It may not rain, it may not be cold or windy…but it always gets dark. In the outdoors, light is essential. Experts trust Duracell Quantum to provide dependable power in the dark because it lasts longer in 99% of devices.
During Kevin Jorgeson’s free climb of El Capitan, he trusted Duracell Quantum to power him through the night so he could climb in the dark and be one step closer to reaching the top.
We spoke to Kevin about his epic 19-day climb, the wear and tear on his body and his partnership with Duracell.
How are your hands? I’m worried about your hands.
I wish I could say you could still see the battle scars, but unfortunatel,y they are all healed. I was actually quite sad when they healed because it was the last physical remnant and evidence of the climb, you know? Now it is literally all memory.
How did you partner with Duracell?
I’m pretty selective on all my partnerships and I try to work with companies that I am already using their products. So that includes my climbing shoes, my harnesses, the equipment we use to stay on the wall, and that goes for batteries too. So when we started this conversation, it was a natural fit. I had been using Duracell for years, we even had them up on the wall (of El Capitan). It was something that already existed, and it just meant that now we’d be able to tell that story.
What does “free climbing” mean? Does that mean you walk up to a mountain and climb it, with nothing?
No, the word “free” kind of messes with people’s perception. Really, it’s climbing as you would imagine climbing — it’s just climbing. 99% of climbers are free climbing. Meaning we climb, but we use equipment to catch us if we fall. And we fall a lot. It took us six years to put this thing together. Six years of a lot more failure than success. It wasn’t like we just walked up and climbed this thing. We started working together on this in 2009.
Why did it take so long for someone to be able to free climb El Capitan?
It’s just so hard, man — it’s so hard. The biggest day of the climb, distance wise, was day one, and that was only 500 feet. Every day after that was 200 feet. Our best case scenario for this climb was 12 days. But I got stuck for a week in one spot. So that’s why it took 19 days.
One of the hardest things about climbing the Dawn Wall, and it sounds lame, is the skin on your fingertips. You cut your fingers on the holes that you’re grabbing and you have to put tape on to cover your cuts. The problem is, there is a big difference between calloused skin and tape. We’re climbing as hard as you can climb on vertical granite. Every little bit counts. So when you have two taped fingers, it totally changes your ability to climb. And that’s what happened. I kept going through this cycle where I would rest until one of the two would heal, and then I would climb, then I would re-split the fingers, rest for a couple more days and try again. It was the most mentally taxing climbing experience I’ve ever had. You have to turn the disappointment of failure into motivation, all over again. And that’s a hard way to go back and forth. And all this stuff is happening at night, which made Duracell so clutch.
For an unknown reason, NFL history has robbed the Redskins dynasty of the 1980s and early 90s of the recognition it deserves. But the real question is, why?
NFL fans remember the Packers championship teams of the 60s, the Steelers of the 70s, the 49ers of the 80s, the Cowboys of the 90s, and the Patriots of the present day. But no one remembers the Joe Gibbs-led Redskins.
From 1982 to 1991, the Redskins appeared in four Super Bowls and won three of those games, and in each game, they won with a different starting quarterback and a different starting running back.
Not content with one of the most successful coaching careers in NFL history, Gibbs created his Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR team in 1992. The team has won three Sprint Cup championships since 2000 with stud drivers like Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart.
At this Sunday’s Daytona 500, the Joe Gibbs Racing Crispy M&M’S #18 car will return to the track after a 10-year absence, piloted by Kyle Busch.
We spoke to Coach Gibbs about flourishing in both sports, the upcoming Daytona 500, his relationship with Jack Kent Cooke, and why he thinks his success with the Redskins has been largely ignored. You can listen to the interview via the audio player or read the full transcript below.
Let’s talk about Crispy M&M’S making their return to the track after a 10-year hiatus, kind of like you making your return to the Skins the second time.
Just about the same; I was 11 years, Crispy’s been out 10 years. We’re excited to have them back. And on Sunday’s Daytona 500, every time that Toyota Camry comes off the corner with Kyle Busch driving it, it’s going to be bright green and it’s gonna represent the return of Crispy. So we’re excited about that and I’m excited to be part of the M&M’S team.
It just occurs to me that the Skins dynasty doesn’t get the props it really deserves. Why do you think that is the case historically?
“Well, I’m glad that you mention that because I feel strongly about that. And I think you’re right. We went to four Super Bowls in 11 years. And we had great players; I think that more of our players should be in the Hall of Fame. You’re right, for some reason that era gets left out. Obviously, the 49ers were in there, the Giants… there were some other real good teams. But I feel just like you, you voiced the opinion, which I agree with. What it takes to be able to get to a Super Bowl, and to do it four times, that says a lot about our ownership, our front office and our players. So, I agree with you and I appreciate you bringing it up.
Well, I’ve thought about this probably more than I should’ve, but it’s almost like the legacy is punished because of your versatility. You’ve got three different quarterbacks that you won a Super Bowl with, three different starting running backs. Defense has a couple of stalwarts, but there’s a lot of personal changes there as you’d expect over an 11-year period. Do you think the success you had with so many personnel changes has been detrimental in hindsight, if that is even a possibility?
Well, you bring up an interesting point. I’ve never looked at it that way. But I think we had a lot of those players that went to two, three, four Super Bowls. And I think that for that period of time, we did have three different quarterbacks. But I think that says a lot about the surrounding players we had with them and those three guys. People always say, “Hey, you won three Super Bowls with three quarterbacks.” What they leave out is three great quarterbacks. You got Theismann, you’ve got Doug, and you’ve got Mark Rypien. I mean, those guys were special; we had special players. But I appreciate you bringing it up this morning, you made me feel good! Okay? Because I think we need more attention on what we were able to accomplish, that team, in that 11-year period.
Here’s the scoop: For Super Bowl weekend, Bud Light took over the beautiful Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix, and directly across the street in a previously vacant lot, Bud Light paved over and built the House of Whatever. You’ve seen the commercial, but what was it like?
The highlight of day one was something “off menu” from the Bud Light festivities.
While getting hassled by overly aggressive security guards at the entrance as we attempted to enter the House, a familiar voice chimed in from behind us. “Excuse me, fellas.” We turned around and it was none other than NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. Little did we know, the next 48 hours were essentially the requiem of Sapp’s media career, as he was busted for assaulting two prostitutes at the very same hotel two days later. RIP, Warren.
The first-ever Bud Light House of Whatever got the party started with unique “Up For Whatever” experiences, an unpredictable party and epic concerts. Inside the House, DJs spun from the top of a beached yacht, food trucks lined the interior, and a massive social media tree served as the epicenter of a kinetic forest. Bullz-Eye was on location to partake in whatever.
Here is what it was like when the House was thrown open:
Friday’s activities included:
- An unexpected delivery from Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, who gave partygoers a pep talk and arrived with plenty of Pizza Hut pizza.
- A variety of spontaneous activities, including Super Fry, where guests could have anything edible deep-fried for them by people dressed as super heroes; Brew U, which offered a ten-minute crash course on beer-making with Bud Light brewmasters; and the ultimate Pac-Man black-light arcade.
- Guests putting on animal masks as part of a party boat-themed concert with epic performances by Kongos and Nicki Minaj.
The best thing about the House of Whatever on night one, besides endless Bud Light, Warren Sapp’s inevitable demise, and meeting Riley from the Bud Light Pac Man Super Bowl commercial, were the bottomless quesadillas.
I literally ate my weight in them over the next two hours, then took a tremendous risk by piling a fish taco on top of it to end my night. Sometimes, you gotta roll the dice.
During the 1991 NBA Slam Dunk contest, Boston Celtics guard Dee Brown stole the show with a variety of dunks, most notably his no-look slam dunk to seal his victory. But even more notable than his dunks were the shoes he was wearing: Reebok Pumps.
At the most critical moments during the contest, prior to almost every dunk, Brown bent over and pumped up his shoes via the “Pump” feature on the tongue of his Reebok’s.
Check out Dee Brown pumping his shoes at 12:28:
For Reebok, it was a moment akin to Nike’s good fortune of Bo Jackson hitting a homerun during the 1989 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the launch of the first TV ad for the “Bo Knows” campaign for his new cross-training shoes in the ensuing commercial.
Nobody had ever seen the Pump, but almost immediately, everybody had to have them.
Last weekend’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest marked the 25th anniversary of Brown’s win and the launch of the iconic shoe. And as a part of Reebok’s new line of 2015 watches, Reebok is paying homage to its history with the Pump watch.
We spoke to Nelly at Bud Light’s House of Whatever in Phoenix, Arizona about his career, the (endless) rise of Taylor Swift, and how he does his best work on the toilet, while some light jazz played in the background.
Here are a few highlights.
On “Country Grammar” and the line, “Get a room in Trump Tower just to hit for three hours/kick the bitch up put the room ’cause she used the word ‘Ours’”:
“It came from real life. It was cool. But you’re talking about lines that were said in 2002. I was a young, thriving Nelly. Hopefully, when you get in this game, you build your own type of fan base and actually have fans that appreciate what you do and grow with you. It’s funny, because it’s a double-edged sword. You hear so many people say, ‘I wish you would do another album like Country Grammar.’ And I say, ‘You were in school when Country Grammar came out, right. You can’t get that feeling back. The reason Country Grammar meant something to you is because you were in school at that time. It was the buddies that were around you, the moment for you. It was your theme music to what you were going through in that life.’ You can’t make that. You don’t think Michael would love to make another Thriller? You think he wasn’t tryin‘? You can’t, because it was that moment. It was music that was unheard at that time. And you can never get all of those elements back again.”
On making new music:
“I don’t chase [past success]; I just make music. Music is creativity, it’s a career. You up, you down, you up, you down… You can’t have a career without an up and down. Nobody is consistently up. Well, probably Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is probably the only one I see that is like, ‘Yo, she’s just gonna keep going (up), huh? Just gonna keep fuckin’ goin’.”
On when he’s the most creative:
“Songs pop up at the weirdest moments. You can be in a hotel, sittin’ in a room, being in a club, bein’ on the shitter. That’s my office. I can think, I’ve got the phone on the wall, set the laptop up on the dirty clothes hamper; I feel my freest.”
On what motivates him:
“I don’t do that anymore. When people are like, ‘Yo, what do you want to do?’ It’s not about that no more for me. Succeeding is not what drives you. I think what drives you is knowing where you don’t want to be – I know where I don’t want to be. That’s the motivation to keep going. Because as long as I keep going, I’m not gonna be there. Because to say what I want to do, I’ve accomplished so much and I’m steady going, I just don’t know, I just keep it movin’. But I know one thing that never changes; It’s where you don’t wanna be.”
On what makes Nelly, “Nelly”:
“It was everything. When you get counted out so many times, you look for a sense of, ‘Where am I going to channel and put this energy that I have to succeed?’ Some kids take it and take it the wrong way. Some kids work hard, they study, they go to school, they graduate and become something. Some kids do it through sports. But again, being a product of who you are, it can be a fuel. Sometimes, too much fuel can blow you up. But majority of that time, if you take that fuel and use it right, you can go to the moon.”
“You’re not content. If you’re content, you’ve already started the giving up process. This is a game of creativity, being competitive, it’s a ‘dog eat’ and I love it.”