Breaux Greer, like his friend Dan O’Brien, who introduced me to him, is a world-class athlete. He is an eighttime American javelin-throwing champion who holds the American record with a toss of more than 90 feet. He is an exceptionally in-shape, fun human being who enjoys his life to the fullest. Globally, he is ranked as the ninth greatest javelin thrower of all time.
What was your first car?
Let’s see. My first car was a Toyota Celica. It was in high school – an older car, obviously. I went to high school in, like, ’91 and I think it was an ’87 or ‘88. It was fast. It was one of those cars that, if you turn the air conditioner off, it goes faster. That’s how cool that car was.
That was a very nice car for high school.
Yeah. Well, I mean, I worked hard. Ever since I was 13 years old, I had a steady job. I literally had to keep money going through the family. It was just me, my two sisters and my mom, growing up, so somebody had to make some money. I actually had a little extra cash to buy a car with. I was always working, since I was a little kid.
Was it an automatic or a stick shift?
It was a stick.
I decided to get a ribbing in. After all, he had thrown me into a lake that was close to the photo shoot that we’d had with him earlier in the day.
How well can you drive a stick?
I can drive a stick pretty darn well. Yeah, it’s funny because, whenever I was learning, I learned on this really crappy car. I don’t remember what it was, I wanna say it was a Buick, but I don’t even know if they have a stick-shift Buick. I’m here, sitting at a red light, and I’m probably 12 years old at this time. My mom’s, like, cool, just drive. I revved it up so hard because I didn’t want to stall it because we were on the highway. I did it and I just spun around on the highway. We went in a ditch and we came back out. I told my mom, ‘Get in the drivers seat. I’m done with this thing.’ I didn’t drive for a while after that.
And how old were you when this happened?
I was about 12,1 think. I had big responsibilities when I was a kid.
Do you find that the hard work ethic that was taught to you as a youngster has helped shape you into the exceptional adult that you have grown up to be?
Absolutely. You know, that’s the thing. Growing up, whenever all my friends – being in high school or junior high – they got to go to parties and do all that stuff. I had to work because I would help my mom pay the mortgage, even at such a young age. I didn’t have the freedom a lot of other kids had, so it made me grow up a lot faster and appreciate everything I got. I just mentally grew up. I didn’t have the leeway and do stupid stuff like all the other kids. It kept me out of trouble, kept me out of jail.
How many cars have you had since that first Toyota?
I moved on to a Civic after that.
Okay, time for another ribbing.
Why did you choose a Civic?
It was just an easy car with gas and mileage. I was doing a lot of work in different places, so I needed a car that didn’t take too much gas. And that was the most low- maintenance car. I had that and I’ve had a Tahoe, I’ve had aZ28, which was probably my favorite car-a Camaro Z28 – which I had souped up. It was really fast. That’s how I lost a lot of money, paying for gas with that one.
Did you have the 5.7-liter in the Camaro?
Yes I did. It was a really fun toy car. Then I got this, and this has been a really easy car. I wanted to get a bigger car, but I didn’t wanna go for a Tahoe and I didn’t wanna go for a regular car. This is kind of in between and it’s got the big Corvette engine in it. My dog and my javelins fit in it, so it is just perfect for me.
It’s a Trail Blazer?
Trail Blazer SS. This one has 425 horsepower, so it’s a fun little toy. It sucks up gas like crazy.
Well, with that engine, what do you expect?
But it’s fun. It’s just a fun little toy.
What year is it?
It’s an ’07.
What’s your favorite color combination? Obviously, this one is black on black, so do you always gravitate towards this particular color combo?
Yeah. Im always black on black. Ive seen a lot of white cars, and white cars are looking good right now. They tend to stay fairly clean out here in the desert.
Like the white diamond color?
Yeah. Some window tint and some fatty rims, and that baby shines.
Speaking of rims, what type of modifications do you like to do on cars that you own?
Every car I’ve ever had, I’ve put rims on. Every single car I have owned, I put limo window tint on it. Always gotta have a sound system and, every once in a while, I tweak the engine. This is the first car I’ve had that I didn’t put different rims on it. The rims on it are great. I had a supercharger in this car that I’m gonna put back in. I was gonna sell it, but I’ll probably just buy another car and keep this as a Gracie car, to tow her around in – Gracie, my dog. So I might as well put it back in. It’s really fun when you put another 80 or 100 horsepower in.
When you were a kid, did you have that dream car? Lamborghini, Porsche? Was there a particular flashy car that you thought you would always buy when you got older?
I think I’m like a lot of people that, whenever they saw Gone in 60 Seconds, everybody wanted an Eleanor. Strangely enough, I saw that car last night. I’m just sitting there, thinking, “Wow, that is just an unbeatable car. If I could just have that one car, I would be completely happy.’
Simeon Rice has an Eleanor that he is restoring.
I love those. You cannot beat them.
What kind of music do you listen to when you’re driving?
I listen to a lot of Howard Stern now. But, as far as music goes, I listen to everything. My favorite of all time is Brian McKnight, strangely enough.
Oh, I know. He is great! Cool, grooving music.
Yeah, I know. But you just wouldn’t picture a guy like me because I also listen to Marilyn Manson. I can’t really get into country, and jazz never did it for me. Anything with a piano or acoustic, or the complete opposite – anything that’s really loud and obnoxious. I really like all of those.
From the sounds of it you like variety; you like to mix it up.
I like the whole gamut.
How do you know Dan O’Brien?
He’s in track, and in the track community. We’re all a family and he’s obviously one of the top athletes to ever set foot on this planet. To me, he’s just another guy, but if I take a step back. I’m, like, ‘Holy cow, that’s Dan O’Brien. That’s the guy that’s done so much.’ He lives by me, so while he’s training, I’m training. It’s just, like, you run into him and it’s, ‘Hey, how’s it going.’ He’s a good role model for a lot of people to have. He’s just freakishly amazing. I mean, he could still make the Olympic team if he wanted to. That’s how good of an athlete he is.
This one had me curious.
What do you think of hybrids and would you ever own one?
Yes, I would. I would own a Tahoe hybrid now, if someone would give me one. I’ve got no problem with them. It’s just going to keep getting better and better; it has to. But I wouldn’t own one of the small, funky hybrids. I don’t mind them; whenever I see somebody driving them, I’m thinking, They’re smart.’ It doesn’t fit my personality. I like to burn gas.
Right You like the horsepower. Do you get a lot of speeding tickets?
I rarely get speeding tickets. The thing here, especially in Scottsdale, you know where the flash cubes/speed traps are.
I was thinking it had been a miserable trip.
I think I’ve gotten three here in Arizona in the last five hours.
You pass them and you just see the big flash come out of nowhere.
I don’t know how you guys deal with it here. I constantly speed, break the law and they’re everywhere here.
Well, that’s the thing. If you lived here, you’d know where they are. That’s a good thing. In Atlanta, you’re driving around and you got cops hiding in woods.
Yeah, but you can talk your way out of it in Atlanta, among other places in the country.
I’ve gotten really lucky at times when I’ve gotten pulled over. Somehow – maybe I was on TV at the time – the guy’s, like, ‘Oh, you’re the guy off of TV.’
Oh yes, that does help!
Every once in a while, it’s gotten me out of trouble.
Tell me about your doggies.
My dogs are my life. I had a dog for 18 years and, in February, she passed. Gracie was lucky enough to be brought up with her for a year? so it was really cool. This is Gracie; she’s a Presa Canario, which is the rarest dog on the planet. She’s a little bit over two years old and she’s my everything. She literally is. Friends sometimes come and go; people come and go out of your life. But there’s two things I wouldn’t mind spending my money on – it’s my dog and food – the only two things I need to survive.
They are great and I feel the same way. Tell me what all you have going on in your life right now.
Currently, I’m just kind of idling by. I still have a clothing line, I still have a medical patent business in New Orleans, and I’m seeking out a couple movies here and there and doing the track thing. Trying to stay busy.
How fast have you gone in a street car?
I got up to 167 in my Camaro. It was outside of New Orleans and I realized that I had cut off an hour and some change of driving time on that trip. I didn’t realize I was going that fast because you’re sitting on the road and you just tend to not realize it in a Camaro. It just sounds like you are idling. So, 167 was my top.
That might have been the fastest of all the athletes I’d interviewed.
Wow, very impressive, Mr. Greer.
Yeah. I didn’t realize I was going that fast, but I looked down at the speedometer and was, like, ‘I should slow down.’ Normally, I’m an 80-mile-per-hour guy. Not too fast, just fast enough to get people out of my way and keep cruising.
Have you ever looked at another athlete’s vehicle and thought ‘I have to have that?’
No. Actually, I haven’t. Maybe because I live, literally, a minute from Barrett-Jackson. Those are the cars that extreme enthusiasts have, so I get to go see the top cars of the top cars. If you have an athlete driving a Ferrari, big deal. That’s not history, that’s just a Ferrari. Essentially, anyone could get that if they have money. They don’t make the ’69 Camaros anymore. You get one of those in perfect condition, and you’ve got a car. I tend to, every once in a while, envy those kinda guys. Strangely enough, they tend to all live in Scottsdale because I see them all the time. There’s a lot of money that’s gone through Scottsdale.
Have you ever been involved in an accident?
Yeah, I have. I was at a car wash this one time, getting my car cleaned up and polished for an athletes/cars book interview and photo shoot. Oh, that’s right, it is your book. I was getting it cleaned up and then I see an Escalade coming out of the cash wash shoot. It just gets finished power washing and it starts rolling out. It just keeps picking up speed for a good 30 yards. It keeps coming and just smashes right into my car. I got a new bumper out of it!
(WE BOTH CHUCKLE) Do you think you’ll ever pull the trigger on the Eleanor?
If I have a ridiculous amount of play money. It is still hard for me to think about because it is a car, but I would like to have it. Not necessarily keep it for the rest of my life; I’d just like to one-time own it. Just play around with it, not put many miles on it, just say, ‘Hey, this is my car. Check this thing out.’ There’s something to be said to that, because that is history. But, like I said, I like to throw my money towards investments and not having to work the rest of my life. Maybe when I’m an old man and I’m extremely comfortable, then, yeah, I could throw some money towards that way.
Do you have any favorite road trips you like to take?
Absolutely. Driving from my house out here to the hills. I try to do this daily because it’s just refreshing. It tends to unwind the mind without you knowing, just because it’s so beautiful out here. I don’t even realize it because it’s only, like, a 15-minute drive and it goes by so fast. This is surely my favorite place to drive. I mean, you look across and see forever. It’s peaceful. I don’t think enough people get enough time to themselves, just to unwind. They think they do, but they really don’t.
What’s the craziest thing that you have ever done in a car?
I think one of the craziest things was, me and one of my friends were in my Camaro in college and he was in the passenger seat and I was in the driver’s seat. We were only going, like, 65 and I asked him to sit in the driver’s seat. So, as we’re driving, he switches over and I, like, let the gas petal get up to 100. He’s, like, one of those crazy guys, so I climb out on the windshield and he goes to 100. Thinking back, it was really dumb, but it was actually kinda cool. On the front of the car, you’re going 100 miles per hour past other cars, hanging on to the windshield wipers. I thought it was kinda cool.
Have you ever been into motorcycles?
No, only because I know what would happen if I got ahojd of one. The two evils of those are those that have fallen and those that will fall, and I have no doubt that I would press my luck. I have that much common sense to say no, I’m not going to get into that.
On my way there, I got a call from the cardiologist that my beloved first dog, Rocky, had died from heart failure. I was heartbroken, but couldn’t cancel the interview. Breaux took the time to tell me about never getting over losing your first dog, but gave me insight on getting another one. He is a big, tough guy, but he’s down-to-earth and has a big heart.