ESPN’s Trey Wingo Falls in Love With Elijah Craig Toasted, Talks Mike Singletary, NFL and More

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On the latest episode of The Fred Minnick Show, sports broadcasting great Trey Wingo joins in to hang out with Fred and sip some whiskey over some lively conversation. Trey has been with ESPN for two decades, having hosted SportsCenter, NFL Prime Time and been a co-host of Golic and Wingo. He also is on the celebrity board of Ronald McDonald House Charities. On the show, he talks with Fred about his love of bourbon, they talk whiskey aroma and flavor, Pappy Van Winkle’s legacy, NFL legend Mike Singletary, bourbon folklore and much more.

Whiskeys tasted:

  • Old Fitzgerald 14 year Bottled in Bond (8:58)
  • Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel (18:43)
  • Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch (33:01)
  • Knob Creek Rye (40:54)


Fred and Trey cover a number of topics, such as:

  • Trey grew up in the Northeast and ended up going to college in Texas and his first week at Baylor he met four other people named Trey – he’d never met another Trey until then.
  • Legendary linebacker Mike Singletary’s record of cracking helmets when he played college football.
  • Elijah Craig’s legacy as the “father of bourbon,” which Fred says is just marketing mumbo jumbo. “Bourbon labels have as much bullshit per square inch as a political ad,” Fred notes.
  • Fred talks about how he went from a sports copy editor to his current career as a bourbon expert.
  • Trey then tells Fred how he first became a broadcaster for ESPN in 1997, and how he had to wait longer than he’d hoped to be hired by the sports network.
  • They talk about how the masses on social media, and even some sports broadcasters (looking at you, Skip Bayless), can be overly critical of athletes. Trey notes, “Twitter can be an amazing tool or it can just be a tool.” Ouch.
  • Trey talks about a high school friend who wrote an essay about his favorite beers – yes, in high school – and got an “A.” That wouldn’t happen today.
  • They also talk about how America treats alcohol differently than most other countries around the world, and the social ramifications associated with how alcohol is perceived in various places.
  • The conversation eventually turns to sports in the age of coronavirus and how hungry people were for anything sports related by the time the NFL draft rolled around in the spring, leading to a record audience of 56 million viewers over three days.
  • Vodka sucks.


In talking about ESPN’s roots, Wingo reveals a fascinating back story about how ESPN was never intended to be a wide-reaching medium, it was meant to cover Connecticut sports. “ESPN really was never supposed to be the Worldwide Leader in Sports, it was going to be a Connecticut cable station. From a very simple idea came a monolith, for lack of a better term.”

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