beehive.

All joking aside, it’s no surprise that he became one the best lacrosse players ever. He busted his ass. He knew he wasn’t the fastest player or the strongest, but he also knew that means absolutely nothing when you’re competing - champions have heart. His game was much different than Casey’s and at times it was hard to watch to be honest. I was always worried about him getting hurt. He would lead with his head and throw his body around carelessly - whatever it took to get that white ball in the back of the net he was ready and willing to do it.

I’ve noticed as I get older that people seem to enjoy comparing our games against one another. “Casey was the best. ”“No, Ryan was the best.” I find it silly, but it’s human nature I guess. One of the things that doesn’t get discussed as much is how great of a teammate and leader Ryan was and continues to be with this brand. People LOVED having Ryan on their team because of the reasons I stated above - he would do anything to help his team win. That is what makes him successful, that is his skill and that is why I have always been happy to be on his team.

Again, I could go on and on but I will leave it here - Happy Birthday RP! Have an awesome day brother and thanks for being a great leader.



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