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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 11 months ago

Investment manager goes deep in Super Bowl parade

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Former college QB relives glory days.

It’s been more than a decade since Drew Weatherford played quarterback at Florida State. But he hasn’t lost the burning desire to throw a football.

His kids are a bit too young, but Weatherford, a partner at Tampa-based investment firm Weatherford Capital, was able to get some action in during one of the coolest places around recently: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl victory boat parade through the Hillsborough River near downtown Tampa Feb. 10. Weatherford even connected with the sibling of a Bucs superstar, when he threw a perfect spiral some 35 yards to one of Rob Gronkowski’s brothers.

Here’s how the throw went down: Weatherford was on a boat during the parade with his brother, Will Weatherford, co-chair of the Super Bowl LV Host Committee. Drew Weatherford was on the committee as well, and several members of the group were on the boat. On a boat next to their vessel was U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, also governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011. “Not many people know this, but he was a quarterback in college and high school,” says Drew Weatherford. (Crist attended St. Petersburg High School, and after graduating in 1974 he was a walk on QB for Wake Forest for two years before he transferred to FSU.)

Crist had a football. He started tossing the ball back and forth with Will Weatherford, a short distance. Then someone on Weatherford’s board noticed the Gronkowski family on a boat behind them. “I thought if I could get someone’s attention, I can toss them the ball,” Drew Weatherford tells Coffee Talk.

First eye contact was with Rob Gronkowski’s father. He waved off Weatherford. “Then one of the brothers started egging me on to throw it,” Weatherford says. So he did — a perfect spiral. Will Weatherford posted a 17-second video of the throw on social media, where it logged in more than 6,000 views the first day. “If my brother/partner Drew Weatherford ever decides this growth equity thing isn’t working out, he may still have a career left in football,” Will Weatherford wrote. “He is eight years younger than Tom Brady after all. Here’s a video of him throwing a dime to Gronk’s brother.”

Drew Weatherford says he never found out which Gronkowski brother he connected with — there are four, after all, in addition to Rob. But after not warming up, Weatherford was satisfied with his throw, standing at the edge of the boat. “I couldn’t even step into it,” he says. “I had to throw flat-footed.”

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