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We Dream in Red & White

Mark Dominik Talks Wine and Football

2011 November 9
by Joseph & Curtis

Mark Dominik - General Manager of the Tampa Bay BuccaneersMark Dominik enters his 17th year with the Buccaneers organization and his third season as general manager in 2011, after being named the fourth general manager in team history on January 17, 2009. Over the past 16 seasons, Dominik has contributed to seven playoff appearances and four division titles.

In only two seasons leading the Buccaneers’ front office, Dominik has already gained a reputation as one of the league’s top talent evaluators, with a keen aptitude for finding late-round gems, in addition to fully utilizing the “second draft”—bringing in rookie contributors through undrafted free agency, scouring the waiver wire and opposing teams’ practice squads. I found Mark to be very passionate about football, his family, our military, and of course wine. We were able to catch up with Mark during Tampa Bay’s bye week and we were very appreciative about that. “Are you ready for some football?!”

Drafting Josh FreemanHow did you get into the NFL?

At the University of Kansas (Sports Mgmt) they were just starting out w the new program. Most schools back then did not carry it but I jumped right in. I started volunteering my time w the athletic department and got recommended to the KC Chiefs for the first ever scouting internship…I spent year and half there…then came to Tampa in 95 and have been here ever since.

How long have you been in the Tampa Bay Buccaneer organization?

17 years! I started in scouting…worked w Sam Wyche then he got fired and we hired Tony Dungy (which I like to tell people I hired him but I was only 24!) so I didn’t have alot to do with it. I have worked w 10 different head coaches and 7 different GM’s so I have learned alot from many different people. I have now been the general manager for three years. (Mark became GM at 37!)

Did you like Tony Dungy?

Love him. He is everything you hope he is…if anything he is one of the wisest men I have ever been around.

When did you get into wine?

My wife was a waitress at a famous steak restaurant and became very interested in wine…she got me hooked! It was around 1996 when we started to fall in love with wine. I slowly started to accumulate wine starting from ’96 on.

Masseto wineWhat is your favorite wine?

If you have to put me on the spot I will say Brunello…I really enjoy Italians.

Your on the clock…what’s the first overall pick for Mark Dominik?

Wow…gonna stay in Italy and say Masseto. Also enjoy Phelps cab’s and starting to really learn about burgundy and in the summer always Sauvignon blanc.

Do you travel to wine regions?

When I was a scout I would always try and get to the 49er and Oakland games so I could get out to Napa. I use to go alot more but since becoming the gm I haven’t had the time recently. I have always wanted to do Oregon so that’s next on the agenda.

What’s your opinion of Washington State?

Love it…I was lucky enough to get on Quilceda Creeks list in 02.

Favorite restaurants?

In Tampa…Burns is the best! We recently had a 48 Bordeaux and a 56 Burgundy…outstanding! Its the most impressive wine list I have ever seen. Outside of Tampa I am a big fan of Roy’s. Tampa has been adding alot of great restaurants over the years…another favorite is 717.

Wounded WarriorsAs everyone knows we are HUGE supporters of our service men and woman…and very involved in Wounded Warrior..I know that’s important to you as well…why is that? (Mark had just returned this day from visiting wounded warriors w Josh Freeman and Kellen Winslow) I grew up in a military family, with my grandfather serving in WW1. My dad was in the Navy…both uncles served and my father in law served over 20 years. Its about sacrifice and the choice they make to protect us. Over 99% of this country has freedom because 1% volunteers to defend us. Getting out to the hospitals is just a way to say thanks.

A proud supporter of the United States military, Dominik is an auxiliary member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4321 and sponsored and has participated in a golf tournament at MacDill Air Force Base to aid in the renovation project for Post 4321 headquarters. He has also established a close relationship with the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital where he regularly visits wounded warriors and volunteers with their “Helping Hands” program. During the season, Dominik sponsors “Dominik’s Den,” a ticket program that provided a special game day experience for military servicemen and women

ShaferFavorite wine story?

I was able to be out to Shafer vineyards 5 times in ’04 and was able to see the entire process (from buds coming through, harvest, and even helped bottle alongside Doug Shafer) it was awesome!

And by the way Shafer scores a 92 for the ’04 vintage so maybe Mark has a future in wine making!

How big is your current collection?

Wine CellarWell since we have 3 youngsters we seem to be dwindling down just a little 🙂 but we are currently around 1,000 bottles.

Tampa Bay is currently 4-4 where do you finish? What I want to see more from this club is consistency. We did split w the Saints…and other than the game against the 49ERS we have competed each week.

J&C is going on record as TB will beat Green Bay!

Whats the biggest change in your 17 years in the NFL?

The players size and speed. Its amazing how 17 years ago a lineman was 240 now they are 340! Also there is much more scoring…defense is almost there to just contain the other offense.

Favorite quote?

“You can become smart in anything that’s important to you.”

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